PEERCLICK : Affiliate Marketing Trends 2019: Predictions from Industry Experts

We have already figured out what’s coming for affiliate marketing industry in 2019. To delve more deeply into the question we’ve compiled predictions of top key figures and thought leaders in the industry. In particular we’re interested to hear their thinking on what offers do they see growth in, what types of business model will be successful in 2019, what platforms do they see the most growth for publishers and other important trends they see.

Swim Song , Director, Traffic Operation, Mobvista

It may sound simplistic, but in my opinion, the key to growth is making the consumer central to the affiliate campaign. So that means focusing on mobile content such as games and vertical e-commerce products that best reflect people’s daily habits and lifestyle.

I also think that advertisers will prefer CPS (Cost Per Sale) and CPL (Cost Per Lead) as the simplest and cleanest pricing models. I do see plenty of scope for affiliates to explore revenue share models that allow them to cooperate more with traffic suppliers.

I believe that successful business models will be the ones which provide more added value for both advertisers and consumers. So in the case of games advertising, for example, this would be getting a new player to create a character or play to a certain point in the game. Just pricing on a simple install or click won’t really be enough — advertisers are looking for more meaningful engagement.

Certainly, over the next few years, it will be difficult to challenge Facebook’s dominance of online marketing as no other platform has the same scale or reach. So thanks to its large user base and proven targeting tools Facebook will remain the first choice for advertisers for the foreseeable future.

I do think that video will become the favored format of advertisers over the next few years, especially the advertisers of ‘hardcore’ games, which typically spend a large amount on traffic and user acquisition. This is something that Facebook will serve through Instagram or Facebook video, or it might be an opportunity for a completely new platform to emerge in the same way that Twitch has become an alternative to YouTube for gamers.

Julie Van Ullen, GM of Growth, Rakuten Marketing

Creating an enjoyable consumer experience will be critical for ad tech companies, as they strive to better serve their advertisers and publishers in 2019. We see this trend in several areas of performance marketing:

1. Transparency. Platforms that facilitate transparency in performance and insights and that allow publishers and brands to have a clearer dialogue on the definition of success will continue to rise to the top. Winning technology partners should serve as an intelligent layer between publishers and brands to help facilitate personalization, dynamic incentives, and a relevant journey for the consumer to engage with both new and their favorite brands.

2. Data-driven efficiency. Robust commitment to CRM segmentation and the ability to have your tech platform ingest that data and marry it with their own unique data, is the foundation for efficiency. Using this data to not only curate affiliate campaigns, but also to inform media buying and optimization strategies, as well as intelligently target consumers across search and social is the key to a meaningful consumer experience.

3. And finally, a commitment to AI and machine learning matched with a best in class support team — skilled teams, whose core-competency is to manage your affiliate business, will never go out of style.

Emanuel Cinca , CEO, WHAT THE AFF

E-commerce offers would be my main bet here. Product owners will want to get some more of that performance-based marketing for their stores as they grow. Affiliates will also look into building their own stores more and more.

Nutra also shows promise with straight-sale offers and COD. Those would be the ones that I’d expect more growth than average. Doesn’t mean the classics like sweeps, mobile apps and dating won’t be around.

Based on what happened in 2018, I think the not-so-secret opportunity is in building a direct connection to your audience. Owning the traffic source, in other words.

Especially FB has shown clearly that reach will get more and more expensive. So building your own subscriber lists, your own communities, that really has a lot of potential.

This also means quite some work so it’s not likely many affiliates go on that path. Doesn’t mean media buying is not going to be the main engine but I see this as a pretty big opportunity in the space.

Well, mobile when it comes to push traffic is growing. Aside from that Instagram is the platform with a lot of potential out of those where affiliates have already explored a bit.

Snapchat, Pinterest and Quora would be 3 platforms not really used by affiliates right now but that all have the potential to be “the next big thing”.

Brian Marcus, VP Global Marketing, TUNE

Advertisers’ desire to change the trajectory of their growth will lead to a new level of interest and engagement with mobile-savvy performance-based partnerships, a largely untapped segment of the affiliate market today in the ecommerce, travel and financial services arena. New mobile / online partnership combinations will lead to a renaissance of performance marketing innovation. New offers, new commissionable events, new cross-channel customer experiences and new type of partnerships will drive significant performance-based value beyond the install or the click. This opportunity will be led by Mobile-best brands seeking to tear down data silos between channels and devices. Top mobile networks once known for pioneering app installs will move downstream in the customer funnel to improve customer lifetime value and grow the size of the performance marketing pie.

Taras Kiseliuk , Managing Director at Global Digital Marketing Group, ClickDealer

If 2017 was the year of Native Traffic, 2018 really has seen a big ‘push’ towards push notifications — but like any other ‘hot’ traffic type you still need to learn the nuances of the users’ habits to wield its full potential. Leveraging the best practices like local time zones and user routines, along with striking a balance between automation, dynamic user experience and reliable 24/7 support — will likely be the key to successful push campaigns next year. Add it to the fact that up to 37% of Americans now say they are willing to make a purchase through a chat-bot — and you no longer can afford to ignore the trend in 2019.

Voice Search is going to be another hot button topic next year, with reports showing up to 50% of searches to be conducted through voice by 2020, and it should be no surprise that while most voice requests are made on tablets and smartphones — mobile optimization is more important than ever before, especially focusing on those localized, immediate need based requests.

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