In this guest post, Delacon CEO Michael Center (pictured below) talks about the value of affiliate marketing and how it can be a boon to a CMO’s bottom line…
Affiliate partner marketing has become the mainstay of many major brand’s marketing strategy. Once thought of as simply a lead generation tool through affiliates, creating strategic marketing partnerships has become vital for brand engagement and discovery.
A Digital Commerce survey showed that partner marketing affected 14 per cent of sales in 2016, and this number is only growing. With leading brands now seeing 40 per cent of their online revenue being driven through performance marketing, the partnerships channel is more important than ever.
However, there is a gap in many partner marketing programs, which means not only missed opportunities, but crucially lost revenue too. To fill this gap marketers need to understand how the online to offline economy plays out in their marketing eco-system and how it can be utilised to boost performance.
An effective affiliate marketing strategy needs to consider the behaviours of the ever-growing, on-the-move mobile connected consumer. Recognising the value of the $140 billion plus spent globally on mobile advertising and the new mobile and call friendly ad formats driving clicks and calls. There are technologies that help track the journey and voice of the consumer across all channels. Forward thinking brands and partners are using these to measure, attribute and optimise all leads and sales – recognising and rewarding marketing partner performance for both online and offline conversions in real-time – whether that is a lead or a sale.
A call analytics solution (sometimes referred to as call tracking) enables the measurement, attribution and optimisation of all call conversions originating from marketing partners and affiliates. By integrating with a call analytics provider, not only can call conversion data be reported in a partner marketing platform in the same way clicks can, but marketers will be able to more effectively measure performance delivered to the brand – taking and giving credit for both the web leads and phone calls generated. Conversely, it allows a brand to assess the quality of all leads generated by each of its marketing partner.
How does it work?
When a consumer interacts with a partner’s campaign, they can either click through to the brand, perform an e-commerce transaction or the consumer may call, generating a qualified lead or sale. For an online journey, by implementing a call analytics code and a number (or what is called a ‘dynamic number’) either on a campaign or landing page, a significant amount of call information is captured when the call is made. This includes campaign information such as search keyword terms, AdWord or campaign details, and online referrer/ marketing partner.
The call conversion is then reported within the brands partner marketing solution, attributing the call to that specific partner and rewarding them accordingly. Partner performance measurement becomes more accurate, and can be optimised towards higher-valued conversions.
The call analytics data also provides insights into consumer behaviours from online-to-offline leading to sales outcomes. This can be integrated across a wide range of solutions including analytics, CRM, automation, personalisation and business intelligence to offer additional reporting throughout all business reporting.
With affiliate partner marketing playing an ever-increasing role in Australian marketing, savvy marketers need to be aware that significant numbers of customers choose to ignore direct digital channels in favour of communicating directly with the company concerned. Without a method of tracking the outcome and effectiveness of these calls, companies could be missing out on significant revenue generation opportunities.