Affiliate Marketing

Why your next marketing partnership will be with your CFO

One of the key benefits of the digital era for marketers has been to give them a greater supply of data sources for finding clearer links between their investments and their returns.

Once mastered, these data capabilities become critical tools for helping marketers better demonstrate the contribution to their organisations financial performance and placing them on par with other functions where the costs and benefits are clearer cut.

This has been especially helpful for marketers relationships with their peers in the finance function, who hold the purse strings.

However, not all digital marketing channels offer the same levels of granularity in the data they provide. The linkages between investment and return can become harder to follow when it comes to tracing the impact of upper funnel spending activity, such as for brand building, compared to when dollars are put into performance channels to drive quick outcomes.

Affiliate or partner marketing is one channel where it has been difficult to quantify incremental revenue impact, and its contribution to the marketing mix for reaching, engaging, and influencing target audiences. This has been due in part to ineffective measurement solutions and siloed channel data that has been hard to view side by side with data from other digital marketing channels.

But new tools and services are enabling partnership marketing strategies to better demonstrate their value, and often with surprising results.

The data-driven marketer

Many marketers already have a strong appreciation of the value of partnership, with the Partnerize report Partner and Affiliate Marketing for CFOs finding that, 54% of the 1200 brand leaders surveyed said partnership drove more than 20% of their companys total sales.

Furthermore, according to a 2019 Forrester study commissioned by the affiliate marketing solutions provider Pepperjam, which was acquired by Partnerize, 20% of the marketers surveyed ranked affiliate marketing first among their top three digital marketing channels for customer acquisition ahead of display advertising, paid and organic search, or any other channel.

The value of partnership can be demonstrated at different points in the marketing funnel, with numerous studies pointing to a strong showing for short term measures such as return on ad spend (ROAS) for performance marketing campaigns. The integration of partnership into performance marketing activity delivers the added benefit that compensation for the partner occurs only after the customer has made their purchase, bringing maximum spend efficiency.

Partnership can also be critical for driving long-term returns through using progressive software solutions that enable brands to identify and recruit partners whose audiences may be akin to the brands desired customers. This creates a greater propensity to acquire both profitable and loyal users. This is especially true when working with comparison and review sites, which are a key starting point for many customers on their buying journey.

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