Affiliate Marketing Trends 2018

  Also in 2018, there will be some important trends that will keep us busy. Multi-attribution will for sure become more important. Advertisers want to partner with a higher number of content publishers, who usually don’t receive compensation due to the user journey and last-click logic. Influencer marketing is growing up and advertisers will pay more attention to the performance of influencer campaigns. This is where classical affiliate marketing comes into play with the rise of sophisticated compensation models for publishers who tend to play in the front-end of the user journey and, of course, cross-device and cookie-less tracking.

AI is also a hot topic. Through Alexa, Google Home, etc., the end user interacts quite differently with advertisers. It will certainly be exciting to see how publishers will find new ways to target end customers and which new models will evolve.

Matthias Stadelmeyer, CEO Tradedoubler

  Online influencers have taken a lot more importance in the advertiser’s affiliate mix in the last few years. A big trend in 2018 will be the increase of partnerships between Media Performance and Media Branding companies. Some affiliate networks took the lead and are already able to develop content creation projects (articles, infographics, white papers) on premium media websites in order to bring advertiser’s affiliate program to the next level.

Data marketing will obviously stay a hot topic in 2018 in the affiliate sector. The use of client’s DMP in their affiliate program will allow the customization of messages (banners for example) used by publishers. Therefore, web marketers will have a more targeted marketing approach (new customer, regular customer, …) rather than a marketing channel approach when piloting their affiliate program. Affiliate networks which have not already developed alternative solutions (device-fingerprint tracking for example) to replace the old tracking solution based on cookies will strongly be penalized.

Philippe Laforêt, Country Manager Tradedoubler France

Content publishers will become even more important in the affiliate landscape. The demand for relevant content publishers by advertisers will grow. As a network, providing the insights about the role of each publisher in the user journey is key.

Reinout van der Lende, Sales Manager Tradedoubler Benelux

  I believe that 2018 will continue to follow the path of an increasing importance of affiliate marketing in the digital business – today already 15% of total digital revenues come from affiliate marketing and that share can grow. Increasingly, performance-based activities will replace reach-based activities. In my opinion, the most salient trends will be:

  • An increase in the importance of video and mobile channels in performance marketing and affiliate marketing.
  • An increasingly important role of data measurement and analysis – especially between the devices and marketing channels. In this context –a major importance of cross-device tracking.
  • The changing role of companies that deal with affiliate marketing – from managing the partners network to full business partnership, taking care of all aspects of meeting marketing and sales KPIs. “Traditional” affiliate marketing agencies have undergone many changes, offering now much more complex and comprehensive solutions. In line with the trend, I believe that these companies will be focusing more on strategic and technology consulting.
  • The impact of GDPR on the entire industry.
  • High ROI with respect to the utilization of e-mailing databases.
  • Using the potential of influencer marketin
  • High importance of technology and niche solutions supporting the development of affiliations.

Łukasz Szymula, Regional Director Tradedoubler CEE

  Data, the Bitcoin of 2018

This year we will see continued investment and fine tuning in the way our advertisers approach and interact with customers thanks to big data. A clear marketing shift, from the good old “shotgun mentality” will be noticed and transformed to a more customer centric approach bringing in greater results for advertisers, publishers and consumers alike.

The challenge for us along with countless agencies and marketers will be to understand the connectivity between various data points in the user’s complex purchase path. Once this is done and understood conclusions can be formulated and optimization can take shape, in order to generate true value for our advertisers.

Patrick Ammann, Country Manager Tradedoubler Switzerland

  The trend that grows strong in all Nordic markets is that more of the largest Multichannel players with both offline- & online stores understand that their online business is not just a shopping window for offline commerce. It´s actually a channel that stands on its own legs and helps the companies to expand their business.

The understanding of the importance to be present in the right contexts, aim at the right audiences and present in all channels will blossom, as well as adjust the communication to laptops, tablets and mobiles to drive business in a symbiosis together both online and offline is very important.

Also influencers will continue to be an important part of the networks and hopefully we´ll see more of influencer marketing also in other verticals then retail, beauty & fashion during 2018.

Kristoffer Klockare, Regional Director Tradedoubler Nordics

  2018 will be an exciting year in the Spanish market with new affiliate models on the rise, such as artificial intelligence used to establish conversations that will turn into conversions, and content publishers, which are gaining strength and will essentially direct advertisers to other models such as fixed fees and CPCs, always oriented towards CPA.

The GDPR will also mean some changes with regards to how we manage the data of our advertisers and publishers. We will have to see how the regulation applies to our market.

Data Management is still at the center of attention as advertisers are focusing on targeting the right customer. Therefor we must work on the attribution model and the user journey.

Finally, there is a trend that affects mature advertisers that manage publishers directly and via different networks. Agencies and large advertisers are investing in technologies that allow them to manage these programs directly.

Soraya García Merino, Country Manager Tradedoubler Spain

  Influencer marketing has grown fast in the past couple of years. Many Companies in Italy are willing to invest in influencer marketing to engage their audience. The challenge for influencers in 2018 will be to prove their potential driving consumers to convert in-store.  At the same time attribution models will be relevant for digital marketers to measure the success of influencers and all other online advertising channels.

Having a tracking in place to monitor in-app conversions will be also a prime priority to analyze digital marketing campaigns since purchases in-app are becoming even more rising for online brands.

Alma Renna, Country Manager Tradedoubler Italy

      The year 2018 will see a further increase in the importance of e-commerce as subsequent large retail networks plan to launch or expand their online shops. It is also likely that online sales will be further fuelled by the ban on Sunday trading in traditional shops. Being one of key e-commerce acquisition channels, affiliate marketing will therefore be faced with interesting prospects for growth, especially in the industry segments that are only fledgling in the e-commerce area, such as grocery, home&garden or chemist stores.

On the other hand, a challenge to affiliate marketing will be to develop, together with advertisers, reasonable models of cooperation with publishers. This is because the world of digital marketing is becoming increasingly more complex, and more and more sources of traffic appear. Advertisers and networks will have to rise to the challenge of developing objective assessment criteria for each channel and publisher type (including those that take attribution and reasonable deduplication rules into account). This is specifically important for affiliate marketing, since the settlement for majority of other channels is done using traditional CPM or CPC models. Affiliate marketing, with its attractive revenue share model, is simultaneously more susceptible to, among others, the temptation of strong deduplication.

An interesting trend in the publisher area is likely to be the development of cashback/reward platforms, sponsored e.g. by banks or large corporations, and of tools that support content marketing. An interesting challenge, in turn, will be the utilization by performance marketing of unrealized potential of influencers, video content or mobile publishers.

Wojciech Kwiatkowski, Head of Client Development Tradedoubler Poland

An increasing number of advertisers pay attention to and, when assessing advertising activities, place specific emphasis on the number of new customers. The challenge for advertisers, affiliate networks and publishers will be to find the optimum model that meets the objectives of all the parties involved. Important components of the solution – on the part of shops – will be an appropriate definition of a “new customer” and sales deduplication methodology. Publishers, in turn, require new tools that will allow them to direct appropriate traffic to the shops. The role of the networks is to verify the model, propose a reliable technology and find new sources of sales acquisition.

Ludwik Ryng, Head of Sales Tradedoubler Poland

In 2018, a constantly increasing number of ad-blocks and development of ad-viewability measurement tools will pose a challenge for publishers to effectively monetize their advertising space.
Because of that, I expect an increase in content ads and services, which may offer new opportunities to advertisers seeking new customers for their shops. This requires a strong focus on offering effective tools and inspires a search for a qualitative model of remunerating publishers on the purchase path, based on full analytics and effective technology.Monika Dąbrówka, Head of Partnership Development Tradedoubler Poland
  The year 2018 will bring an increase in the importance of affiliate marketing in the overall Internet marketing campaign strategy planning. This will happen, first of all, due to the continuous process of cost optimization pursued by advertisers, who, year after year, apply ever closer scrutiny to each EUR they spend and how it can be translated into return on investment. An important role will be played by non-standard settlement models taking into account the user’s purchase path and the attribution model customized for a specific online shop.
I envisage an increased interest in mobile applications, the total potential of which has remained untapped over recent years, because of the difficulties in measuring the transactions that are generated via this channel. I believe that the upcoming year will bring a true breakthrough in this respect and the apps will be used in affiliate marketing programs much more often than ever before. In my opinion, another area to gain value in the performance marketing area is going to be the blogosphere. Until now, bloggers were reluctant when approaching the subject of performance-based settlements, yet recent months have shown their increased willingness to test traditional CPS schemes and openness to them.
At the same time, I believe that in 2018 the majority of advertisers will be watching more closely the publishers who promote rebate coupons because of their position on the user’s purchase path. Coupons will still be used but, in order to receive them, publishers will have to offer much more than until now.Michał Mroczek, Senior Client Development Manager Tradedoubler Poland

I predict that the year 2018 will bring a significant increase in the significance of two areas of affiliate marketing, namely influencer marketing and sales through the mobile channel.
The first of these areas is already known to all and it has attracted an increasing interest and more and more generous budgets as it is evidenced, e.g., by the previous year’s abundance of nominations for Effie or MIXX Awards that included influencers, which confirms growing budget shares gained by these activities in advertisers’ portfolios.
However, this is still far behind the trends and reach characteristic of affiliates in western countries, such as PewDiePie or Superwoman. A development opportunity for this area lies in an appropriate match between influencers and the brand/product in conjunction with continuing professionalization of generated content.
This year also poses challenges for the industry, including, for example, due to the unprecedented court case in Stockholm involving the influencer Alexandra “Kissie” Nilsson and hidden advertising created by her in an Internet post. Although we don’t know the verdict yet, the outcome of the case will lead to a situation where the form and method of advertising in this channel may require remodelling so as to meet also legal and legislative standards.
The forthcoming requirements of GDPR regulations will only reinforce the trend.
The other area is obvious – yet still the gap between the developed countries and Poland regarding the share of sales through the mobile channel speaks for itself – with 36% of sales through a mobile device in the US vs. 17% in Poland (State of Cross Device Commerce Report, Criteo, December 2016).
At the same time, we should remember that we are a country with a relatively high rate of smartphone usage – already 62% of mobile handsets in our country are smartphones (KANTAR TNS, third quarter 2017). This potential must explode and, with the popularity of annual events such as Cyber Monday, Black Friday or Free Shipping Day abruptly growing in Poland, it is only the matter of time for us to catch up with western countries in this respect.

Artur Michalak, Client Development Director Tradedoubler Poland

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