Five things we learned from our ‘Ecommerce Blindspots to Know About’ webinar

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In August I had the pleasure of (virtually) sitting down with four of Awin's most promising tech partners. 

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On this panel webinar, I quizzed these partners about their solutions and how they help solve four very common, yet very problematic, ecommerce blindspots for clients:

  • Standardisation, and how the fragmented and manual aspects of affiliate can be brought together via the Trackonomics Data Management Platform to allow publishers to better serve their audiences.
  • In-app tracking, and how through the Button / Awin partnership the channel can capitalise on improved customer experiences and in-app attribution to drive publisher and advertiser revenues.
  • Personalisation, and how Revlifter can enable brands to improve customer experience and both retailer and publisher margins when deployed to provide offer personalisation services.
  • Multi-touch attribution, and how SingleView and Awin are combining to answer the most persistent and complex problem in marketing: how do I assign value?

You can view the full webinar here to watch our full discussion, but here are my five key takeaways. 

1. Traditional media publishers that have embraced data measurement are thriving right now

The Trackonomics client base is made up of many large, traditional media publishers like Conde Nast and Buzzfeed. When asked about what separates those currently thriving through the chaos, Trackonomics CEO Hanan Maayan explained, “Our top 10 clients have generated more revenue from March 1 to May 31 than they did for the entire first half of 2019 – the part that separates the media partners that are thriving from the ones that are surviving are that they adapt quickly because they are data driven.”

2. Using first-party data for personalisation is the future of the affiliate channel

One of the key questions asked of the panel was where they felt the affiliate industry’s future growth areas might lie. Simon Bird, CEO & Co-Founder at RevLifter, was convinced there is a huge untapped source of value in the first-party data to be found in the channel.

“The gold in the channel is the first-party data and its future success is enabled by using this to enhance customer offerings in all areas - retailers and publishers should be unlocking their first-party data. Personalisation is the way the internet is moving and is a customer expectation, not a nice to have."

3. DTC also remains a largely untapped source of growth for the affiliate industry

 Recognising the huge growth that the pandemic has created for more niche DTC brands, Hanan was quick to remark that the affiliate channel had some catching up to do when compared to other digital ad channels’ embrace of these retailers.

“Direct-to-Consumer is a trend that will continue to grow, and there are already new retailers hitting the market with highly-specialised products and clear target audiences. The performance industry is going to need to work out how to optimise for these brands. These brands are already doing well, have aggressive budgets and predominantly work via Facebook and Instagram - there is huge potential value in the channel working out how to better partner with them.”

4. Having a smooth app experience in place is key with so many new customers coming online

Dennis O’Reilly, Head of Partnerships at Button, highlighted the fact that having effective app tracking and user journeys set up had never been more important for online brands than right now.

“Across the board, Button is seeing increases in all KPIs when the app experience is optimised for the affiliate channel. On average, profitability increased 65% for content publishers – with other types of partner seeing increases in conversion somewhere between 45-55%.

Given that there are new audiences arriving online for the first time because of the current pandemic, app-based customer experience has never been more important in capturing that value.”

4. Adopting sophisticated attribution models has never been more important

The digital advertising industry has talked a lot in the last few years about introducing more advanced data-driven attribution models without making it a reality. However, the need to adapt advertising strategies constantly when there is so much change happening in the world has made many brands realise the value of having this level of visibility on their marketing efforts.

Mark Kuhillow, Founder at SingleView by R.O.EYE, explained how advertiser priorities have changed recently.

“There has been a need for organisational change to really make the leap - prior to COVID-19 multi-touch attribution (MTA) was a ‘nice-to-have’ for clients that had maxed out channels and were looking for where to grow next. The last few months’ traffic explosion means previous rules no longer apply and the change has tipped MTA data from a ‘nice-to-have’ to a must have.”

I really enjoyed the insights the panel provided and, for me, the biggest takeaway was that the rapid changes in the industry have created both difficulties and opportunities in equal measure. What will ultimately separate those businesses who capitalise on this moment will be their ability to remove subjectivity from decision-making by efficiently gathering and standardising data across multiple sources, and then quickly acting on it.

The insights and statistics our panellists referenced throughout our discussion demonstrate the value than can be captured when this is done well, and the opportunities lost when it isn’t.

If you’d like to find out more about how to do that via Awin, please get in contact with me here. To speak to any of our panelists directly, please click their name above. 

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