The Evolution of Affiliate Marketing and How to Embrace It

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Germain Palacios
Content Writer
3 minutes read
Germain Palacios
Content Writer
3 minutes read

In the fast-paced world of affiliate marketing, adaptation is the key to success. Traditional affiliate partnerships – once the bedrock of the industry – are evolving, and embracing this transformation is crucial for staying ahead.

Phonexa UK CEO David Pickard recently joined Affiverse founder Lee-Ann Johnstone on the Affiliate Marketing Podcast to discuss lead generation and offer valuable insights into the vital role lead generation plays in the affiliate marketing ecosystem, approaches to affiliate management, and embracing the entire affiliate partnership economy.

Let’s delve into the highlights of the captivating dialogue from the Affiliate Marketing Podcast episode, “How to Embrace the Whole Affiliate Partnership Economy: Non-Traditional Affiliates Can Make Great Partners Too.”

Shaping Success by Looking At Lead Generation on a Performance Basis

The conversation kicked off with Pickard providing affiliate programme managers advice on how to build momentum by relying on concrete statistics and performance metrics.

“Start at the [beginning]…look at what the problem is, which is typically acquisition is not transparent,” said Pickard. “Attribution is complex and difficult and not all sources along the funnel generate the same quality – performance differs.”

Pickard’s advice boils down to having a clear vision of success from the outset and being open to course correction based on real-world results.

“You have to have a good idaea of what success would look like for you prior to launch,” said Pickard. “And most importantly, and I say this from experience, [prepare] to be wrong.”

Pickard suggests starting with a clear plan by outlining what you believe would constitute a favourable result. However, he warns affiliate programme managers to be prepared to set aside any preconceived notions if the data reveals a different performance reality. In such cases, they must be humble and open to exploring new directions for improvement.

“If you’re using true end-to-end tracking – which is another no-brainer by the way, so make sure you are – you’ll likely have an idaea of what conversions need to look like along the way in order to achieve what you need,” said Pickard. “But if and when they don’t, be ready to make changes and adapting to ensure that you’re not just hoping things will change when you’ve done nothing to help that change happen.”

Why Cookie-Cutter Approaches to Affiliate Management Are Ineffective

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With regard to approaches to affiliate management, Johnstone and Pickard acknowledged that affiliate managers often abandon strategies too quickly when they don’t see immediate results.

Pickard advises affiliate programme managers to embrace a mindset of continuous learning and improvement.

“They’ve heard what someone else tried and think, ‘I’m going to give it a go.’ That’s not good enough,” said Pickard. “Have an idaea of what success looks like for you, first. And that has to be based on your internal requirements, not just what someone else has done and they’ve had positive effects because you will never understand someone else’s campaign as well as them.”

No one understands your campaign better than you do. Therefore, Pickard stressed the importance of defining success based on internal goals rather than blindly following what others have done.

“They haven’t told you the optimisation processes that they’ve been through to get there, and you haven’t seen them, so you need to be prepared and have a more realistic approach.”

Tips for Embracing Non-Traditional Affiliate Partnerships

The chat then shifted to a discussion on how programme managers can adapt to the evolving affiliate marketing landscape. Pickard emphasised the importance of engaging with non-traditional forms of affiliate partnerships to make affiliate programmes run more efficiently.

“We need to stop looking at [affiliate partnerships] as traditional versus non-traditional. If you’re letting the numbers do the talking, what difference does it make if it’s traditional or non-traditional?” said Pickard. “You’ve got to do what works. Carry out the due diligence on your partners to ensure that you’re starting with a level playing field and then track the journey from start to finish.”

By embracing data, staying adaptable, and setting clear objectives, affiliate programme managers can navigate the changing landscape and build long-lasting partnerships with affiliates, no matter their scope or size.

“Get used to putting yourself in those advertiser’s and, most importantly, the consumer’s shoes and use the analytics to deliver an experience that will encourage the outcomes you’re looking for,” said Pickard. “Nowadays, with all the tools we’ve got, we have no excuse not to [optimise] every single call in that [customer] journey.”

Pickard’s insights on the Affiliate Marketing Podcast remind us that in the ever-evolving world of affiliate marketing, success is not a one-size-fits-all formula.

To continue the conversation with Pickard, connect with him on LinkedIn.

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Germain Palacios avatar
Germain Palacios
Content Writer
Germain Palacios is a Content Writer at Phonexa. He is an alumnus of Kean University, where he earned a degree in English and graduated with honours. Germain also possesses a background in business administration. After graduating on the East Coast, he relocated to California to advance his writing career. Germain’s previous writing has been featured in several publications, including SoberRecovery.
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