| by Affiliate Window

Nurturing partners is key for networks

Kevin Edwards, Strategy Director, Affiliate WindowKevin Edwards, Strategy Director, Affiliate Window

This year has represented a period of continued growth for Affiliate Window as we consolidated our position as the leading performance marketing network in the UK. Our advertiser reach has continued with publishers now able to partner with nearly half of the top UK retail brands through our network. Similarly, our advertisers can take advantage of the biggest publisher base with a significant number of exclusive publishers proving day in, day out why the performance industry is such a compelling proposition.

Continued investment in our technology has seen additional focus on some key areas. Compliance controls are something that every publisher and advertiser should expect as standard and too often we see unscrupulous activity go unpunished elsewhere. It damages our industry and holds us back which is why we now have the most comprehensive compliance checks and procedures in the industry. This will remain a critical focus for Affiliate Window as we continue to significantly invest in a range of proprietary and third party solutions.

Mobile commerce as the first frontier of handset performance marketing will also be our primary focus. December 2012 will see us tracking about £15,000 of revenue every hour of every day across the month. Numbers like this are guaranteed to sharpen the mind as to the huge wealth of opportunities mobile offers. Failure to invest isn’t an option and is something we’re pressing daily with our partners. We expect them to focus more keenly on specific mobile campaigns, which is why we were the first network to roll out device reporting. Without this information it’s impossible to track the success of any campaign.

2013 will see us introduce additional mobile tools and technologies as we consolidate ourselves as the leading mobile marketing network. As the only network to publish handset and tablet performance across the network through our monthly tracker reports and white papers, it’s imperative that awareness of how performance is at the forefront of mobile marketing is heightened.

One area we’re passionate about is data. As a network recording millions of sales a month for our 1,700 advertisers we have access to seemingly infinite rows of information. Stitching that together presents every business with a challenge that only increases with every passing year. With that in mind we remain the only network with a strategy and insight team who have been beavering away for the past three years to share the nuggets that help shape future planning.

It’s fair to say there are many pre-conceptions about performance marketing in the wider digital world. Some of these are less than complementary and in turn we’ve generally been pretty bad as an industry in showcasing our successes. That’s why we’re committed to sharing this data as widely as possible. We’ve been able to explode some myths about voucher coding, demonstrate that consumers transacting through affiliate links are some of the highest quality out there and address concerns about channel cannibalisation. We plan to continue this work in 2013 using additional third party tools to delve even deeper into the data. It’s what clients are now demanding and without it the channel will be marginalised.

We’re always challenged with finding the ‘next big thing’. Voucher codes and cashback are now dominant in the channel, so where is the innovation? Dozens of new publishers join our network every day, and while most of them will never break into the big time, it’s imperative we take time to understand and nurture new partners. This is no mean feat; it requires legwork and hours of ongoing support from our publisher team. The largest in the market, the team is targeted with growing our base of publishers. A network clean up last year helped remove numerous dormant accounts and so while we don’t proclaim to have the largest publisher headline figure we know we can partner our clients with quality. That also extends to in excess of 600 publishers who don’t work with any of our competitors. 2013 will see us focus our attentions on helping publishers with potential to partner with our advertisers. We’re also starting to see a raft of new tablet and handset opportunities launch. It seems no new serious publisher model is complete with a mobile element so expect this to be forefront of everyone’s mind next year.

Partnering with our European sister network, zanox has also allowed us to help our advertisers satiate the growing hunger for British brands overseas. Rarely a week goes by without a native retailer announcing its plans to tackle Europe and beyond. European traffic for some of our advertisers is already achieving dizzying heights so we’ll be redoubling our efforts in order to offer a natural launch pad for interested advertisers to reap the rewards.

So the industry continues to evolve and Affiliate Window is determined to be at the coalface helping to shape the next chapter in performance marketing. The challenges are daily and networks are being kept on their toes with the threats and opportunities Google, mobile and commercial pressures throw at us.

We believe we’re well positioned heading into 2013 to tackle these challenges with vigour and the passion that has helped cement our position as the number one, natural home for performance marketers.

Kevin Edwards
Strategy Director
Affiliate Window

Affiliate Window
Tel: 0844 557 9240
Facebook: www.facebook.com/affiliatewindow
Web: www.affiliatewindow.com
Twitter: @Affwin

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