High Dollar Learnings from Affiliate Summit West 2017

More than 6,000 marketing professionalASW-2014s attended Affiliate Summit West (ASW) 2017 this past weekend in Las Vegas. ASW is held twice a year and is one of the performance marketing industry’s largest conferences. The event features tradeshow areas, educational sessions by industry experts, and networking events.

As the industry grows, the lines between affiliate marketing and other forms of digital advertising continue to blur. With that in mind, here are three trends that emerged from this year’s Affiliate Summit West:

Influencers and Influencer Networks

Social media platforms continue to attract new users and engage current users with cutting-edge technology. To support this growth, new influencer networks continue to launch to connect brands with social media content producers.

Influencers exist in a variety of forms – athletes, musicians, experts, and internet personalities, bloggers and social media stars can all be valuable brand advocates, but only some will add value to your affiliate program. The right content posted by the right person can produce results long after the initial posting. Knowing an influencer’s audience and understanding their motivation is key to finding impactful, long-term partners.

Emerging Global Markets

The Asian Pacific (APAC) region presents an incredible opportunity for savvy affiliate marketers. China’s digital and mobile advertising spend grew by 28 percent in 2016 and Japan boasts the 4th highest advertising spend in the world, followed closely by South Korea, Thailand, Singapore, and Indonesia.

Before launching programs in these regions it’s important to understand key cultural differences. In China, the population uses different search engines, social media platforms, and shopping networks. Finding the right DSP to plug into these tools successfully is critical. Additionally, the APAC market places a high value on face-time to form meaningful relationships. Plan on traveling and setting up face-to-face meetings if you want to start off on the right foot with your new APAC partners.

Sophisticated Attribution Models

Attribution remains a key focus for affiliate marketers. Many affiliate programs support multiple channels and finding the right attribution model can be challenging. Diving deep into program data is key to maintaining a fair program and rewarding the right touch points for each conversion.

Attribution models are becoming increasingly more creative and complex. They can include:

  • Multiple conversion click streams to support a specific category of publishers in your program.
  • Offering longer cookie durations for strategic partners.
  • Sharing commissions with multiple affiliate partners for one conversion, or not awarding attribution if a consumer has already added an item into a shopping cart.

As the performance marketing model becomes a bigger part of the marketing mix for many brands, strategically weaving your existing marketing plan into this infrastructure can offer significant opportunities. As we learned at this year’s ASW, the old adage “the only constant is change” holds very true for the affiliate marketing industry.

If you’ll be at Affiliate Summit East in New York City July 30th to August 1st, let us know! We’d love to meet you, talk shop and marvel at all the changes taking place in the industry!

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