Maximising the opportunities available via affiliate and partner channels requires powerful technology to ensure a program is efficient, effective, highly attributable and has a seamless integration into the broader marketing mix. The strongest partner programs, however, are the ones that marry that capable software with even more capable managed services.
As signs of a global recession loom on the horizon, today’s brands are doubling down on proven revenue-driving tactics, with affiliate marketing high on the list. At the same time, they’re looking to maximise the flexibility and stability of their programs, as today’s chaotic market environment continues to throw curveballs as it relates to internal staffing and the increased need for nimbleness. As such, they’re finding that the unification of affiliate software with robust managed services is helping to elevate their efforts and resulting ROI. Here’s why.
The Service Advantage
While self-serve software has been a boon to enterprises and marketers in a number of areas, the growing relationship between software and service is helping to drive a new level of maturity and elevation of results within the affiliate marketing space. By giving companies the opportunity to leverage the experience of a technology company’s internal experts on their behalf, managed services models not only fast-track program ramp-up, but they also can elevate program results due to the deep affiliate program optimization experience being brought to the table.
When marketing teams tap into the managed service capabilities of their affiliate or partner marketing software partners, they accelerate their results. They’re able to get their programs and program expansions up and running immediately, without the learning curve that comes with self-serve platforms. But the benefits also extend beyond speed.
By tapping into affiliate marketing managed services, companies eliminate the need to hire their own performance marketing teams, as managed service teams can operate as an extension of their own teams. This often proves more cost-effective for organisations, and it enables them to have a team that is fully dedicated to the affiliate channel—and therefore dedicated to optimising results within that channel—versus splitting its attention across multiple channels. Furthermore, when working with the managed services team of an affiliate technology provider, companies see the added advantage of working with people who have insight into how similar brands and verticals have leveraged the platform in the past, enabling programs to be optimised out of the gate.
Beyond extending a company’s internal capabilities and up-levelling their affiliate expertise, managed services can also help companies as they look to enter new global markets. By outsourcing affiliate management within a new geographic market, brands and their internal teams can be freed up to focus on important launch elements, overall brand growth and simultaneous marketing efforts across other digital channels.
Flexibility in Challenging Economic Environments
Particularly as economic challenges exacerbate the continued business and staffing challenges of the past two years, managed services partnered with strong affiliate and partner marketing technologies offer the flexibility that organisations need to not just survive, but to thrive in current market conditions. Regardless of a company’s experience within the affiliate space, managed services offer a pressure release valve by helping new capabilities get up and running immediately or by enabling the cultivation of deeper internal expertise through hands-on software training and access to technology experts.
As managed services within the affiliate and partner marketing space take hold, the improved return on investment seen in the channel—on top of affiliate’s already-strong ROAS—will help to drive increased ad spend when compared to more-traditional digital channels. Unifying software and managed services for affiliate marketing allows advertisers to reduce hiring costs, allocate more budget toward partnership activities and gain access to a team of experts that acts as a true extension of their marketing team. As such, this model will be the one that drives the next phase of growth and evolution within the partner marketing space.