Jan 17, 2012

12 Marketing Trends for 2012: #9

The trends are showing that in mobile, most advertisers are recording four times as many clicks and sales compared to a year ago, and most analysts believe growth will continue to accelerate through 2012. There may come a point next year where it reaches a tipping point and you will need to have defined mobile strategy for your affiliate programs. Forrester Research is anticipating a greater demand for visibility both in mobile sales and mobile promotions, so it may be a good time to put into place measures to ensure your ready to address this hugely exciting opportunity.
The handset will catch up to the computer
People still don’t have the confidence to buy larger ticket items via mobile handsets and this is demonstrated by significantly lower average baskets from purchases made via mobile. We should see the gap narrow as more and more advertisers start to optimize for mobile and replicate the general desktop experience on handsets.

The biggest opportunity in the affiliate business next year
We can loosely refer to ‘incentivised traffic’ as offering the greatest opportunity for advertisers in the mobile space. So far the vast majority of sales are being driven by mobile from offering the consumer an incentive to do so: a cash reward, a coupon, code or promotion. This completely follows how consumers are interacting with their phones generally. So the affiliate space, which has also had a significant focus on these areas of online activity, is well set up to take advantage of this usage trend.

Beyond mobile there is a significant opportunity to work more closely with advertisers to better understand their data. Increasingly companies are challenging tech vendors to demonstrate the incremental value of the affiliate channel and you can only do so by analysing individual affiliates, and their traffic and sales, to gain a clearer picture. This can only be done by working in close collaboration with an advertiser so that they create a loop of information, feeding data back to digital vendors. Doing this, and seeing concrete results really helps build confidence in the affiliate channel.

Affiliate window is reacting to this trend
With mobile you need to ensure your affiliate tracking is in place on advertisers’ mobile commerce sites. So far, many large retailers launch m-commerce sites but fail to add their affiliate tracking, in other words they are limited in how they can assess how affiliates drive traffic specifically on mobile handsets. It cannot be stressed strongly enough how critical this will be in how much we can grow the mobile channel. Reporting will also be increasingly important, and data analysis will be central in building ongoing confidence in the affiliate channel.