The affiliate marketing channel has grown out of strong bonds between networks, marketers, and publishers.
Table of contents – Automation and Technology
As a ‘relationship-based business,’ and success in the channel has always relied on manually brokering sales and creating partnerships based on personal ties. While these tight connections continue to provide many benefits, manual processes might limit both the advertiser’s and publisher’s capacity to scale.
Today, progress in the affiliate channel is assisting in the development and deepening of connections between advertisers and publishers by offering both sides of the fence tools to automate processes, drive channel efficiency, and support their more complicated business goals.
Bridging the ‘personalization gap’
Affiliate marketers are increasingly interested in aligning commission structures with business objectives, such as compensating publishers for providing high-value consumers, controlling expenses on low-margin products, and incentivizing bigger sales volumes and AOVs.
While this frequently resulted in publishers being penalized with what appeared to be cost-cutting measures, new tools are allowing publishers to align their activity and drive traffic to these commissioning strategies, resulting in data-backed and strategic partnerships between brands and publishers.
When talking about automation and technology, consider the concept of personalization. Advertisers began altering commission based on objectives such as new customer acquisition, but publishers lacked the data to adequately segment and target their audiences in order to meet these objectives.
As marketers began to shift in this way, audience targeting became increasingly important to the long-term viability of affiliate agreements.
Significant progress has been made in this area, and publishers can now access network databases containing the transaction, engagement, and even brand CRM data. Requested data is supplied to publishers through API, who can subsequently personalize the consumer experience in real-time — for example, by delivering personalized messaging or an incentive to a new-to-file customer.
In this case, both advertisers and publishers are collaborating to deliver the greatest possible experience for customers.
Data, technology and automation are driving revenue.
Affiliate technology is evolving, and automation and AI-powered technologies are increasing channel efficiency and income streams by eliminating human processes between advertisers and publishers. Link insertion technology, for example, enables the material to be automatically converted to affiliate links (essential in the expanding content-commerce field), and online “marketplaces” for collaboration help to eliminate friction when it comes to contracts and securing on-site placements.
AI-powered affiliate products and data access are also allowing marketers and publishers to find new partners who align with their business objectives. Matchmaking technologies use affiliate network performance data to deliver real-time suggestions on new partners to publishers and advertisers.
With the advancement of data infrastructure and affiliate technologies, marketers and publishers will have more opportunities to work more effectively to fulfill business objectives.
Access to data and new technologies provides an income diversification that has become a key shot in the arm for publishers, particularly worldwide publishing networks. Advertisers now have access to a greater range of partnership and collaboration opportunities as new affiliate partners emerge as a result of the ease of integrating affiliate technology.
Conclusion – the time has come to Scale up
Marketers should anticipate seeing an increased range and breadth of publishers, the introduction of different ad formats, and the delivery of targeted and personalized experiences to consumers as the scope and scale of affiliate marketing expands.
Dynamic commissioning tools, data access, and personalized offers strengthen the advertiser-publisher connection, while greater transparency fosters faith in the channel’s capacity to produce a higher return on investment. Advertisers and affiliates may finally agree on a single goal: giving customers what they want.
Automation and technology go hand in hand and will be your most reliable bet for scaling your business vertically.