Adapting To New Consumer Behaviours
What made you want to be part of affiliate marketing?
Affiliate marketing is an industry that is ever-evolving and the demand just continues to grow. It’s exciting, it’s fun, it’s challenging and it’s filled with so much talent. But, most importantly, there is absolutely no glass ceiling to stop you.
How has affiliate marketing changed over the past few years?
Dramatically! The barrier of entry into the affiliate marketing space used to be much lower, over a decade ago. As both the industry and technology have evolved, the barrier to enter, and the skill sets needed to succeed has risen. There’s a huge misperception that the affiliate marketing industry is easy, and while it is definitely a lucrative business, it still takes dedication, knowledge and marketing experiences and resources to get to the next level.
How will COVID-19 impact the industry in the long run?
We are extremely fortunate to be in an online and digital-heavy industry. In these last few months, we’ve already seen that the current pandemic is going to force traditional and brick-and-mortarstyle businesses (who have been against investing in their online dollars for some time now) to invest in online tools and initiatives in order to survive. I expect to see the greatest change in ecommerce – this is a sector that will have to adapt and become almost entirely online.
What are your expectations for the industry within the next 12 months?
I expect to see a lot of focus on performance marketing laws and regulations around the misleading of the user. I think these parameters will continue to tighten more and more. We’ve experienced much of this shift already, but I believe there will be heightened sensitivity around more truthful, tactical marketing.
What stand out thing have you seen a brand do in affiliate marketing which you would recommend to others? What about a stand out thing from an affiliate?
With the unprecedented times we’re all facing right now, what comes to mind immediately is the larger brands we’ve seen that have taken 10%, 15%, 20% from their marketing spend and give back to local hospitals, first responders, etc. Seeing major advertisers go out of their way to donate much needed medical supplies, or donate anything for that matter, is always inspiring.
What do you see as the main challenges affiliates are going to have to overcome this year?
We’re already seeing this now, but affiliates will see a huge change in the engagement they had prior to the pandemic and it will take thinking outside of the box to recapture consumer engagement without being predatory.
What stand out thing have you seen an affiliate do which you would recommend to others?
We’ve seen a lot of affiliates proactively optimizing their ads to improve engagement in a safe and scalable way. This road leads to sustainability and further growth once the world begins to stabilize.
What are the most important personal qualities to being successful in digital marketing?
Without a doubt, being straightforward and honest and showing dedication to managing expectations are the keys to being successful in digital marketing. Everyone is looking for their desired result, and when you’re able to set expectations and focus on being reliable, you’ll succeed.
What are you especially proud of during your career?
Starting out as a credit clerk in the finance department and growing with the company to lead an incredible team has made me proudest. Our team has grit and I’m proud of all we’ve accomplished.
What’s your advice to women just starting out in affiliate marketing?
This is a male dominated business and it can be challenging - there’s this antiquated concept that women have to be meek or palatable to get ahead in business, especially in this industry. You don’t have to be quiet so someone else can be comfortable. It’s okay to be your authentic self, to be confident and to go after your goals. If you don’t, someone else will, so why not you? This inspiration and motivation is part of what unifies the members of Women of Martech. Our organization’s mission is to promote and amplify the experiences, contributions, successes, achievements and innovations of women in the martech industry, including affiliate marketing.
Amber Paul is Senior Vice President –Distribution at Digital Media Solutions.
Lily Trevisanut is SVP Operations at Digital Media Solutions.
Digital Media Solutions (DMS) is the leading global martech company leveraging innovative, performance-driven brand and marketplace solutions to connect consumers and advertisers.