Last week we brought 16 of our customers together for our first virtual customer roundtable. One of our key topics was adaptability – a timely topic for every brand or business given the massive changes that COVID-19 has spawned globally. Even the way in which we run roundtables has changed – shifting to an online format instead of an in-person gathering. The second discussion focused on incrementality in the partnerships channel, with attendees eager to provide input and hear from other brands.
“Growing Together” has been the on-going theme for Partnerize in the past few months. The purpose of roundtable discussions is to provide a platform for open dialogue; sharing ideas, celebrating wins, and for customers to share any strategies and tactics in managing their partner programs. Roundtables are a perfect opportunity for our customers to get specific on what it means to “grow together”.
We were thrilled to be joined by leading brands across the retail, travel, and telecommunications industries, both from Australia and across Southeast Asia. This gathering was a rare opportunity to hear how customers across verticals and regions are approaching their partner programs during these uncertain times.
We wanted to share some of the top-level takeaways from the discussions.
Adaptability Has Never Been More Important
A consensus shared by the group was that they are all learning to adapt. It may be too soon to conclude what is the “perfect” way to adapt your program and marketing activities. However, the current situation has allowed brands to be more experimental and resourceful when it comes to promotion and new initiatives. We are all learning as we go, particularly when being faced with unprecedented circumstances.
Another learning from the adaptability discussion was to act with empathy. That is, to be receptive and understanding of your customers’ changing needs and align your strategy accordingly. Transparent communication, flexible policies, and even changing product offerings were all ways brands represented at the event were demonstrating their ability to pivot within the current climate.
The attendees touched on the ways in which they have had to adapt their partner programs in response to the monumental shift to online activity. Some brands consider this an opportunity and use the channel to drive strong sales growth, while others are reassessing their partner mix and commission offers to ensure the channel continues to deliver a positive return on investment for their businesses.
Historically, measuring incrementality in the partnerships channel has been a challenge. That is why it can be useful for brands, and particularly our customers, to be able to discuss with others in the industry what incrementality means to their businesses and how it is best measured.
One of the major themes of the discussion was the importance of accurate data and reporting are for any discussion about incrementality. Roundtable participants also stressed the importance of full-funnel attribution in recognizing the incremental value of this channel, rather than just focusing on the last touchpoint. There is a growing understanding from brands that partners can play an essential role throughout the funnel and in helping to drive the final sale. Technology like commission splitting is helping brands reflect that value in the commissions they deliver.
We would like to thank all of our attendees for this virtual roundtable. It was fantastic to see brands connect around their partner programs, and share how they are managing the immense changes the current situation has presented.
Hope to see you at our next one!