The end of the road for last click wins?

By Sean Hargrave – 05/11, New Media Age/Marketing Week

Adam Kirby, business development manager – affiliates, 3

“We took our programme in-house a couple of years ago to give us a little more control to tailor the way we work with affiliates to fit our line of business. We found that when external people run programmes there can be a ‘one size fits all’ type of mentality and, that may be fine for some industries, but it didn’t really suit us.

We wanted a more direct relationship through which we could help our affiliates to help us, and in so doing, help themselves to earn better commissions. We use a platform built for us by Summit which allows us to run our programmes with a very useful twist.

A lot of people think that sales data is the Holy Grail and they’ll never let anyone else see their figures. However, we think the best way of using our sales data is to share it with our affiliates. We might be able to be more relaxed about sales data because our industry is very much driven by the latest deal or today’s hot handset that will be replaced at some stage. So the value of that data is fairly short term.

So, where it can be best used is feeding back to the affiliates what our top sellers are and, crucially, which demographic is tending to not just apply for a phone contract on a particular phone and tariff combination but which are actually passing our checks and getting connected. We only pay on connection and so that’s more useful information.

It means all our affiliates can see what their typical demographic is buying and so choose to promote those offers. A site with a young female audience may well see it is better off with certain promotions whereas a business-orientated site with a middle-aged male skew will almost certainly be better off pushing other deals.

It is working really well for us and although you may think it means the popular deals end up becoming more than popular than some other deals, because we suggest them to our partners, I really don’t care. So long as we’re putting in front of our affiliates’ audiences the most appropriate deals, that’s all that matters.”