Take Control Of Your Partner Marketing Data

Across marketing, there has been a worldwide rush to access and act on data to drive faster sales growth. Marketers are taking greater control of data and analytics to power more efficacious marketing programs. You can see this megatrend across many marketing channels. In global regions including the United States, the CMO often controls more of a company’s technology budget than the CTO.


Decoupling Technology From Execution

While partner marketing management is often entrusted to agencies versus managed internally, many brands still want real-time access to campaign and customer data. The partner and affiliate marketing area is a great example here. In partnerships, it’s fairly common for companies to outsource program management to affiliate networks.

But increasingly, partnership leaders want better access to customer and partner data to identify business-building insights. They want others to develop partner-marketing strategies and tactics, and to execute programs. But, at the same time, they want to personally immerse themselves in timely data. In effect, decoupling technology from execution.

Some speculate that the decoupling trend is ultimately a reaction to the black-box nature of digital marketing measurement. In partnerships and affiliate, limited and delayed data from programs can leave marketers feeling in the dark about opportunities to drive growth. They get little or no insight into the buyers, their reasons for purchasing and the specific goods they purchase. Agencies face the same challenges because they need rich, timely data to maximize the value they deliver to clients.


Driving Growth From Customer Insights

Analyzing and processing all of the data generated through partner and affiliate programs can feel like a daunting challenge. But it needn’t be. Getting data-driven marketing right is about focusing first on a small number of the best opportunities.

Which ones? Partner marketers in the U.S., EU and across Asia are driving tremendous growth by leveraging five specific data areas:


1. Customer Journey Mapping

With partner marketing, consumers follow a decision path that includes a variety of steps between their first ad click and final purchase. These interim events include website browsing, product searches, add to cart, use of coupon codes and every stage in the actual transaction process. By analyzing all these event data points, marketers gain richer customer understanding. They also identify bottlenecks in the buying path that need optimization.

2. Shopping Basket Analysis

It’s not enough to know that someone has made a purchase. Savvy, data-driven marketers also need to know how much was spent, in which item category(ies) and which items were purchased. These insights help marketers develop more effective creative, improve programs and deals and enrich individual user profiles.

3. New Versus Existing Purchasers

Many brands value a purchase from new vs. repeat customers differently. To enable that determination, brands must share user information with their choice of partner management tools. The process involves working with a company that can ingest customer insights from client data warehouses and adjust commission rates up for new users and down for existing customers. That helps brands maximize return on investment.

4. Goals-Based Commissioning

While traditionally brands had one or a few compensation models for partners, many companies now offer a unique compensation program for every brand and item based on gross margin, customer lifetime value and more. This makes it possible to perfectly align partner programs with profitability and even complex corporate objectives.

5. Real-Time Performance Data

Marketers need to see what is happening with campaigns and users as it occurs to help them spot opportunities or problems requiring immediate attention. Artificial intelligence-powered anomaly detection is an increasingly common tool to deliver alerts to brands and partners when changes in campaign performance need attention.

It’s easy to see how these powerful business-building strategies are only possible through sharing richer customer and transaction data in real time. Whether you choose to manage your partner and affiliate programs internally or with an agency, it’s clear that timely access to rich data can be enormously valuable.

Article written by: James Nichols