Affiliate marketing trends 2019
Matthias Stadelmeyer, CEO Tradedoubler
Affiliate marketing is one of the most exciting disciplines in digital marketing. It is predicted to be a 6.8 billion dollar industry in 2020 and has always been an incubator for new disciplines. For 2019 we see four main trends: Influencer marketing, the growth of voice search, data driven insights and mobile domination.
Influencer marketing is growing rapidly and has almost established itself as an own vertical. 74% of people trust social networks to guide them to purchase decisions. And 75 % of all marketers claim that they have allocated money to influencer marketing.
Voice search is a rather new topic, but with a massive push from big players like Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google. So this will have a big impact on our business in the future. 50% of all searches, according to ComScore, will be done on voice searches by 2020. Around 30% of searches will be done without a screen, via third party tools.
Data-driven digital strategies – 90% of all data that was generated in the lifetime of mankind was generated in the last two years. Massive data growth is also true for our affiliate marketing campaigns. In order to get to actionable insights, affiliate marketers need to establish new methodologies.
Mobile domination is not really new, but in my opinion is at the most underestimated part of digital marketing. Under initiatives like Intelligent Tracking Prevention (ITP 2.0) it’s becoming increasingly hard to track with cookies. After two years of major efforts to update all client tracking, we still have around 20% of clients who track only with cookies. They exclude all pure mobile publishers, who don’t get incentivized. Advertisers who don’t offer cross-device and who don’t have a real mobile strategy in the long run will have a big disadvantage.
To find out more details on these upcoming trends and how to leverage them for your affiliate marketing activities, read Matthias’ full article on LinkedIn:
Francois Pacot, CTO Tradedoubler
In 2019, main topics will be AI, nano influencers, social commerce and, of course, blockchain-based technology. As more than 15% of online orders are due to affiliate marketing, affiliate marketing is still one of the best ways to connect to a large audience of target people.
Chris Russel-Smith, Country Manager UK/IE
“In the UK 2019 is going to be characterized by a few key themes. Last year saw some consolidation at the top of the industry and we can expect to see more of this both to satisfy efficiency and complimentary offerings. Data will also be a theme in 2 key areas, automation driven by machine learning to do mainstream tasks better, and to understand and optimise the purchase funnel. We’ll see more tech players coming in to the market, providing solutions to onsite challenges, and extending the reach of affiliate marketing. Influencer marketing will also become more of a mainstream component of affiliate programs. Mobile conversions will continue to increase as the individual’s device takes ever more prominence in everyday life, hampered only by a sites ability to meet consumer expectation.”
Reinout van der Lende, Head of Sales Benelux
For most e-commerce companies and brands, affiliate marketing is evolving more and more to a solid marketing tool in their online marketing mix.
The wish for e-commerce – and marketing managers to see and analyse the contribution of affiliate marketing in this mix and the added value of connected Publishers will be even stronger. Also because more and more other types of Publishers are being connected with an affiliate program. And often these Publishers are being rewarded on a CPC model or even with fixed fees but still they can be connected through an affiliate network.
As 2018 was already the year where influencers have entered the area of online (performance based) marketing, in 2019 these type of “content” Publishers will become more important for brands. Bloggers and Instagrammers now have all the tools to be professional partners for brands. Reporting tools in this matter are key. Preferable delivering performance insights through all online channels.
Another important trend is the role of the affiliate network, more specific the role of the Account Manager who is managing programs and campaigns. As the variety of Publishers is increasing and content Publishers are wanted, the role of the contact person from a network will be even more important and has to be a true partner. He or she is expected be very pro-active in connecting new Publishers and discover new channels with lucrative new business models.
All in all, affiliate marketing will continue to grow;
- More brands and e-commerce companies are optimizing their online e-commerce infrastructure, including mobile.
- Consumers are better equipped for their online purchase. The demand for consumers to orientate online and buy online will have no limit.
- Networks and agencies are providing more and more the desired tracking and reporting technology, such as User Journey insights.
Filip Askviken, CEO Metapic
Overall we see a greater interest in influencer marketing from advertisers. We think that global influencer marketing spend will continue to grow in 2019 as companies figure out how to best work with the different channels.
Channel quality – Where before the brands looked at the influencer and said, “Hey, this influencer matches our brand”. There will be a greater need to look at the influencers actual followers. They are the ones who should fit the brand in order to eventually be converting to customers. This is in part fueled by recent discoveries of fake/bought followers and the like.
Micro Influencers will continue to grow since they, with the right tools to minimize manual labour have been seen to give better reach and conversion for the same amount of budget spent. The risk is less as well, since you spread it between different actors.
Multichannel – Instagram and social networks alike have been dominating for a while in terms of impressions. We see a trend towards multichannel for many of our users, were they create content in more channels to maximize output. An influencer these days might have a blog, Instagram, a Youtube channel & Pinterest giving the advertiser more options. The question is, where is your audience?
Patrick Ammann, Country Manager Switzerland
Looking into the eminent future for 2019 we feel that the Swiss Affiliate Market is perfectly poised for a strong performance compared to the latter, which was filled with GDPR compliance aches, data breaches along with adblocking issues.
2019 will see further growth coming from the likes of cashbackers & voucher sites, closely followed by seasonal special interest sites generating large volumes of traffic and sales during the Big Impact Days like Black Friday & Singles Day.
We will also see further investments done to tracking technologies, creating win/win effects for advertisers and publishers alike. Data will not just be created, instead actively used through algorithms to formulate informed media buying decisions along with targeted campaigns to generate the best possible ROI.
Finally, we will see affiliate marketing infuse new lines of business opportunities into the mix, such as crowd sourcing while further developing the influencer & blogger base to a formidable player in the user journey.
Soraya Garcia Merino, Country Manager Iberia & Latam
Investments in affiliate marketing increased in 2018 mainly due to the excellent results obtained by revitalized channels such as content verticals, new models of technological affiliates and the increasing importance of social lead generation and shopping. We expect this positive trend to continue in 2019 with approximately 15% of the total investment of digital marketing.
Digitally mature advertisers and large media agencies are and will be managing individual publishers and affiliate networks via white label technologies, in their search for reducing their investment in staff and optimizing costs.
Following the tendency of Black Friday with 25% of the total sales being mobile (vs 15% in 2017), we expect that these numbers will continue to grow. Without being a new trend, it is clear that mobile sales are increasing YoY so it is important not to lose sight of this development.
Finally the investments in programmatic buying are stabilizing as this strategy is finding its niche sectors in the digital marketing landscape.
Nick Morris, Product Director
Importance of 1st Party Tracking: With privacy focused updates such as Safari’s ITP 2.0 and the upcoming Firefox 65, browsers and operating systems are increasingly targeting the historic tracking technology: third party cookies. 1st party tracking will therefore be a basic requirement for networks and tracking providers. Additionally Google’s Parallel Tracking shows that tracking solutions need to be agile to additional changes in 2019.
Using your data to derive Insights: We’ve already invested into advancing our reporting offer from providing analytics to generating insights for marketers and our own staff. Using machine learning models we are already able to optimise recruitment for our Account Managers and we will look to extend publisher recommendations as a self-serve offer. We also plan to use our data to improve forecasting models for budgeting and cancellation rates.
Automation: While affiliate marketing is very much a relationship based channel a lot of work has been made across the industry to automate day to day tasks and bulk changes. As platforms open and embrace API integrations pain points such as transaction validations, managing offers and real-time product updates can free time for our marketers and publishers to focus on relationships and growing the channel.
Łukasz Szymula, Country Manager CEE & Poland
A further rise in the role of performance marketing; digital marketing is an extremely rapidly evolving field, and performance marketing is no exception. Performance marketing is already a big business, both worldwide and in Poland. It is estimated that by 2020 advertisers will spend USD 7 billion on affiliate programs in the US alone, USD 2.1 billion in the UK, and USD 1.3 billion in Germany. Experts estimate that the current expenditure on performance marketing represents 10% of all digital expenditure.
The growth of cross-boarding in e-commerce: according to Accenture, by 2020, over 2 billion e-shoppers (or 60% of the target global population) will be transacting 13.5% of their overall retail consumptions online, equivalent to a market value of USD 3.4 billion). Cross-border e-commerce must be considered as a part of the e-commerce development strategy. Both legislation and the elimination of legal and economic barriers will be crucial for this megatrend.
Influencer marketing: in the last 12 months, influencer marketing has gained popularity and strengthened its position. According to Google, the frequency of searches for “influencer marketing” has increased by 325% over that period! Influencers with a well-established position in the social media are an opportunity for marketers to reach niche customers or gain large-scale recognition. Research shows that 74% of people rely on social networks when making purchase decisions, while 49% of consumers rely on influencer recommendations, and 40% of Twitter users have made a purchase based on a Tweet. Influencers will have an increasing impact on purchase decisions.
Data-based digital strategies: data growth has been a hot topic over the last years since the number of touch-points in the networked world continues growing. It’s incredible that 90% of the data in the world in 2016 (90% of all data ever created) had been created in the last two years (according to IBM). Data carry a huge potential but can also be overwhelming. Currently, advertisers are able to collect meaningful, highly-specialized data on conversion, including information about product categories, new and returning customers, time, place, channel, device, LTV, offline, online, etc., yet many people believe that it’s difficult to identify data that can be used to gain insights that will lead to actions. With the data available today, digital specialists can now have a better-than-ever understanding of the dynamics of their digital activities.
Mobile: by 2020, the extremely rapid growth of mobile technologies used by 4.77 billion users will generate a revenue of USD 189 billion. Research shows that mobile consumers search for information using mobile phones, and can spend over 15 hours a week on searches. 93% of those users finalize their purchase either online or offline, while 30% quit the transaction if they can’t finalize it on a mobile device. Last year alone, the volume of purchases made on mobile devices grew by 50%, and it will remain a dynamic trend in the years to come.
Kristoffer Klockare, Regional Director Nordics
The influencers will continue to be an important part of the Tradedoubler network. The influencer marketing trend that we see coming in 2019 is that companies will give more attention to the micro-influencer and the nano-influencer.
Not only in the influencer segment a genuine content is more important than ever. Together with our advertisers and publishers we´ll continue to spread the right content – make it visible in all relevant channels and do it interesting and reachable even for the most selective audience.
We´re well prepared for the increasing use of ad blockers and for the trend showing that more sales come from mobiles. Sweden was the first country to reach 50% in mobile sales on Cyber Monday 2018!
Alma Renna, Country Manager Italy
The most fascinating thing about working in Digital Marketing is the feeling of traveling as taken by a tide that turns everything, through completely different scenarios in a very short time. New trends emerge every year. Adaption is a key to success. How should Performance Marketing Companies adapt to the new 2019 landscape? 4 Digital Marketing trends of 2019 will influence performance marketing strategies in Italy:
Performance marketing expertise. Even more advertisers and agencies are becoming expert in performance marketing and affiliate partnership. Technology will become increasingly relevant to support marketers in their Affiliate Network management. In-app tracking technology will be a focus to meet the incremental numbers of sales via App.
Programmatic advertising. Following US trends most of digital display ads will be programmatic in a couple of year. Artificial intelligence means also higher conversion, Programmatic will grow therefore as way of performance marketing, continuing to study performance based models.
Performance marketing and Social Media. Social media ads and revenue share model is a combination still to be explored, feasible if the right tools are used. Data from social media will play a fundamental role.
Authentic Influencer marketing. Within performance marketing, influencer marketing increasingly becomes a lever of performance marketing if conveyed by spontaneous and authentic experience. It only works when influencers have the freedom to choose brand and product and can create the content themselves with tools like Metapic.