How Retailers Can Best Capitalize On CTV
Connected TV has become a powerful performance channel for brands looking to ...
In today’s ever-changing digital landscape, business leaders are challenged to reach enormous growth goals while controlling rising media costs. And, with the US e-commerce market expected to surpass $1.1 trillion in 2023 (Forbes, Insider Intelligence), the pressure to balance those divergent revenue growth and spend preservation goals only intensifies.
Crafting a strategic marketing plan that meets internal business objectives while remaining adaptable to shifting macro-environmental factors necessitates employing a multi-channel approach. This ensures the plan’s focus remains sharp while allowing for agility in response to marketplace dynamics. Incorporating a bespoke affiliate marketing program within the overall marketing strategy can provide businesses growth opportunities to increase traffic, expand the customer base, and increase revenue all while maintaining profitability.
Prior to adding any project to a business plan, it is important to evaluate the potential benefits as well as the potential pitfalls. Therefore, whether you are a CMO, an executive decision-maker, or a researcher seeking insights on affiliate marketing and its integration into a comprehensive marketing strategy, this overview serves as a valuable resource. It offers foundational information and, at best, acts as a roadmap to successfully incorporate affiliate marketing into your plans. Below you will find the pros and cons of affiliate marketing, including a brief history, answers to frequently asked questions, addressing misconceptions, and finally, a few facts, figures, statistics, and what comes next for affiliate marketing.
Affiliate Marketing got its start 30ish years ago, when William J. Tobin launched one of the first e-commerce websites, PC Flowers and Gifts, in 1989. Within 5 years the program grew to over 2,500 affiliates generating annual revenue in the millions. It didn’t take long for other businesses to see the success of Tobin’s program and follow his lead, most notably, a new online book retailer, Amazon.
Amazon took affiliate marketing to new heights, launching Amazon Associates, a public platform allowing members to sign up, publish banners that led shoppers back to Amazon, and earn a percentage of the revenue generated from those sales. The meteoric rise of Amazon is tied to the Amazon Affiliates program, the brand awareness it contributed to, and the consumer traffic driven through the affiliate program.
Affiliate marketing is a digital, performance-based marketing model where businesses work with affiliates who promote the business’s products or services for a commission. Affiliates earn commission or incentives for driving referred customers to complete a desired action on the business’ website. The “desired actions” may be leads, app downloads, website traffic, email sign-ups, sales, or other conversion models.
Affiliates can use various promotional marketing methods including websites, blogs, social media profiles, SMS, email campaigns, display ads, placements, product reviews, and more to drive their users to complete an action. Most brands operate their affiliate programs through third-party platforms that track traffic, leads, actions, revenue, and other KPIs, manage contracts, tracking links and payments to affiliates.
After examining the opportunities vs. potential pitfalls of adding affiliate marketing to a business plan, the pros clearly outweigh the cons. However, taking a pro/con list and applying it to an individual business plan requires a solid understanding of the business objectives. When determining if affiliate fits within a company’s marketing strategy, education is essential.
Debunked rumors and myths aside, the lessons derived from each corrected misconception about affiliate marketing are still being learned. This insight follows years of education, hands-on experience, program and market data analysis, strategic planning, and attention to detail. Each of these is also a vital component for achieving success when adding an affiliate program to an overall marketing mix.
Here are a few digital marketing statistics to support the case for a well-rounded digital marketing strategy that includes affiliate marketing.
*Source links below
Digital marketing and the pieces that comprise it; affiliate marketing, influencer marketing, public relations, search engine optimization, paid search, paid social, digital ad spend, email, mobile, etc. work most effectively in conjunction with one another. More and more, different marketing programs like affiliate, influencer, and major media placements are crossing over. Some brands are merging all into the affiliate program, while others utilize affiliate tracking to monitor performance, either way, success follows collaboration and transparency. To keep marketing strategies fresh and reach consumers where they are comfortable shopping, it is imperative to adapt to new technologies, stay open to new consumer journeys, and remain flexible enough to pivot strategies when micro and macro environmental factors that affect businesses dictate.
Including affiliate marketing as a piece of a multi-pronged marketing plan is essential not only to expand reach, reinforce brand awareness and reach niche audiences but to convert those consumers in a cost-effective way. With the potential for cost-effective campaigns, expanded brand exposure, and increased revenue opportunities, investing in an affiliate marketing program is a strategic move that, when crafted properly, will yield substantial returns for any business.
If expanding into affiliate marketing sounds right for your business, reach out to our experts to learn more. We can help with all aspects of launching your program and incorporating it into your overall marketing plan. From consulting to full management, we’re here to help!