We’re living in unprecedented times & every day feels a bit more like uncharted territory. There’s a lot happening in the world around us and so much to process & deal with it can be overwhelming.
Yet, for me, one way to keep some sanity and focus has been to try to turn my attention to work to maintain some sense of normalcy. A lot that we do is or will be impacted in some way, but I have been trying to correlate the positive aspects of the Affiliate space with the current situation around us and I’ve come back to one key thought — our industry has always been resilient and has always persevered. Be it for the performance nature of the business, the technology Publishers have developed, or for the simple reason that it’s built on the foundation of relationships — something that is pretty important nowadays, even if it’s not in person.
Now, I doubt I’m going to blow your mind with what I lay out below, but maybe it’s helpful to take a minute to step away from all the noise you might be seeing in your news feed right now to be reminded of the basics that work & foundational tried and true methods to weather the storm.
It’s no secret that affiliate marketing is built on performance — a publisher sells something, the publisher gets paid. And with that — you have low risk for the Advertiser, upside for the Publisher, and the ability to compensate based only on key actions. In troubled times in the past, I’ve seen budgets move to the channel for these reasons, and I suspect in these times, this will still be the case as marketers begin to formulate plans to move forward. We do need to get creative — things like blended economics that combine short term CPA based campaigns but longer term media buys when things start to turn around. This way everyone shares a bit in the risk & the upside. Having said that, these are partnerships and the need to be flexible is paramount and more importantly understanding the goals & objectives of your partners to make sure there’s the right fit and the right plan going forward.
Publishers have always been the innovators of our space creating tools, technology, and building distribution for Advertisers in new & unique ways. I think about all the sites that exist, big or small, and the opportunity they can provide for the greater good. Whether it’s giving money to charity from your purchases, helping you find price drops, tracking inventory, getting in-stock notifications, cash back or coupons to save money, or solid content to help identify the right product to buy — this is why they exist. Good times or bad — affiliate Publishers have always been thinking about a better way to serve the end consumer, provide unique value, and create tools & technology for a better shopping experience. Although the affiliate channel is often correlated with fashion, consumer electronics, or travel among other things — there is no reason the experiences Publishers have built can’t be used for social good and the focus on the core essential products that consumers have on their mind in today’s climate.
Further, the current generation of Affiliate publishers have shown us a growing portfolio of content publishers. The ability to provide editorial, and often unbiased content, whether it’s product focused or not, to give the right information & guidance to consumers is another great foundation of our space and a great component of a strategic plan when working with an Advertiser partner. I continue to be impressed by what I see in terms of informative content being churned out for the greater good.
Lastly, I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again — whenever I talk to someone about our industry I hear the same phrase — “it’s about the relationships”. Now more than ever as we spend some time in social isolation, it’s great to be able to take solace in the relationships we’ve built from previous in person meetings and calls…but now, not only to strike a deal, but to support each other, check in, and make sure all is well. I have been humbled by the folks who have reached out to me, with nothing to sell, just to ask if I’m okay — and in turn, I have tried to do the same. And why not use this time to talk with our partners (or potential partners) about how we can leverage the infrastructure of our channel to do good, help people, and keep the foundation of our industry solid.
The coming days & months will be a roller coaster for sure — but take comfort in knowing that our industry always seems to pull together & persevere. It’s not without some hardship, it’s not without some hard work either, but always with the solid foundation we’ve built these past 20+ years and most importantly — great people.
I’m here if you need me. Don’t think twice to shoot me an email or give me a shout.