Is Affiliate Marketing Taking Mobile Seriously Enough?
An interesting report about the future of mobile was developed by Forrester a few months ago and it made some very good points about the future of mobile. In the paper “Predictions 2015: Most Brands Will Underinvest in Mobile”, Forrester states that mobile is one of the most disruptive technologies for businesses since the advent of the Internet. Mobile will play a central role in a broader digital transformation that has begun and will continue to disrupt the way we engage with brands online.
The article claims that the shift to mobile has elevated consumers’ expectations about how they are served, how they shop and what they expect from a brand. We expect to interact with brands to get any product, information or service we desire immediately and on the device convenient to us.
What does this mobile transformation mean for affiliate marketing? Are brands and affiliates doing enough to engage with consumers on mobile devices? The first step in Affiliate Mobile Marketing is to understand that it is a mind shift and not just another bolt-on channel. This paradigm shift should then lead a brand to allocate sufficient cross-functional investment in IT, customer service, ecommerce, and marketing to transform their business to take full advantage of mobile technologies. Brands need to do it, networks need to do it and affiliates need to do it too.
In the world of affiliate marketing, attribution is everything. The issue affiliate marketing has with mobile devices is the fact that they are not cookies based. We have become too reliant on cookies as a tracking device because it is so easy, but this will need to change quickly. Affiliates need a fail-proof method for sales attribution or they are not going to fully embrace the mobile paradigm shift. This requires stitching together a new way of tracking much like fingerprinting, but across data sources across devices. It will have to be universally accepted and respectful of privacy data.
Consumer Marketing Opportunities:
Over the past few years Affiliate Marketing has been exploiting other digital marketing channels such as display and search, but with a different shaped commercial structure, performance. Affiliates engage in these digital marketing activities on behalf of brands in exchange for a percentage of sales and without an upfront budget. Continuing this infringement into search and display advertising on mobile devices will only become a main-stream affiliate marketing practice if the tracking dilemma is resolved and affiliates can see how they can make money in mobile. They will then invest the time, skill sets and budgets.
As the affiliate channel often leads the way for developing new technologies, this may lead to the evolution of other mobile consumer marketing opportunities such as real-time offerings, flash sales, and dynamic pricing. A few kinks need to be resolved for the mobile revolution to fully take hold in the affiliate marketing channel.
Link to report: https://www.forrester.com/Predictions+2015+Most+Brands+Will+Underinvest+In+Mobile/fulltext/-/E-RES118065?objectid=RES118065
Greta Paa-Kerner (@gretapk) is a guest lecturer on digital and affiliate marketing and a management consultant through Ganduxer Consulting. Visit her blog and LinkedIn profile at http://uk.linkedin.com/in/gretapaakerner.