• Tom Dewhurst

Get results from affiliate and partner Marketing

Who are we talking to?

Silverbean. We’re pioneering a fresh approach to driving sales growth from affiliate and partner marketing.

We have helped to grow sales for some of the world’s biggest brands, including L’Oreal, Hello Fresh and Clarks. We also work with a number of luxury and specialist brands, such as N.Peal, Lily’s Kitchen and ATG Tickets.

Which growth channel are we talking about today?

Affiliate and Partner Marketing

Describe this channel to someone who’s never done it before?

Affiliate and Partner Marketing is a marketing arrangement by which an online business pays commission to an external website for traffic or sales generated from its referral. This is most commonly done on a percentage of sale model.

What frameworks have you used?

Silverbean has created our own Progression Model for Affiliate and Partner Marketing, we use this to showcase the opportunity to brands within the channel and to identify various levels of maturity.

Can you share any relevant case studies or projects?

ATG Tickets - Regional and National Content Partnerships

Hello Fresh - International Expansion

Any challenging projects?

We are currently migrating the John Lewis and Partners affiliate program, the size of the program makes that challenging itself.

Travel and Transport brands have been challenging in 2020, we have seen brands shift product in order to diversify towards staycations or regional territories recover from covid at various rates. We then need to manage an international campaign at various levels of input based on the covid level.

Top 3: mistakes to avoid?

  1. Budget Maximisation - if you do not set up the affiliate tracking correctly you can easily overspend on affiliate costs by 20%.

  2. Misunderstanding the Channel - the perceived value of affiliate marketing can be tarnished by bad account management. We have seen a shift in this over the last few years as those brands with mature affiliate program grow 2 x faster than those that don't. However, some brands still do not see a partnership strategy as key.

  3. Account Management - Without an expert independently managing your account your program could easily be dominated by lower funnel publishers.

Top 3: Businesses nailing this channel?

  1. Hello Fresh - They have used affiliate marketing to enter new markets and support their international growth. Through working with publishers and influencers they have attracted a significant amount of new customers and optimised spend to increase Lifetime Value.

  2. ATG Tickets - the strategy with this client is to utilise content publishers strategically. By combining partner marketing with your search strategy you can look to increase market share from dominating SERP terms. This brand has 73% of its program from content partners and has grown 100% year on year for 5 years.

  3. Expedia Group/ - Rather than looking at strong recruitment objectives they have increased program revenue by taking a CRO approach to the user journey. By increasing the partner's conversion rate they, therefore, increase program revenue.

Top 3: KPIs?

  1. Revenue Growth

  2. Cost of Sale

  3. Order Active Publishers

Top 3: tools for this channel?

  1. Network/ SaaS platform - the tracking solution to manage and pay partners.

  2. VoucherVoo - A tool that automates competitor activity within the channel.

  3. Publisher Discovery - A tool utilised for recruitment of new publishers, it can easily identify publishers that are not on your program but are on your competitors.

Top 3: tips and hacks for this channel?

  1. Build the right foundations - so many affiliate programs are not set up with the brand's objectives in mind. Make sure your affiliate channel rewards publishers inline with the brand objectives and margins.

  2. Select the right partners - Only work with the publishers that are proven to drive value. There are a lot of publishers on a traditional network which is not right for all brands.

  3. Keep in touch - Make sure you align your business with a specialist who is proactively planning for the future of affiliate and partnerships. Your strategy could be dominated by tactics that are old now, the channel is diversifying with new types of partnerships - brand to brand, app, content domination etc. Make sure to be at the forefront of innovation.

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