The Adtraction Blog

How are affiliate programs running differently right now?

Affiliate marketing is different right now. Quite frankly, everything is different right now.

Affiliate marketing is different at the moment

People’s lives are changing daily, with fast moving disruption and increased restriction to previously normal ways of living. So too, marketing is adapting almost daily. Messaging has to be up to date and is changing more frequently, and geographic marketing has never been more important, because each country is at a different stage of outbreak and isolation.

Businesses are having to tear up their well-laid out marketing plans and react to ever-changing conditions. Some sectors are seeing increased demand and online traffic whereas others have seen sales dry up almost overnight.

Affiliate marketing has changed too. The way we are all doing affiliate marketing - advertisers, agencies, publishers and networks - is different now than it was only a month ago.

How is affiliate marketing different right now?

  • ROI has never been more important for businesses
  • Businesses are responding quickly to change
  • Publishers are shifting their focus
  • Everyone is looking at reports
  • Advertisers are turning stock into cash
  • Increased openness and communication

ROI has never been more important for businesses

We are seeing brands more hesitant to spend on tenancies, and fixed costs are a challenge to justify. Marketing activity is being booked short-term, but is also being agreed and turned-around much more quickly.

Businesses are responding quickly to change

Last week an advertiser’s goals might have been sales volume and fast growth, this week it’s margin protection. Businesses are having to react and make quick changes to offers, codes, commissions and partner prioritisation. This includes creating new products and services. As an example, in the gift experience sector we’re seeing clients create online courses and experiences because people can’t go out of their homes.

Publishers are shifting their focus

In a climate where consumer demand is very unpredictable, and currently hyper-focused on some very specific niches like indoor workout equipment, publishers are adapting their promotional strategies quickly. Product discovery and education are taking a back seat, with publishers focusing on getting relevant products in front of their audiences quickly, helping them shop to cover an immediate need. With normally popular keyword traffic searches dropping many affiliates are focussing on their engaged and active user-bases, prioritising email communications over reaching a new audience.

Everyone is looking at reports

The importance of real-time data for everyone in the industry is crucial right now as businesses assess the impact of consumer confidence, interest, conversion and spend. We’re seeing all parties rely more heavily than ever before on performance reports to make decisions.

Businesses are turning stock into cash

Right now nobody knows what long-term effects the Coronavirus disruption will have on the economy. That uncertainty means most e-commerce businesses do not want to hold onto too much unsold stock. Many of our advertisers are working with their affiliate partners to distribute competitive price points to sell stock that is laying dormant in warehouses; though the success of this strategy still ultimately relies on consumer demand.

Increased openness and communication

There’s been open communication and frankness about the condition of everyone’s business. Advertisers are communicating to publishers about changes in consumer demand, stock levels, delivery delays and even if they’re at risk of closure.

We continue to support

Like almost every business sector in the world, affiliate marketing is operating differently as the world deals with the impact of COVID-19. The way we do our jobs, and indeed how affiliate marketing is being done has changed significantly in a very short space of time.

Our main aim is to keep supporting the businesses that we work with, and help them to continue in these new and very different circumstances.

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