Affiliate Networks and Tracking Platforms, The Best of 2020. Part 6: TUNE

Today I have the pleasure of introducing you to a partner platform that believes in “partnering the way you want to.”  In Part 6 of my Best of 2020 series (that has explored LinkConnector, Impact, Awin, ShareASale and PartnerStack so far), we will take a deep dive into the world of TUNE.

 

 

PARTNER THE WAY YOU WANT TO

 

 

 

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Affiliate Networks and Tracking Platforms, The Best of 2020. Part 5: ShareASale

In my Best of 2020 series of the leading affiliate networks and tracking platforms in North America, we’ve come to know LinkConnector, Impact, PartnerStack and Awin so far. Today we are featuring another Awin Group owned partner network, leading thousands of brands and working with hundreds of thousands of partners including content, media, influencer, AI, comparison, review sites, forums and more. Please let me introduce you to industry veteran, ShareASale!

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Affiliate Networks and Tracking Platforms, The Best of 2020. Part 4: Awin

In the continuation of my series called “Affiliate Networks and Tracking Platforms, The Best of 2020” (in support of my good friend Leenie), I have the great pleasure of introducing you to Global Affiliate Network, Awin!

 

 

History of Awin

Part of the Axel Springer and United Internet Groups, Awin is a global affiliate network with 20 years of experience in the industry. Together with ShareASale and the recent acquisition of Commission Factory, the Awin Group is comprised of 1,000+ employees, over 211,000+ contributing publishers and 15,200+ advertisers, connecting customers with brands in over 180 countries. Operating across the retail, telecommunications, travel and finance sectors, Awin generated $12.4 billion in revenue for its advertisers and $915 million for its publishers in the last financial year.

Following the acquisition of one of North America’s largest platforms, ShareASale, in 2017, the Awin Group’s most recent acquisition of Commission Factory now grants partner reach into the much desired Australia, New Zealand and Southeast Asia markets – which play a crucial part in the Group’s mission to become the partner of choice globally for affiliate marketing. 

Awin emerged in 2017 when consolidating zanox and Affiliate Window operations, both of which had been driving sales for affiliate partners since 2000. zanox grew from a Berlin, Germany, tech startup while Affiliate Window started as a small operation in London, UK. Throughout their histories, zanox and Affiliate Window were repeatedly awarded for innovative affiliate marketing solutions and exceptional service… and now a global community of people, technology and business intelligence insights. No matter what type of partner, level of service, or tools needed to achieve business goals, Awin provides solutions to drive sustainable growth.

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Affiliate Networks and Tracking Platforms, The Best of 2020. Part 3: PartnerStack

This month I am featuring the leading affiliate networks and tracking platforms of 2020. In this week’s post, and as a continuation of my series from Part 1 (LinkConnector) and 2 (Impact), comes B2B leading affiliate network, PartnerStack!

A Brief History of PartnerStack

PartnerStack was founded in 2015 by four founders: Bryn Jones, Jonathan Mendes, Luke Swanek, Neil Chudleigh. They started with a simple, silly-sounding idea: “how could we make a machine that prints money for businesses?”

That silly idea led to an actual insight: the fastest-growing SaaS companies had already figured out how to rapidly scale revenue without escalating their costs at the same time. They were recruiting a whole world of affiliates, referrers and resellers to sell their product for them, and reaching all-new markets in the process.

They were growing their businesses with partnerships.

Partnerships, of course, don’t literally print money. But a well-managed partner program can drive acquisition and revenue with much higher return-on-investment than any other channel.

With this insight in mind, the founding team was accepted into Y Combinator and began building PartnerStack. Since then, PartnerStack has grown from a team of 4 to nearly 100 employees, working with hundreds of companies like Intercom, Asana and Intuit to manage and scale their partner programs, and onboarded thousands of partners to the PartnerStack platform.

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Affiliate Networks and Tracking Platforms, The Best of 2020. Part 2: Impact

As a continuation from Part 1 of my Affiliate Network and Tracking Platform Series to help raise funds for my friend Leenie, and to help educate the world more about the options and variables when selecting an affiliate network or tracking platform, today’s featured Affiliate Tracking Platform is Impact!

Impact: Bringing automation to affiliate partnerships 

Affiliate marketing has advanced and evolved significantly since the 1990s. Increased internet access and the advent of new media channels have forever altered customer behaviors and habits, while ecommerce has grown tremendously. Needless to say, these advancements have brought change to the affiliate manager’s job as well. More potential shoppers and more channels for delivering offers have made managing and scaling affiliate programs more complicated than ever. Affiliate managers need a partner solution that handles the nuanced requirements of a modem program.

Impact is a technology company that has pioneered an entirely new way of approaching performance marketing across the whole spectrum of partnerships. Impact accelerates enterprise growth by providing automation to discovering & recruiting, contracting & paying, tracking, engaging, protecting & monitoring, and optimizing all types of partnerships. This is not only true for traditional affiliates, but across a larger spectrum of partners including influencers, business-to-business, media houses, mobile apps, ambassadors, social causes, and more.

Impact has grown and evolved from its initial entry in the performance marketing space more than 12 years ago, incorporating new businesses and capabilities to become the market-leader that it is today. With 12 offices in eight countries, more than 500 employees and 1,200 customers worldwide, Impact is the global leader in partnership automation.

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Affiliate Networks and Tracking Platforms, The Best of 2020. Part 1: LinkConnector

Every day I get questions about which affiliate network or tracking platform companies should launch and grow their performance marketing programs on. With a multitude of considerations from attribution capabilities to partner types, client support and compliance monitoring, it became clear to me that this is a topic that needs a deeper dive, and that getting it right is an essential part of a program’s ongoing success.

In looking further, I also realized there is no easy way for people to understand what options are out there and which network or tracking platform could be the best fit for them, so I decided to do something about it.

In conjunction with a GoFundMe campaign I’m running to help my friend Leenie, I decided to do a series of posts on SarahBundy.com called “Affiliate Networks and Tracking Platforms, The Best of 2020.” The participating networks and tracking platforms will be featured in full detail one at a time on this blog in the coming weeks, and will then be featured again in a larger ebook called The Definitive Guide to Affiliate Networks and Tracking Platforms launching later this year. (more…)

Getting Started with Affiliate Marketing Attribution in 2019

As we get further into 2019, Marketing Executives are trying to better understand their buyers’ journey and which marketing channels are contributing sales. They are trying to determine where and how to spend their marketing dollars in a way that drives the highest possible ROI, the most well defined cross channel transactions, and where their new customer acquisitions are really coming from.

In an effort to provide more clarity around what attribution strategies Marketing Executives should be looking at, I spoke with attribution expert, Anthony Clements, about what attribution really is, and how companies should be thinking about investing in it this year.

 

What is the difference between multi-channel and omni-channel attribution? 

It’s worth saying from the outset that these two phrases are used quite interchangeably in many aspects of digital marketing, which often creates a bit of confusion for marketers. The real difference between multi-channel and omni-channel from an attribution perspective is in the outcomes.

Multi-channel attribution seeks to measure how effective an individual marketing channel is at driving a conversion. By definition it’s conversion orientated, and helps marketers understand how important each channel is at getting customers to buy their products or services. It does this either by algorithmic or ‘place-in-the-chain’ models. Multi-channel attribution thinks more in terms of marketing channels like Display, Search, Affiliate etc than it does about the customer.

Omni-channel attribution seeks to measure how customer’s engage with a business, including different types of marketing, platforms like desktop or mobile, and will also generally look at offline engagements. For businesses that embrace the theory of omni-channel marketing – creating a single, unified commerce experience across all points of customer engagement, omni-channel attribution will help to properly understand customer journeys and also help to understand how the best / most profitable customers like to engage with a business.    

 

Example of a Click-to-Consume Path Analysis using attribution. Source: Impact

 

Why do you feel companies need to invest in attribution today?

Attribution feels like one of the slowest-burns in digital marketing. The technology and principles have been around a while, but adoption has been gradual. Adoption of digital attribution has accelerated over the last two years primarily because database technology has facilitated the advent of algorithm-driven attribution which uses data modelling to ‘score’ the effectiveness of channel engagement rather than the original ‘place-in-the-chain’ concepts which were ultimately quite biased. If a marketer favoured upper-funnel traffic then a first-click model would give them the results they wanted to see. Attribution is now more scientific and less open to individual bias.

Marketers are now being asked to invest their budgets in a range of large media platforms that all operate their own, siloed tracking ecosystems. Facebook Ads runs its own event and conversion tracking, as does Google Ads, as does LinkedIN Ads. It’s vitally important that marketers have the ability to scrutinise the results from these platforms using independent technology that helps them understand their relative importance to driving conversions, rather than simply analyse the results in isolation. Throw in a host of other marketing channels like other Display platforms, Affiliate, Email and then a variety of ways for customers to transact be it desktop, mobile web, mobile app or in-store…then the need to measure fractional contribution in ever-more complex customer journeys becomes obvious.

The industry also has a much greater handle on using attribution analysis to deliver meaningful results. Attribution doesn’t generate new traffic, and that often meant it was difficult for advertisers to justify the budget. Now, it isn’t uncommon for advertisers to redistribute up to 30% of their total spend based on new insight from an attribution model, so the outputs are powerful and actionable in a way they were not a few years ago.

 

Example of an affiliate attribution analysis, looking at "Initiator" (Top of Funnel), "Contributor" (Mid Funnel) and "Converter" (Bottom of Funnel) affiliate contributions. Source: Partnerize
Example of an affiliate attribution analysis, looking at “Initiator” (Top of Funnel), “Contributor” (Mid Funnel) and “Converter” (Bottom of Funnel) affiliate contributions. Source: Partnerize

 

What recommended next steps do you think companies should take in order to get true attribution set up correctly?

Like many digital marketing initiatives, setting up a data-driven attribution model is an iterative process. A company’s online marketing needs to be of a certain size and scope to really benefit from multi-touch attribution. This is primarily because a company needs to be ready to implement the spend and tactical marketing changes that should result from attribution analysis. We normally ensure a company is running at least three online advertising channels concurrently and is already using an online analytics solution like Google Analytics to collect and analyse customer journey data before we’d advise them to invest in attribution.

It’s also important to go into attribution work free of bias as to what channels or platforms are most valuable. This can be difficult for marketers with many years experience, but an open-mind is vital to ensuring attribution analysis is actionable.

With these things all in place the next step is to find a provider. Google and Adobe operate well-known enterprise level cross-channel attribution solutions, and VIsualIQ are highly regarded at the top end of the independent market. But these solutions are cost-prohibitive to many businesses. The market for independent attribution providers is growing fast with Fopsha, AttributionApp, Conversion Logic and in the affiliate space Impact and SingleView by ROEye all doing good things.

For businesses new to the space it can be resource intensive to find the right provider and then implement the right attribution model. Consultancy services like ours help companies navigate the ever-expanding vertical of digital analytics and attribution.

 

If you wish to contact Anthony for a full review of your multi-channel and omni-channel attribution options, you can contact him here, or contact All Inclusive Marketing for a full list of affiliate specific attribution solutions for your program this year.

EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Neil Patel, Conversion and Affiliate Marketing Icon

Neil Patel is a New York Times bestselling author. The Wall Street Journal calls him a top influencer on the web, Forbes says he is one of the top 10 marketers, and Entrepreneur Magazine says he created one of the 100 most brilliant companies. He was recognized as a top 100 entrepreneur under the age of 30 by President Obama and a top 100 entrepreneur under the age of 35 by the United Nations.

What I love about what I do is meeting some of the greatest minds in digital, affiliate and growth marketing. While I was travelling in Thailand last month, Neil and I ended up speaking at the same Affiliate Marketing Conference, and had a great chat about food, travel, Vancouver, Seattle and what makes marketing great.

As the co-founder of several multi-million dollar digital companies, including Crazy Egg, KISSmetrics and Quick Sprout, AND as a personal advisor to some of the largest brands in the world, Neil knows what he’s talking about.

I was lucky enough to interview Neil about his thoughts on Affiliate Marketing. Here is what he had to say:

Q: Affiliate Marketing means many things to many people. How do you view and value affiliate marketing in the overall marketing mix for brands looking to drive incremental revenue and new customer acquisitions? 

Neil: Affiliate marketing is great. It allows smaller companies to grow without having to take large risks. With marketing becoming more expensive and competitive, you have to no choice but to leverage all channels if you want to grow. And of course, affiliate marketing should be in that mix. (more…)

Shopify Workshop for Women at SheCommerce Asia the First of It’s Kind

Working from Bangkok, Thailand, last month, I got to attend and speak at Affiliate World Asia about International Affiliate Growth Trends going into 2018. As a pre-conference workshop, SheCommerce (created by Shopify and Women in AdTech), celebrated a day where female ecommerce leaders and entrepreneurs could set up, create and design their first ever ecommerce store. The room was a fabulous mix of successful affiliates and new to market female powerhouses learning and driving business growth together.

   

The content from the day focused on the strategy, scalability and fulfillment of business tasks, such as distribution drop shipped products,

  • Physical owned products
  • White labeled products
  • Digital goods
  • Tickets
  • Time
  • Charity
  • Rental products
  • Experiences (such as travel or entertainment related products)

Shopify worked to inspire women to:

  1. Create a business that matters
  2. Earn money from a side hustle or launch their first full time business
  3. Monetize their passions
  4. Be their own boss
  5. Become industry leaders

We learned what the biggest challenges that business owners / ecommerce leaders face? (more…)

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