In anticipation of his participation at Affiliate Management Days on the keynote panel, 2016 Affiliate State of the Union, our very own Geno Prussakov interviewed Choots Humphries, Co-President of LinkConnector. View the Q-and-A below to learn about Choots’ thoughts on the current state of affiliate marketing, in general, and affiliate management, in particular. Also, see what’s in store for AM Days 2016.
Question: If you were to emphasize one important issue that every affiliate manager should be paying more attention to, what would it be and why?
Choots: For retailers, arming affiliates with data is paramount to helping them uncover new and optimize existing promotional efforts with your brand.
This could be as simple as providing information around your top 10 selling products, the seasonality trends of your brand, or deeper data points such as KPIs across various device types.
In our ever evolving digital marketing landscape, affiliates are the ones at the forefront of creativity. Ensure they have the data needed to fuel their strategies and effectively advocate for your brand.
Question: What was the most important marketing lesson that you learned in 2015?
Choots: Turnover (i.e., employee attrition) is inherent in any industry. The fundamental core (and driver of success) of the affiliate marketing industry is that of building relationships. When key personnel of customer relationships leave for new endeavors, it is ever more critical to take the time to share your knowledge and nuggets of insight with new contacts. Doing so will help to offset hiccups and help the partnership continue to thrive.
Question: What do you believe to be the main areas of opportunity in 2016 – for online marketers, in general, and for affiliate marketers, in particular?
Choots: For online marketers, mobile continues to dominate as an epic area of opportunity. Opportunity that exists beyond smartphones and tablets.
Essential in 2016 will be prioritizing your mobile strategy to appropriately include the various device types (e.g., wearables & automobiles) while ensuring the cross-device affiliate tracking.
Even more specific to affiliate marketing, social marketing represents significant opportunity. Advertisers are all about securing influencer relationships for their brands. Leveraging proven affiliate expertise to influence your audience and deliver revenue via social marketing will provide an edge for affiliates.
Question: What do you believe to be the biggest challenge advertisers with affiliate programs face, and what steps could help them overcome it?
Choots: Internet Sales Tax Reform will continue to be a big challenge. More states continue to pass Affiliate Nexus Tax laws, crippling the livelihood of thousands of affiliate marketers and ceasing revenue opportunities for advertisers. To help in overcoming this, we need more industry leaders to advocate in support of the Marketplace Fairness Act; a bill that will essentially eliminate the Affiliate Nexus Tax laws. Join and / or donate to the Performance Marketing Association to help make a difference.
Question: Please give us 1-3 reasons why marketers should attend the AM Days 2016 keynote panel presentation, 2016 Affiliate State of the Union.
Choots: The ‘2016 Affiliate State of the Union’ keynote panel will be an invaluable opportunity for marketers to hear from the frontlines about the newest technologies to empower program growth, effective solutions to help you harness this year’s industry trends and, last but not least, the chance to hear questions from your industry peers as they seek solutions to overcome specific obstacles.
Question: If you were to leave online advertisers, merchants and affiliate managers with one piece of advice, what would it be?
Choots: Don’t underestimate the opportunities that could be gained from collaborating with your competition.
Don’t miss Choots’ participation on the keynote panel, 2016 Affiliate State of the Union, at Affiliate Management Days on Tuesday, April 5, 2016, from 8:40am-10:25am. Click here to register for attendance.