The ox is said to represent hard work, reliability, and transparency. And that’s exactly what your partnership strategy should aim to be as we enter the year of the ox. As we start a new lunar year it’s a great time to reset and take a closer look at your approach to partnership. What’s gone well for you over the past year? Where could you improve? What’s next on your partnership journey?
As more and more marketers across Southeast Asia turn towards affiliate and digital partnerships, it’s more important than ever to get things right and set yourself up for success. Whether you’re entering the channel for the first time or looking for a fresh approach to your existing program, here are five key strategies you can use to make your partnerships as strong as an ox.
Strategy 1: Set Clear Goals
Don’t leave your partnership success up to luck. If you want to run a successful and prosperous program, you need to be able to both define and then measure that success. So your first step should always be setting clear goals. Your goals should align with both wider business goals and those specific to your team.
They can be centered around whatever is most important to you, but there are several focus areas we often see customer set their goals around:
- Achieving revenue targets from the channel
- A minimum return on ad spend (ROAS) requirement
- Year-on-year growth
- The percentage of revenue from this channel versus overall online acquisition revenue
- Growth in specific categories or products through the channel
Strategy 2: Review Your Approach to Commissioning
If you want a strong and successful partnership program, it’s time to move away from set-and-forget commissioning. Your commissioning and incentive structures should be as fluid as you are and should be consistently optimized to suit your needs. An effective commissioning strategy is not about luck, it’s about taking a smarter approach. You can commission on any data parameter that you pass back, so the opportunities are limitless. However, to help you get started, here are several commission categories you can look to for inspiration:
- By category: Do you have a category that has a higher-margin? If so, incentivize partners to drive shoppers in that direction.
- By distressed inventory: If you’re struggling to sell particular items, flight routes, destinations, brands, etc., then you can incentivize partners for a short time to drive consumers to these purchases, helping you get them out the door.
Strategy 3: Evaluate Your Partner’s Performance
All of your partners provide prosperity in different ways – it’s one of the reasons why having a diversified portfolio of partners is key. But it’s important to understand how your partners are performing and therefore how you can increase that performance. The first step is to conduct an analysis of your top partners. Be on the lookout for which products and categories they’re selling, what sort of margin they’re driving, if they’re referring new or repeat customers – whatever is most important to you. Then, you can use this information to set partner-specific KPIs to help them understand their performance and therefore where they’re most likely to grow.
One of the benefits of working directly with your partners is that you can better communicate these findings, work with these partners to set goals, and even run individual campaigns to really boost performance. To support this, it’s a great time to speak to your partners about what they can offer you beyond cost per acquisition (CPA). For example, many partners can offer you different placements, promotional spots, or upsell opportunities to really boost your performance.
Strategy 4: Consolidate Your Approach
One of the most simple strategies is to simply bring all of your partners together on one platform. When you’re trying to manage partners across multiple areas, and with different approaches, it can become very difficult very quickly. With Partnerize, you can manage all of your partner types, from affiliate to influencer to brand, in one easy dashboard. This means you can track and report all in one interface and then simply pay one invoice for easy payment. That’s more time saved for you, and your finance team!
Strategy 5: Automate! Automate! Automate!
While the ox is all about hard-work, when it comes to partnership it’s about working smarter not harder. One of the best ways to do this is to take a look at the way you’re managing your partnerships currently and automating everything that you can. If you’re working with a partnership automation platform, you should be able to automate a wide variety of your daily tasks including reporting, communications, commissioning etc., so that you can focus your time where it counts. Speak directly to your Customer Success Lead to determine which aspects of your program can be automated so you can spend your time focusing on growth.
Strategy 6: Look Beyond Affiliate
Your affiliate partners will always be the backbone of your program, but a strong partnership strategy is all about diversifying your partner mix. It’s important to look outside your traditional partner line-up, but there are two approaches you can take. Firstly, you can look internally at other partnerships with the business that you’re already running but not effectively measuring, for example, sponsorships. Next, you can work with your platform’s partnership lead to identify new partners in-market who you could be working with. An effective way to expand this out even further is to look at brand partnerships and identify other consumer brands you could be potentially working with on an affiliate-style model.
As we start a new lunar year it’s a great time to take a fresh approach, but remember you’re not alone. Your Customer Success Lead is always there to support and guide you through the journey. By following the six strategies above, you too can have a strong and prosperous year in partnerships. On behalf of the Partnerize team, we’d like to wish you a happy and prosperous Lunar New Year!
To learn more about making your partnerships more effective, visit us at partnerize.com.