The Drum Awards Festival - Official Deadline

-d -h -min -sec

Technology Partners Digital Strategy Affiliate Marketing

Marketing is often inefficient and unequal - here's how affiliate marketing changes that

Awin

|

Open Mic article

This content is produced by a publishing partner of Open Mic.

Open Mic is the self-publishing platform for the marketing industry, allowing members to publish news, opinion and insights on thedrum.com.

Find out more

October 16, 2023 | 5 min read

Recent research proves what top marketers already knew – they face a crisis of media inefficiency, accountability and control

Systemic inequities and failures are creating existential challenges for customer-centric brands. The ANA Programmatic Media Supply Chain Transparency Study - First Look provides the latest evidence, identifying more than $20bn in wasted or poorly optimized programmatic spending – a level of waste that’s a third larger than the entire global brand investment in affiliate.

What created this unequal world is even larger than auction-based media. The Google/Meta/Amazon oligopoly controls 75% of all digital ad-spend and distorts the buyer-seller power relationship. Brands struggle for traction in (almost) every area of customer engagement.

There’s clearly a lot of dysfunction in today’s ad market, much of which is related to this lack of control and transparency imposed by these big tech platforms.

The need for choice, control and customisation

Affiliate acts an antidote to these issues. Direct relationships with publishers mean agencies and advertisers know exactly where their ads run and the sales that they drive. Validated click and engagement tracking ensures clients can trust the data they’re provided with. Real-time data access and optimization tie investment to outcomes and shift allocations to the venues, placements, and offers that deliver measurable business value.

But there’s still room for improvement.

We often talk about the need for personalized approaches to persuade today’s consumer. But there’s been far less discussion around the vastly different strategies, teams and tech stacks that have been employed by brands and agencies to meet these shoppers on their own terms.

Look under the hood of any advertiser or agency today, and you’ll find far greater variation than ever before. Some companies find that extensive outsourcing of technology and teams provides the expertise and innovation needed to stay ahead of the game. Others lie somewhere on the spectrum, choosing to rely on outside support for certain elements of their business.

There’s no best way for brands and agencies to orchestrate programs and data. Yet, the market is overwhelmingly comprised of either ‘tech-only’ SaaS providers, designed with one solution in mind for every client, or “service-centric” legacy networks that offer tiered suites of management services.

Ultimately, both approaches require agencies and client buyers to conform their businesses to the solution that’s being offered.

To truly maximize growth and take affiliate to the next level, we must capitalize on the channel’s unique strengths to combat the lack of freedom and flexibility afforded by ad tech’s monoliths via three core principles: choice, control, and customization.

Choice - advertisers and agencies deserve access to the full range of potential publishers, technologies, and other performance-based solutions, including those that operate in the programmatic space. Whether that’s 4, 400, or 40,000 publishers, they should know who they are and what their performance looks like before and after they choose to engage.

Similarly, partners deserve to know that brands and agencies understand what they need to be successful and will use the technology necessary to field, manage, and optimize programs for maximum mutual benefit.

Control – advertisers and their agencies should stand on an equal information footing with partners so they can make the best decisions to achieve their goals. The affiliate space should be free of the unfairness of the media oligopoly that calls the shots in other marketing and media sectors.

Both parties should have commercial transparency, negotiated on an individual basis rather than one that’s automatically dictated by the price of competition on a keyword or audience segment in a global auction.

Customization – solutions and technology should be adaptable to businesses’ needs, not the other way round. Advertisers and agencies should be able to choose the service offerings they need and have them configured for their operations and teams. Making product and service models aligned to customer needs instead of investor preferences.

Awin wants to champion these three principles and drive the critical changes needed in the affiliate channel. That’s why we’ve built a business that combines a powerful tech platform with bespoke management services. For several years, we’ve striven to align our product development and people to the pillars of choice, control and customization.

To do this, we’ve revamped our business into an adaptable solution that gives clients access to a choice of more than a million performance partners, control and transparency in data and commercials, and a platform that provides a customizable set of technologies and services that adapt to your needs and goals, so you can, without compromise, grow your own way.

By Rosalyn Berrisford, regional managing director at Awin

Technology Partners Digital Strategy Affiliate Marketing

Trending

Industry insights

View all
Add your own content +