tag:econsultancy.com,2008:/topics/affiliate-marketing Latest Affiliate Marketing content from Econsultancy 2017-04-21T12:55:00+01:00 tag:econsultancy.com,2008:Report/3008 2017-04-21T12:55:00+01:00 2017-04-21T12:55:00+01:00 Internet Statistics Compendium Econsultancy <p>Econsultancy’s <strong>Internet Statistics Compendium</strong> is a collection of the most recent statistics and market data publicly available on online marketing, ecommerce, the internet and related digital media. </p> <p><strong>The compendium is available as 11 main reports (in addition to two sector-specific reports, B2B and Healthcare &amp; Pharma) across the following topics:</strong></p> <ul> <li><strong><a href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/advertising-media-statistics">Advertising</a></strong></li> <li><strong><a href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/content-statistics">Content</a></strong></li> <li><strong><a href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/customer-experience-statistics">Customer Experience</a></strong></li> <li><strong><a href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/web-analytics-statistics">Data and Analytics</a></strong></li> <li><strong><a href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/demographics-technology-adoption">Demographics and Technology Adoption</a></strong></li> <li><strong><a href="http://econsultancy.com/uk/reports/ecommerce-statistics">Ecommerce</a></strong></li> <li><strong><a href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/email-ecrm-statistics">Email and eCRM</a></strong></li> <li><strong><a href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/mobile-statistics">Mobile</a></strong></li> <li><strong><a href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/search-marketing-statistics">Search</a></strong></li> <li><strong><a href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/social-media-statistics">Social</a></strong></li> <li><strong><a href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/strategy-and-operations-statistics">Strategy and Operations</a></strong></li> </ul> <p>Updated monthly, each document is a comprehensive compilation of internet statistics and digital market research with data, facts, charts and figures. The reports have been collated from information available to the public, which we have aggregated together in one place to help you quickly find the internet statistics you need - a huge time-saver for presentations and reports.</p> <p>There are all sorts of internet statistics which you can slot into your next presentation, report or client pitch.</p> <p><strong>Sector-specific data and reports are available under the following areas:</strong></p> <ul> <li><strong><a title="B2B Internet Statistics Compendium" href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/b2b-internet-statistics-compendium">B2B</a> </strong></li> <li><strong><a title="Healthcare and Pharmaceuticals Internet Statistics Compendium" href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/healthcare-and-pharmaceuticals-internet-statistics-compendium/">Healthcare and Pharmaceuticals</a> </strong></li> <li><strong><a title="Financial Services and Insurance Internet Statistics Compendium" href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/financial-services-and-insurance-internet-statistics-compendium/">Financial Services and Insurance</a> </strong></li> <li><strong><a title="Retail Statistics Compendium" href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/retail-statistics-compendium/" target="_self">Retail</a></strong></li> </ul> <p><strong>Regions covered in each document (where data is available) are:</strong></p> <ul> <li><strong>Global</strong></li> <li><strong>UK</strong></li> <li><strong>North America</strong></li> <li><strong>Asia</strong></li> <li><strong>Australia and New Zealand</strong></li> <li><strong>Europe</strong></li> <li><strong>Latin America</strong></li> <li><strong>MENA</strong></li> </ul> <p>A sample of the Internet Statistics Compendium is available for free, with various statistics included and a full table of contents, to show you what you're missing.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68961 2017-04-06T14:07:52+01:00 2017-04-06T14:07:52+01:00 Amazon tries its hand at influencer affiliate marketing Patricio Robles <p><a href="https://techcrunch.com/2017/03/31/amazon-quietly-launches-its-own-social-media-influencer-program-into-beta/">According to</a> TechCrunch's Sarah Perez, the program functions like the company's affiliate program in that participants are paid a commission for product sales that they drive. It is not known if the commission structure differs from Amazon's affiliate program.</p> <p>Unlike Amazon's affiliate program, which requires that affiliates link to Amazon products from their own websites, Amazon is offering influencers vanity URLs, such as <em>https://www.amazon.com/shop/whatsupmoms</em>, on which lists of products they curate are displayed. As Perez notes, "Basically, it's a more exclusive step up from Amazon Affiliate linking, and offers a better browsing experience."</p> <p>One of the early participants in the Amazon Influencer Program is WhatsUpMoms, which claims to be the top parenting network on YouTube. Its president and COO, Liane Mullin, says that the program was a natural fit. "We are constantly asked by our community for product recommendations and about the products used in our videos. Now that we have our own Amazon store it makes it much easier to have a curated collection all in one spot," she told TechCrunch.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5232/amazoninfluencer.jpg" alt="" width="878" height="322"></p> <h3>The appeal of performance marketing for influencers</h3> <p>Amazon's desire to team up with influencers isn't at all surprising. After all, influential social media entities like WhatsUpMoms, which counts more than 1.5m subscribers to its YouTube channel, have the ability to promote products to broad and often loyal audiences. And there's <a href="http://www.latimes.com/fashion/la-ig-bloggers-20160809-snap-story.html">strong evidence that influencers <em>can </em>convert their followings into<em> </em>sales</a>.</p> <p>For that reason, it's reportedly not uncommon for brands to pay the most prominent of influencers – those with millions of subscribers on popular social platforms like Instagram, YouTube and Snapchat – well into the five figures, and in some cases even six figures, for each promotional post.</p> <p>Given the large sums being paid in the upper echelons of the market, brands tapping influencers to promote their wares will increasingly seek to justify the spend <a href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/measuring-roi-on-influencer-marketing/">by tracking ROI</a> and ensuring that their deals make financial sense. Performance marketing payment structures, which align compensation directly to customer acquisition or sales, could help them do just that in a very straightforward manner.</p> <h3>But will influencers embrace performance marketing?</h3> <p>For those earning thousands of dollars or more for sponsored posts, the prospect of giving up a guaranteed payment for a percentage of sales generated or a set fee for each customer acquisition might not be all that appealing. While some arrangements could theoretically offer significant upside, the truly influential influencers aren't likely to see the benefits of taking on increased risk unless the market dynamic changes completely and they are forced to.</p> <p>Instead, so long as their sway is growing and bringing with it negotiating leverage, expect to see more top influencers focus on long-term <a href="https://www.marketingweek.com/2016/09/16/loreal-on-why-other-brands-are-using-influencers-the-wrong-way/">partnerships</a> in which they might even work with brands to co-create product lines that they have a real ownership stake in. And expect to see the most ambitious influencers try to follow in the footsteps of social media stars like Michelle Phan, <a href="https://www.forbes.com/sites/natalierobehmed/2015/10/05/how-michelle-phan-built-a-500-million-company/">who has built</a> her own business empire on the back of her YouTube popularity.</p> <p>Of course, none of this means that the Amazon Influencer Program is destined to fail. But absent a bigger hook than an Amazon page on which influencers can curate lists of products that are sold on Amazon, it seems unlikely that the influencers with "large followings" Amazon is courting would have good reason to give their Amazon Influencer Program links top billing.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68923 2017-03-21T14:18:07+00:00 2017-03-21T14:18:07+00:00 CAP issues fresh guidelines for influencer marketing: Will it make a difference? Nikki Gilliland <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/4887/Born_Social.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="376"></p> <p>A lack of consumer understanding is not the only problem, of course. Confusion over how brands and influencers should label paid-for content remains a big issue. As a result, CAP (the Committee of Advertising Practice) has recently issued a <a href="https://www.asa.org.uk/advice-online/affiliate-marketing.html" target="_blank">fresh set of guidelines</a> to help social influencers and brands stick to the rules. </p> <p>Here’s a bit more on the story and how it could affect the world of influencer marketing in future.</p> <h3>Platform-specific rules</h3> <p>The new guidelines relate to affiliate marketing deals, whereby influencers are paid for the clicks they receive on sponsored content. </p> <p>CAP states that all ‘marketing communications must be obviously identifiable as such’. In other words, brands and influencers should ensure that any paid-for content is clearly labelled as an advert.</p> <p>While this rule is not necessarily new, CAP has now emphasised that influencers should be more aware of the differences between platforms in order to recognise how to label sponsored content accordingly. </p> <p>For example, on platforms like Instagram where images are visible before text, the word ‘ad’ should be overlaid so that users are aware before they click through. Alternatively, where a vlog might include a minute or so of content related to affiliate products, this should be flagged (even if it doesn’t require the video to be labelled as an ad overall).</p> <p>Essentially, the new guidelines reinforce the notion that there is no blanket approach to labelling branded content, but that it is vital that consumers know when they are viewing ads – regardless of how fleeting or small the sponsored aspect might be.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/4888/Sponsored_KK.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="558"></p> <h3>How is it being enforced?</h3> <p>While these guidelines might be useful for influencers who are unaware of the boundaries, there still seems to be a problem with ensuring they are followed. As platforms are yet to introduce any features that truly differentiate paid-for content from any other kind, bodies like the ASA (Advertising Standards Authority) rely on the general public as well as fellow influencers to flag up unlabelled ads.</p> <p>On the other hand, cases appear to be slipping through the cracks due to the vague and somewhat inconsequential nature of what might happen if the rules are flouted.</p> <p>So far, there have only been a few instances of perpetrators being caught out, with one of the biggest examples being UK marketing agency, Social Chain. Despite being probed for failing to disclose advertising content, however, the repercussions were relatively minor, with the company merely being told to remove the content and to promise not to do it again.</p> <p>As well as vague consequences, influencers might choose to ignore the rules due to worries over platforms burying sponsored posts. In other words, regardless of the creative or authentic nature of the content as a whole, the ‘ad’ label could overshadow this and lead to the content being devalued.</p> <h3>Do consumers really care?</h3> <p>With the guidelines being put in place for the benefit of consumers, how does the public really feel about influencers working with brands?</p> <p>On one hand, <a href="http://www.bornsocial.co.uk/thesocialsurvey" target="_blank">Born Social’s survey</a> suggests that consumers look down on sponsored content, with 48.7% of people trusting a recommendation to a lesser extent if they know an influencer is being paid. However, a poll by Kantar Millward Brown suggests that, in contrast, teenagers are becoming more <a href="http://www.purecontent.com/blog/teens-in-uk-and-germany-more-receptive-to-branded-content/" target="_blank">receptive to brand content</a>. What’s more, it states that 35% of 35-49 year olds in the UK also feel positive towards content relating to products, services and other brand info.</p> <p>While these findings might sound contradictory, there is one common thread – that transparency is key.</p> <p>Regardless of how a person might feel about brand content in general, deliberately hiding or failing to disclose it can only do more harm than good. As a result – with consumer trust on the line – it is vital for both brands and influencers to implement the new guidelines in order to retain it.</p> <p><em><strong>Related articles:</strong></em></p> <ul> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68230-two-different-paths-to-influencer-marketing-which-is-best-for-you/" target="_blank">Two different paths to influencer marketing: Which is best for you?</a></em></li> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68409-four-key-trends-within-the-world-of-influencer-marketing/" target="_blank">Four key trends within the world of influencer marketing</a></em></li> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67807-is-micro-influencer-marketing-viable/" target="_blank">Is micro-influencer marketing viable?</a></em></li> </ul> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68633 2016-12-13T11:17:11+00:00 2016-12-13T11:17:11+00:00 How Britain's favourite brands are attracting consumers this Christmas James Collins <p>Our recent research revealed that <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68590-10-dazzling-digital-marketing-stats-from-this-week/" target="_blank">Marks &amp; Spencer is the UK’s favourite Christmas shop</a>. Of the 2,000 consumers we surveyed, 28% said they will spend the most on gifts at M&amp;S this month, with Boots, John Lewis, Next and House of Fraser making up the rest of the top five.</p> <p>Attracting Christmas shoppers pays off for these brands, and not just in the short term. Our survey also revealed that 84% of UK shoppers plan to carry on spending in their chosen stores after the Christmas season has ended.</p> <h3>The modern consumer journey</h3> <p>The top five brands are ones which UK shoppers have known and loved for a long time. Although the stores aren’t new, their methods of attracting customers have changed dramatically since the stores were founded.</p> <p>These changes have been driven by the transformation of consumer behaviour. According to research by Webloyalty &amp; Conlumino, the average consumer typically used around two touchpoints during their path to purchase in the year 2000. By 2015, this had increased to around five.</p> <p><img style="vertical-align: middle;" src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2364/christmas-shoppers-on-smartphone.jpg" alt="Christmas shoppers on smartphone" width="800" height="450"></p> <p>Shoppers are interacting with more touchpoints across more marketing channels and devices than ever before.</p> <p>But which of these is having the biggest impact on consumer choice, and how are Britain’s favourite brands making the most of it?</p> <h3>The famous Christmas TV ad campaign</h3> <p>Despite the big budgets and hype, our research found that only 27% of people make a purchase based on brands’ TV adverts alone.</p> <p>This may seem a small percentage in return for the huge investment in TV ads, but no channel performs in a silo. As multi-device ownership increases – according to the IAB’s 2015 Full Year Digital Adspend Results, there are an average of 8.3 connected devices per home – the ways to reach consumers increase too.</p> <p>For a TV advert to be most effective, it must be part of a multichannel campaign delivering consistent messaging across channels and devices. </p> <p>John Lewis – whose Christmas campaign is often the most talked about – is taking this multichannel approach seriously, <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68512-john-lewis-combines-tv-ad-with-snapchat-lens-and-email/">combining both on and offline experiences</a>.</p> <p>Buster the Boxer soft toys and picture books are on sale, and the brand has partnered with Snapchat to produce a custom filter, created bespoke Twitter stickers, and offered an Oculus Rift VR experience in the Oxford Street flagship store. </p> <p>The brand’s creative multichannel approach pays off. Speaking before the release of this year’s campaign, John Lewis’ head of marketing, Rachel Swift, said that the Christmas TV ad campaign is the store’s most profitable return on investment. </p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/sr6lr_VRsEo?wmode=transparent" width="560" height="315"></iframe></p> <h3>Advice from friends and family</h3> <p>Our survey found that 31% of people listen to advice from friends and family about where to purchase Christmas gifts from.</p> <p>Social media is the modern equivalent of word of mouth. Today’s brands understand the importance of using social media as part of a multichannel campaign.</p> <p>For example, M&amp;S has ‘Mrs Claus’, the star of its TV ad, taking over its Twitter account, has created the hashtag #lovemrsclaus, and has even designed its own Mrs Claus emoji.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">A delightful morning full of giving (and receiving) awaits. Stay tuned... <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/LoveMrsClaus?src=hash">#LoveMrsClaus</a> <a href="https://t.co/au6wzme7AC">pic.twitter.com/au6wzme7AC</a></p> — M&amp;S (@marksandspencer) <a href="https://twitter.com/marksandspencer/status/806770300905848833">December 8, 2016</a> </blockquote> <p>According to Waggener Edstrom, from 4–20 November 2016, M&amp;S clocked up 43,376 mentions across social media, second only to John Lewis (which had a huge 203,199).</p> <p>Again the scale of the social buzz surrounding these big campaigns helps hammer home the importance of creating a campaign that is active across multiple channels.</p> <h3>Browsing a retailer’s own website</h3> <p>Our survey results also showed that 33% of shoppers browse a brand’s own website to help them decide where to buy gifts. So, it’s essential to make sure people can navigate around your site easily.</p> <p>Next’s online Christmas store is a prime example of so many retail websites at this time of year – there’s an obvious Christmas section in the main navigation, ‘gifts for…’ category pages, Secret Santa guides, the list goes on. It’s easy for consumers to find what they’re looking for in whatever way that suits them.</p> <p>But this on-site experience is only beneficial if people are actually visiting your website in the first place. Attracting relevant traffic isn’t just about the short term tactics, like <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68573-seven-examples-of-black-friday-email-marketing-from-retailers/">the barrage of Black Friday emails</a> we experienced last month.</p> <p>Campaigns that focus on the long term, like partnerships with relevant blogs and online magazines, can help you attract more of your target customers over a longer period of time. </p> <p>The tricky thing is measuring the impact of campaigns like this. If a customer reads your Christmas gift guide on their favourite fashion blog and then visits your website a few days later, last-click measurement won’t acknowledge the contribution of the content campaign. </p> <p>Brands, including some of those in our top five, are moving towards attributed measurement to help them understand the value of marketing channels that appear earlier in the user journey.</p> <p>House of Fraser, for example, saw an 83% rise in the number of affiliate touchpoints awarded commission when it moved away from the last-click model.</p> <p>This view of the full user journey allowed House of Fraser to recognise the touchpoints that were driving customers to its website on a longer term basis.</p> <h3>Saving money with vouchers and loyalty schemes</h3> <p>Finally, we found that 44% of consumers are encouraged to buy from a store if they know they can use a voucher code, and 23% are persuaded by the chance to build up loyalty points.</p> <p>Boots is a great example of a store that uses vouchers and loyalty points well. You can quickly find offers on voucher and cashback sites, the brand’s Advantage Card is extremely popular, and its 3-for-2 offers at Christmas practically fill the store.</p> <p>Typically, online vouchers are associated with short-term gains at the last click – arguably perfect for the Christmas push. But it’s important to understand the incremental value that vouchers offer.</p> <p>As our survey shows, they can prompt shoppers to choose one brand over another. Vouchers can also add value across the whole user journey: We found a 22% uplift in revenue from voucher sites when taking earlier touchpoints into account, rather than just last click.</p> <p>So, we’ve seen that the modern consumer journey is complex. Christmas shoppers are influenced by lots of different touchpoints – there’s no one channel that trumps them all. The UK stores that win the Christmas retail battle are the ones that target their audience across all the relevant channels available to them.</p> <p>The brands that truly win at this time of the year, however, are the ones that understand the importance of <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/65435-what-is-customer-lifetime-value-clv-and-why-do-you-need-to-measure-it/">lifetime value</a>. Attracting customers and encouraging them to buy Christmas gifts is only the first step.</p> <p>Retailers that succeed are those that use their data cleverly to help them make the most of the 84% of Christmas shoppers who intend to shop at their chosen store again – and attract as many of the remaining 26% as possible.</p> <p>Having a rounded understanding of the user journey, and the many touchpoints that users encounter both pre- and post-purchase, allows you to test and discover what messages to use – and when – to encourage more customers to return again and again.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:Report/934 2016-10-27T10:15:00+01:00 2016-10-27T10:15:00+01:00 Digital Marketing Template Files Econsultancy <h3>Overview</h3> <p><strong>Digital Marketing Template Files</strong></p> <p><strong>Authors:</strong></p> <ul> <li>James Gurd, Owner and Lead Consultant, <a title="Digital Juggler" href="http://digitaljuggler.com/">Digital Juggler</a> </li> <li>Ben Matthews, Director, <a title="Montfort" href="http://montfort.io/">Montfort</a> </li> <li>Ger Ashby, Head of Creative Services, <a title="Dotmailer" href="https://www.dotmailer.com/">Dotmailer</a> </li> <li><a title="Starcom Mediavest Group" href="http://smvgroup.com/">Starcom Mediavest Group</a></li> <li><a href="https://www.searchlaboratory.com/">Search Laboratory</a></li> </ul> <p><strong>Files available:</strong> 10 file bundles, 50+ individual template files<br></p> <p><strong>File titles:</strong> See sample document for full breakdown of section and file information.</p> <h3>About these files</h3> <p>Need help with an area of digital marketing and don't know where to start? This pack of downloadable files contains best practice templates that you can use in your digital marketing activities. Feel free to adapt them to suit your needs.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/jxKmQGxspc8?wmode=transparent" width="560" height="315"></iframe></p> <h3>Contents</h3> <p>In this release we have 10 template bundles containing over 50 individual template files for digital marketing projects.</p> <p><strong>Download separate file bundles below:</strong></p> <ul> <li>Affiliate Marketing</li> <li>Content Marketing</li> <li>Display Advertising </li> <li>Ecommerce Projects</li> <li>Email Marketing</li> <li>Search Engine Marketing: PPC</li> <li>Search Engine Marketing: SEO</li> <li>Social Media and Online PR</li> <li>Usability and User Experience</li> <li>Web Analytics</li> </ul> <p><strong>The template files bundle also includes a <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/small-business-online-resource-manager/">Small Business Online Resource Manager</a> that </strong><strong>can help you effectively manage and own your online assets.</strong></p> <p><strong>There's a free guide which you can download to find out more about exactly what is included.</strong></p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68102 2016-07-27T14:02:00+01:00 2016-07-27T14:02:00+01:00 Why there should be more plaudits for digital audits Chris Bishop <p>Those at the top of organisations don’t feel they have the strategic sweep to justify the time and effort required to commission them.</p> <p>Audits are viewed at times as a little “too tactical” or only done once every blue moon by agencies aiming to impress for your business, only to then collect dust on top of Econsultancy buyers guides print outs or even your old New Media Age magazines (<strong>Ed</strong>: We let this lie, but only to show we have a sense of humour).</p> <p>For the in-house Head of Ecommerce, requesting a digital audit might sound dangerously like a turkey voting for Christmas. </p> <h3>Are we selling audits wrongly?</h3> <p>Or is it the slightly cheesy marketing of website or marketing auditors themselves that is putting people off?</p> <p>All that tired ‘digital health check’ stuff might be the kind of foot in the door tactic that make brands feel suspicious of then giving access to their precious AdWords account, <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67171-what-is-affiliate-marketing-why-do-you-need-it/">affiliate network</a> or analytics suite.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/7503/healthcheck.jpeg" alt="health check" width="275" height="183"></p> <h3>How important are digital audits anyway?</h3> <p>In reality, though, digital audits are absolutely vital. And third party objective auditing ensures that you’re not marking your own home work or ignoring long term problems.</p> <p>Proper auditing, UX testing and <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67473-seven-conversion-rate-optimization-trends-to-take-advantage-of-in-2016/">CRO analysis</a> means you can elongate the lifetime and effectiveness of your website and digital media activity, in a way that can be done on any budget.</p> <p>Your digital real estate is often an expensive investment - you’ve got to maintain it properly to get results.</p> <h3>Regular servicing is vital</h3> <p>Think of that shiny new website you’ve just spent months developing as a new car you’ve just acquired.</p> <p>To start off with, it’s the envy of everyone who sees it. After-sales support is pretty good and you can see years of trouble free motoring ahead of you. Before you know it, though, your warranty is up and you’re on your own.</p> <p>As the car ages, small problems become big problems. It performs less effectively. You’re paying for petrol, but it’s becoming less and less economical to run. There are so many things going wrong with it you don’t know where to start. Eventually the car's value is so diminished you might as well scrap it and buy a new one.</p> <p>It’s the same with websites and digital marketing campaigns. They can’t be left to look after themselves – and even the mechanic themselves might need some fine tuning or training themselves.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0007/7504/service-blog-flyer.jpg" alt="car service" width="380"></p> <h3>What a digital audit can do for you </h3> <p>Audits can show you how to balance your budget more effectively through action and prioritisation. They can identify common issues like plateaus in activity and drop offs in acquisition; all the elements that reduce profitability. </p> <h3>The Lessons of the Audit</h3> <p>Constantly learn, constantly improve, constantly trade! A timely and constructive audit will help you:</p> <ul> <li>Keep up to date with the latest channel trends - Google changes, new publishers in affiliate, new platform or techniques for social. </li> <li>Use competitor analysis to keep your enemies close! It’s crucial to analyse and understand market share/spend and its consequences for your brand. </li> <li>Help you (re)define your goals.</li> <li>Confirm your objectives or KPIs so you can measure success.</li> <li>Understand new opportunities.</li> <li>Benchmark improvements or conversely measure areas of decline.</li> <li>Ensure corporate compliance – its best practice to have someone external “rubber stamp” your activity.</li> <li>Encourage serendipity – the uncovering of that nugget of information that transforms your understanding and makes the commercial difference.</li> </ul> <h3>Should you take the plunge?</h3> <p>Regular and skilled digital auditing is a detailed and never ending task.  It can transform the effectiveness of your digital advertising, website and budget.  </p> <p>Is it sexy? It’s showing your website a lot of love and attention. It’s optimizing and maximizing your marketing profitability and performance. Sounds pretty sexy to me.</p> <p><em>More on auditing:</em></p> <ul> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68031-answering-the-key-question-of-content-auditing-where-do-i-start/">Answering the key question of content auditing - where do I start?</a></li> </ul> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/67731 2016-04-11T14:27:17+01:00 2016-04-11T14:27:17+01:00 Think affiliate marketing doesn’t work for luxury brands? Think again Chris Bishop <p>But no longer. Affiliate marketing has truly come of age.</p> <h3>Isn’t affiliate just voucher codes?</h3> <p>This is not just about voucher codes, cashback and last-click for advertisers, this is part of a holistic approach to digital advertising that promises real and sustained ROI for high-end brands.</p> <p><img src="https://openmerchantaccount.com/img2/whoaretheaffiliates.jpg" alt=""></p> <p>The modern managed affiliate programmes use sophisticated groups of content publishers, including mainstream “offline” publishing houses such as Condé Nast.  </p> <p>This is performance marketing through deep partnership, levered via tenancy, editorial, blogging, email and (yes) incentives like voucher codes or cashback. </p> <p>Partnerships with high volume and niche sites that can deliver the kind of primed-to-buy, long tailed traffic available nowhere else.</p> <h3>Are you at risk of losing control of your message?</h3> <p>No, but…</p> <p>For years affiliate networks and technology companies used the size and scale of the channel as a key selling point, promising brands access to tens of thousands of affiliates.  </p> <p>Given that they worked on tracking fees based upon revenue generated by activity, who can blame them? </p> <p>However, this wasn’t what luxury or designer retailers, already nervous about losing control of their brand’s messages, wanted to hear. </p> <p>Only now, with dedicated, digital agencies selling these solutions as part of a wider media strategy, are brands being given the whole picture.</p> <p>When properly managed, affiliate marketing allows brands to deliver relevant messages to highly-targeted customer segments.  </p> <p>But it’s the size and scale of the networks that makes this targeting possible in the first place.</p> <h3>But isn’t luxury all about exclusivity?  </h3> <p>Why would luxury brands want their valuable name bandied about on affiliate channels with everyone else’s?</p> <p><img src="https://openmerchantaccount.com/img2/chriscarcollection.jpg" alt=""></p> <p>Success in the digital age requires a change in mind-set for luxury brands as customers’ buying cycles accelerate and competition stiffens in every part of the market place.  </p> <p>No longer can scarcity be the strongest value in a luxury brand's armoury, as the array of choice and quality available elsewhere can fill any sales vacuum.  </p> <p>Instead, luxury today is defined by desirability, product excellence, exemplary service and, fundamentally, a brand promise.</p> <p>And affiliate channels are exactly where a brand’s promise, desirability, service and excellence are defined for its target audience.  </p> <p>They are key to the continued success of luxury brands in the digital age and are proven to send ready-to-convert customers direct to online stores.   </p> <h3>Luxury is talked about and bought online more than ever</h3> <p>Deloitte says that 58% of UK millennial luxury consumers buy their luxury goods online. What’s more, 85% of luxury consumers regularly use social media.</p> <p>According to Google one in five luxury purchases happens on the web.</p> <p>And participating in high profile online retail events like Black Friday and Cyber Monday clearly doesn’t dim the lustre of a luxury brand or cannibalize their full-price sales.</p> <p>In 2015 our client NET-A-PORTER saw Black Friday was its highest day for sales that year, with one item sold every second on its website. </p> <p>What’s more, offering deals and vouchering is not regarded as damaging to luxury brands’ reputation by consumers.  </p> <p>In fact, these luxury customers were four times more likely to be searching for deals on Black Friday 2015 than non-luxury customers (Experian).</p> <h3>Do affiliate tactics really deliver incremental sales to luxury brands?</h3> <p>Yes, they do.</p> <p>One of our retailers had always assumed cashback websites would only reach customers already on its files and has little effect on overall profit. We helped them prove otherwise.  </p> <p>A tactical trial conducted with Quidco for the brand found that 86% of consumers that bought their products via the publisher during the trial were “new to file” and their average order value was much higher than the norm.</p> <p><img src="https://openmerchantaccount.com/img2/shopstylesolacelondon.jpg" alt=""></p> <p>For another fashion retailer, working with affiliates achieved over 300 pieces of content coverage in a three-month period which, in turn, contributed to content websites driving 50%+ of the brand's affiliate revenue.</p> <p>Affiliate channels have proved, time and time again, to bring new customers and incremental sales to the table for every kind of brand, particularly those at the very top end of their sector.</p> <h3>Who else is using affiliates?</h3> <p>The roll call of brands that are using the affiliate channel as part of the marketing mix is impressive – Agent Provocateur, Barneys New York, Burberry, Liberty London, NET-A-PORTER to name a few.</p> <p>But if the affiliate channel was just about vouchers and cashback, they wouldn’t be using it.</p> <p>These brands know the value of curated conversation and content-led buzz to their brand; they are finding new and exciting ways to engage through affiliate marketing.  </p> <p>Crucially, they are realising that careful planning, targeted partnership and innovative execution ensures the biggest ROI alongside an extension of digital PR.</p> <h3>The lessons of affiliate marketing</h3> <ul> <li>Luxury affiliate marketing is happening... if you’re not doing it, you’re already losing out.</li> <li>Luxury consumers are savvy, switched on and impulsive – take advantage of that.</li> <li>Be led by the data and use experts to help you execute the highest quality campaigns.</li> <li>Choose who manages your affiliates carefully – your brand’s success will live or die by their experience both within wider digital marketing, the specific affiliate channel and naturally their knowledge of your brand / sector.</li> </ul> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:Report/935 2016-03-23T11:50:00+00:00 2016-03-23T11:50:00+00:00 Affiliate Marketing – Digital Marketing Template Files Econsultancy <h3>Overview</h3> <p><strong>Digital Marketing Template Files: Affiliate Marketing</strong></p> <p><strong>Authors:</strong> James Gurd, Owner and Lead Consultant, Digital Juggler; Affiliate Window</p> <p><strong>Files included:</strong> 5 files </p> <p><strong>File titles:</strong> Guide to Building Relationships with Affiliate Partners, Measuring Affiliate Marketing: Goals Objectives and KPIs, Affiliate Marketing Weekly Report, Developing and Executing an Effective Performance Marketing Strategy, The Key Components of a Performance Marketing Strategy</p> <h3>About these templates</h3> <p><strong>Who created these template files?</strong></p> <p>In some cases Econsultancy has created the templates. In others we have gone to leading experts in the relevant area and they have provided the files. Details of those people are given where appropriate in the descriptions that follow.</p> <p><strong>How should these files be used?</strong></p> <p>Affiliate marketing (also known as performance marketing) continues to grow - so how do you run campaigns competitively or even get started? We've created generic templates that get to the core of how you should be considering to run a successful online campaign in this area.</p> <h3>Contents</h3> <p>In this release we have a template bundle containing five individual template files to help you understand affiliate marketing in greater detail.</p> <p><strong>Download separate files on the report pages below.</strong></p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/67524 2016-02-16T14:43:00+00:00 2016-02-16T14:43:00+00:00 Combating ad blocking: What we can learn from the affiliate channel Helen Southgate <p>The broader digital industry faces a huge threat from <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67076-the-rise-and-rise-of-ad-blockers-stats/">ad blocking</a> and could take some useful lessons from what the affiliate channel has achieved.</p> <p>I have followed with great interest the hot topic of ad blocking. Of particular amusement has been the anger directed from many corners of the digital advertising industry at the ad blocking companies themselves.</p> <p>Let’s take a step back for a minute. Why have ad blockers been able to find a market of consumers (reported to be 18% of the UK online population) willing to use their tools?</p> <p>It's because some of the advertising within the digital industry is quite frankly terrible. It can be disruptive, bad quality and not relevant or targeted to the consumer.</p> <p>The cynic in me would say consumer experience is not always a priority of those controlling the ad spend.</p> <p>The IAB has been somewhat pro-active in addressing the ad blocking debate and has produced a number of useful stats and materials. </p> <p>A few of the most noteworthy are from a consumer study carried out in October last year:</p> <ul> <li>25% of online adults have downloaded ad blocking software.</li> <li>3/4 of those downloaders, so 18% of online adults, are currently using ad blockers. This is up from 15% in June 2015.</li> </ul> <p>No wonder this has the digital industry spooked, that is a lot of cash being lost.</p> <p>But even more interesting are some of the reasons people gave for using ad blockers:</p> <ul> <li>52% use them to block all ads.</li> <li>Just 9% use them to protect against privacy, so stopping tracking software working.</li> <li>One in two would be less likely to block ads if they did not interfere with what they were doing.</li> </ul> <p>And this answer:</p> <ul> <li>61% of people would prefer to access content for free and have ads present than pay to access content</li> </ul> <p>So it appears the frustration from consumers is with poor quality, badly executed, disruptive ads.  </p> <p>Therefore, rather than attack the companies that are helping consumers rid their world of these frustrations, perhaps we should be condemning those companies that are the cause of this irritation.</p> <h3>On the bright side</h3> <p>There are positive things happening, the IAB launched <a href="http://www.iabuk.net/news/iab-uk-launches-principles-to-address-ad-blocking">its L.E.A.N principals</a> which are a step in the right direction and have been getting the industry talking reasonably sensibly about the problems we face.</p> <p>We need to come together and self-regulate, pointing a spotlight on those companies that do not adhere to these principals.</p> <p>After all, these are basic good marketing and advertising principals which should already be being observed. Once we find sites that don't comply we should all chase them down the street with pitch forks until they do it right or go out of business. Easy.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/1930/LEAN_Ads_Program_1__3_.jpeg" alt="" width="320" height="240"></p> <p>I jest a little, this is a huge industry with many different components and mostly there are good companies and people that understand the principals of honest and ethical marketing. </p> <p>But there are also a lot of bad eggs out there chasing money. As an industry we need to find and stop these companies executing bad practices.</p> <p>But after they have been getting away with it for years, it is not an easy task.</p> <h3>Follow the affiliate's lead </h3> <p>To find an industry that has executed this with reasonable success we need to look no further than the affiliate marketing channel.</p> <p>In the last 10 years we have worked hard as a group of individuals and companies to ensure quality, a fair playing field and ethical practices.</p> <p>With the help of the IAB, the Affiliate Marketing Council has put in place a number of best practice and self-regulatory principals that all stakeholders within the market adhere to (affiliate networks, agencies, advertisers and publishers). </p> <p>We are proud of these principals as an industry and we do not take lightly to those that break the rules as we know that can harm the reputation of all of us. </p> <p>I suggest the digital industry needs to follow a similar path and clean up its act, otherwise the use of ad blockers will only increase. </p> <p>Educating consumers about advertising and commercial relationships with publishing sites is clearly another avenue that needs to explored. </p> <p>Most of the sites that consumers visit would not exist without advertising, but <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67128-stats-how-social-media-brought-down-the-sun-paywall/">paywalls have been tried and failed</a> numerous times by large and small publishers alike.</p> <p>61% of consumers say they would rather have ads than pay for content so I don’t really ever see a world where paywalls will be successful, there will always be someone that gives it away for free. </p> <p>So we have to tackle to fundamental issue first and foremost, which is ridding the industry of companies executing poor advertising.</p> <h3>Why would an affiliate be concerned?</h3> <p>You might wonder why an affiliate marketer woud be worried about this, and that would be a good question. </p> <p>Across the affilinet network just 2% of our orders come from banners, and 98% come from content. What you now understand as “<a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/63722-what-is-native-advertising-and-do-you-need-it/">native advertising</a>” has been the bedrock of affiliate marketing since its creation over 20 years ago. </p> <p>However, as a channel we are being negatively affected by ad blocking for two main reasons.</p> <p><strong>Firstly,</strong> ad blockers offer the ability to opt out of all 'tracking', meaning the tracking mechanism which we use to attribute sales and pay publishers is disabled. </p> <p>Without this the publisher and network do not get paid. </p> <p><strong>Secondly,</strong> many of our publishers rely on banner advertising and ad networks alongside their income from affiliate ads. Without this in many cases the publishers simply will not survive.</p> <h3>In summary...</h3> <p>Growing consumer awareness will result in increased use of ad blocking and is a danger to all of us in the digital industry.</p> <p>We need to come together, to self-regulate and chase those bad eggs out.</p> <p>While without a doubt we have not eradicated bad practice in the affiliate industry, we most certainly have improved immensely and are proud to be a transparent and ethical industry.</p> <p>We've shown that this can be achieved with time, resource and commitment from all stakeholders.</p> <p>It’s time to focus on the root cause of the problem, and as a digital industry tackle this head on. </p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/67280 2015-12-04T14:56:25+00:00 2015-12-04T14:56:25+00:00 Six Black Friday trends we learned from performance marketing in 2015 Kevin Edwards <h3>1. Consumers spent more</h3> <p>Not only did <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67267-sure-retailers-changed-their-black-friday-strategies-but-did-the-customers/">consumers shun the high street to shop online</a>, but they also dug deeper and splashed more cash.</p> <p>The average basket was a full £7.50 higher at just over £93, making it one of the highest ever posted. Compare this to an average Friday on the network of £71 and the impact is compounded.</p> <p>Typically a ‘big box’ electricals event, Black Friday for John Lewis and Currys marked exceptionally busy days and undoutedly helped drive this figure up.</p> <p>The picture was far from consistent across the day. Peaking between 6 and 7am with strong performance in the small hours, a trend has emerged of shoppers buying their big ticket items, possibly with a sense of urgency, fearful of the threat of limited stock availability.</p> <p>An interesting consideration for retailers, Black Friday continues to throw up unusual purchasing patterns in contrast to Cyber Monday which follows a more typical day’s trading.</p> <p>What is equally interesting is how smartphones held their own. Typically underindexing both tablets and desktop sales, handsets weren’t far off the average and in fact pushed through the typical Friday AOV, peaking at an average basket of £113.</p> <p>For the first time this event felt like one that smartphones played an equal role in:</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0006/9708/graph-1.png" alt="chart 1" width="602" height="309"> </p> <h3>2. The first smartphone Black Friday</h3> <p>Having already mentioned that Black Friday 2015 saw smartphones pulling in record baskets, the day also stood out because tablets saw their position as the major non-desktop platform supplanted.</p> <p>Driving almost one in three sales in the couple of hours before the working day kicked off, our cross-device data has shown smartphones act as a powerful driver on initial intent during this time but conversions can often trail far behind. </p> <p>This wasn’t in evidence on Black Friday, with handsets trumping tablets consistently until mid-afternoon when the position was reversed as this data plotted by hour across the whole day shows (see chart below).</p> <p>Overall, handsets accounted for 19% of sales, with tablets one percentage point behind.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0006/9709/graph-2.png" alt="chart 2" width="602" height="344"></p> <h3>3. Black Friday is more than just a retail event</h3> <p>Traditionally viewed as a retail event, Black Friday offers adverstiers in other sectors the opportunity to capitalise on the surge in online traffic.</p> <p>The big day is not one that should be narrowly defined by shoppers stocking up on their Christmas presents. Affiliate Window commissioned pre-Black Friday research that showed half of consumers were planning to take advantage of the deals on offer by purchasing gifts for themselves. Why then should Black Friday be just about buying for others?</p> <p>This manifested itself in some of the advertisers who triumped on Black Friday, with six of the top 20 being drawn from the telecoms sector, all going to market with strong deals and scooping up consumers who were hungry for the best offers out there, be it for friends, family members or indeed themselves.</p> <h3>4. The Brits have made Black Friday their own</h3> <p>Many column inches were expended in the run up to Black Friday bemoaning another American import <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67159-are-we-doing-black-friday-in-the-uk-or-not">the UK could well do without</a>. But let’s not forget that traditionally Black Friday has been an in-store experience in the US, with Cyber Monday the online bookend to the Thanksgiving weekend.</p> <p>With the UK spending around £800 more per capita online than our American couterparts, the UK has been primed and ready to transform Black Friday into an online event for several years.</p> <p>If we accept IMRG’s UK estimate of £1.1bn and Adobe’s US figure of $2.7bn, British consumers spent more than three times as much online this Black Friday than their US counterparts.</p> <p>Meanwhile, Cyber Monday remains king for Americans as demonstrated by this year’s statistics from the network (see chart below).</p> <p>In the space of a few years Black Friday has re-written the Christmas trading calendar, and the UK, with possibly the most sophisticated ecommerce infrastructre, has embraced it.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0006/9710/graph-3.png" alt="chart 3" width="602" height="295"> </p> <h3>5. Black Friday became even more of a daytime event</h3> <p>One of the most strking patterns to emerge in 2014 was the difference in spikes across the day. Black Friday has clearly primed consumers to react as soon as the starting gun is fired.</p> <p>This has manifested itself in a signficant midnight spike, followed by a pre-work rush. That midnight Black Friday sales weren’t matched by Cyber Monday until lunchtime sends out a powerful statement on shifting consumer behaviour and the importance of being ready.</p> <p>By contrast Cyber Monday emulates a typical trading day. Unlike 2014 which saw a marked period at the tail end of the day where Cyber Monday was substantially bigger, there were only two minor peaks when Black Friday was challenged:</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0006/9711/graph-4.png" alt="chart 4" width="602" height="327"></p> <h3>6. Cyber Monday is dead</h3> <p>If 2014 was the year when Black Friday swiped the crown from Cyber Monday, then 2015 represents the year when it was ceremoniously coronated.</p> <p>The figures across the Affiliate Window network provide a stark contrast showing how Cyber Monday’s previously imperious position has been consigned to something quite ordinary: </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0006/9712/graph-5.png" alt="chart 5" width="590" height="407"></p> <p>Whilst sales for Cyber Monday were up 30% and revenue up 37% year on year, in itself representing impressive growth, the uplift was overshadowed by Black Friday performance.</p> <p>As one of the two critical pre-Christmas trading days, Cyber Monday couldn’t even muster it’s one quarter share of sales or revenue across the four day period.</p> <p>Many retailers appeared to run <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67232-which-retailer-has-the-best-black-friday-strategy">consistent promotion across the entire elongated weekend</a> and as such perhaps retail fatigue had kicked in. Considering some retailers went to market early, stretching Black Friday into a week long event, perhaps it was unrealistic to expect Cyber Monday to post spectacular, comparitive performance.</p>