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Black Friday and Cyber Monday: 3 rules for campaign success
September 14, 2023
Over the last decade one thing has become clear, Black Friday and Cyber Monday are jewels in the "golden quarter" crown. Surpassing Christmas and January sales, this key period is known to retailers as the number one time for sales. As Cyber Monday 2023 approaches, the shine from the golden quarter appears a little different, reshaped by the pressure of the cost-of-living crisis.
Since the 2008 financial crash the Black Friday landscape is vastly different. The internet use exploded, the social media platforms grew and along with this we saw a reliance on e-commerce. According to Statista, e-commerce will account for $6.3bn in spend in 2023 - more than ever before. With brick-and-mortar stores closing daily, Black Friday has never been a more important period for retailers – heavy is the head that wears the golden quarter crown.
Therefore, it has never been more important to get the very best from Black Friday. Whether you’re a SME business or a global brand, both have been shaken by shifts in the global markets. Now is the time to optimize the peak period to its fullest. This article will outline three simple, but essential things you need to know when planning for peak on the affiliate channel.
1. Communication is key
It sounds incredibly simple, but communication is the most crucial element of peak planning. A clear communication strategy can be broken down into three parts.
First, advertisers should:
- Be upfront and honest when talking to publishers and networks
- Outline and define peak goals early on;
- Get clear on your messaging.
Clear messaging can come in the form of a universal peak promotional deck that delves into the promotional messaging, the types of data needed to unearth valuable insights to budgets, and constraints that can be expected. Only when this messaging is defined and understood should you move onto the next stage.
Next, allow publishers to pitch
With goals understood, publishers will come to you with a wide array of opportunities over peak shopping season. If your promotional deck is was clear and concise, they will provide you with a range of efficient, tailor- made opportunities. They’ll be able to work with you to create the perfect fit. You can discuss:
- Alternative approaches such as tenancy or commission methods
- New and exciting opportunities that have not yet been discussed, making you a true trendsetter
Communicating clearly throughout these discussions will help you forge stronger connections between the publisher and brand.
Finally, get an early sign off
Once agreed upon a plan, it is essential to achieve sign off early. By adopting a clear approach the process should be largely streamlined given the pre-defined parameters you set out. Given that advertisers are starting their cyber planning earlier and earlier each year and thus making competition fierce, it is essential to agree a plan with publishers long ahead of time. By communicating clearly, you’re laying the groundwork for peak success.
2. Be adventurous and diversify the mix
Over the last five years Awin has seen an influx of new and innovative partners join the network, ranging from technology partners to nano and micro influencers. All types help achieve growth, so you must diversify your mix this cyber season. Talking at PI Live in 2022, David Lloyd, our chief customer officer at Awin, reported on the successes of adventurous advertisers (those willing to experiment) versus armchair advertisers (those happier to sit back and watch their program). Those willing to take a proactive approach to the channel outscore armchair advertisers across revenue growth, sales gained and traffic generated.
If you’re an ‘armchair advertiser’, now is the time to get up and explore these opportunities. Get ahead of one of the most competitive golden quarters to reap the rewards. Whether it is innovative technology partners, our affluent list of influencers or bold brand partnerships, you must engage with them to make the most of cyber 2023, or risk being left behind.
3. Embrace technology and innovative tracking solutions
Technology is the lifeblood that holds the affiliate industry together. I believe the network is the veins that connects opportunities to the passionate hearty publishers and the advertisers breathe life into the system. One cannot work without the other. If the technological lifeblood of the system is not up to scratch then all elements suffer.
Recently, Apple released its latest iOS 17 update promising to make it harder for marketers to track their campaigns, a major blow ahead of the golden quarter. Enter server-to-server tracking. Our testing shows Awin will remain relatively unscathed as long as advertisers have this optimal tracking setup.
Awin have written extensively surrounding the implications for marketers seeking to target individual audience segmentations and around retargeting efforts. Server-to-server tracking provides the future-proofing necessary for the continued success the of network, so advertisers and publishers can continue to work together in perfect harmony.
Whilst server-to-server is essential so is in-app tracking – without it, your passionate publishers may go elsewhere, unrecognized, unrewarded and unreported. In 2022, €31m in commission was generated from in-app tracking, up 55% YoY. Whilst this is an impressive sum for the 256 live program that had app tracking in 2022, the message is clear: it’s not a matter of if, but when you implement in app tracking, or run this risk of publishers going elsewhere.
This year’s Black Friday and Cyber Monday could be the most important one so far, as it gives advertisers in certain sectors a last ditch attempt to end the year on a high. That is why it is crucial to follow these three simple steps, to communicate, diversity and advance in tech. Whilst the shine from this year’s Black Friday is somewhat tainted due to the cost-of-living crisis, by embracing the affiliate channel and following these simple steps, you’ll put yourself in a the best position to make it your golden quarter.