Natasha McKenzie (chief marketing officer at Webgains) talks to Alona Malinovska (managing director at Webgains) and Ami Spencer (chief operations officer), to debunk the myths and misconceptions surrounding affiliate marketing and how the channel builds brand equity and drives return on investment.
The panel breaks down the definition of affiliate marketing and the benefits it provides for businesses – from niche brands to retail conglomerates.
Ami comments on the shift in consumer behaviour with people shopping online due to the events of 2020. This has propelled the growth of the affiliate marketing industry, enabling new entrants to the channel for both advertisers and publishers alike. The acceleration of the affiliate channel has proven the resilience and cost-effectiveness of performance marketing. Alona adds that the CPA model of affiliate marketing empowers brands to build brand equity and reach new audiences without huge budgets.
The cost-effectiveness of the channel is a perfect medium for SMEs. Publishers have a higher volume of visitors to their websites. The broad spectrum of publishers such as influencers, cashback sites, and content producers ensures that advertisers can trial and perfect the right method of marketing with little risk. As such, the affiliate marketing channel accelerates SMEs to scale up their brand and generate strong conversion rates.
Both Ami and Alona touch upon the halo effect affiliate marketing generates for publishers, which in turn, greatly impacts brand awareness and reputation for advertisers by displaying their products on high traffic websites.
During the discussion, Alona and Ami break down the misconceptions surrounding affiliate marketing and barriers to entry. They emphasise the flexibility and diversity affiliate marketing offers to advertisers. The common misconception is that affiliate marketing is merely a discount channel, thus devaluing their brand and eating into margins. However, the diversity of publishers provides limitless opportunities from blog exposure, social media campaigns and PPC thus negating the stigma attached to affiliate channel. Alona also stresses the importance of being open to partnering with cashback and voucher sites, due to their extremely loyal customer base.
The panel closes with an insightful view of the use of data to clearly define shifts in consumer behaviour and macro factors that enable advertisers and publishers to react to change in demand. Ami summarises by highlighting the importance of having clear KPIs and strategy to make the most of the channel and to avoid common faux pas.