Rakuten Advertising has launched ‘A 5-Stage Blueprint for High-Performance Affiliate Marketing’, designed to educate and inform both advertisers and publishers about the strategic role that the affiliate channel is now playing in marketing strategies.
The blueprint is based on input from members of the Rakuten Advertising International Collective (RAIC), comprising affiliate marketing specialists from leading advertisers and publishers around the globe including Asia, Australia, Europe, the US and Latin America.
The blueprint includes insight from leading advertisers and publishers including fashion retailer 24S, Microsoft, Shopback, Harvey Nichols, Beyond China, and others. Advertisers and publishers get practical insight into the integrated use of different affiliate models by brands of all types, across the entire customer journey.
For advertisers, the blueprint demonstrates how different affiliate models can be combined to enable them to find and influence new customers throughout the customer journey, from discovery to conversion. For publishers, the blueprint offers guidance on how they can enhance, extend and further monetise their offering, building deeper relationships with existing advertisers and attracting new brand partners.
Stuart McLennan, Senior Vice President, Asia-Pacific, Rakuten Advertising [pictured], said: “The affiliate channel has transformed over recent years, and our goal in creating RAIC was to bring together some of the leading thinkers in the affiliate industry to unlock the insights and best practices that are driving innovation in this space.
“The open and willing sharing of their direct experiences and strategies as advertisers and publishers has formed the basis of this blueprint, and highlights how unique the affiliate channel is in driving collaborative partnerships to meet respective commercial objectives.”
Drawing on these experiences of advertisers and publishers around the globe, the blueprint defines the key steps to building high-performance affiliate programs aligned to commercial objectives:
Stage 1: Aligning affiliate KPIs to business objectives
Stage 2: Making the best use of the available data
Stage 3: Aligning affiliate strategies to the customer journey and brand positioning
Stage 4: Integrating existing and emerging affiliate models
Stage 5: Analysing, learning, testing, optimising and proving
Contributing RAIC member and Head of Sales at Shopback, Tom Howard, commented on how their publisher offering has evolved to drive high-performance partnerships: “Our strategy is all about broadening our offering, and moving towards a ‘full funnel’ proposition. While cashback is our heritage, we’ve launched a price comparison tool to bring consumers to our platform higher up the funnel, have started to move into the content space and are working a lot with influencers. The more we offer ourselves, the greater our ability to follow the customer’s journey from search to sale. That can only benefit the advertisers we work with, and it’s interesting that we’re now building relationships with brand marketing teams as well as affiliate teams.”