Performance Marketing Predictions for 2014
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With 2014 well underway now is a good time to look at some of the trends we anticipate to shape the performance marketing channel in 2014.
Internationalization will gather pace – last year we released a piece of research that focused on the internationalization of fashion brands, with a number of UK based retailers successfully entering the US. 2014 will see internationalization gather pace as more advertisers embrace additional markets. This is certainly a trend that has been seen across the network with an increasing number of overseas based publishers signing up to promote a wide range of programmes that benefit from international traffic. Internationalization has also been investigated from a travel perspective with a number of insights into the location of customers and the destinations they are booking. The provision of additional data will certainly facilitate an in-depth understanding of publishers that are effective at driving traffic and conversions from certain markets.
Attribution is not about splitting commission – attribution was certainly a hot topic last year. There will be no escaping it this year but we’re hopeful this discussion will evolve to understand that attribution is not simply about splitting commission. We’d encourage advertisers to look at post conversion data in an attempt to understand the value driven beyond the click. Each advertiser will have their own value metrics and by understanding the publishers driving valuable sales, they can be rewarded accordingly. We released a white paper on attribution at the back end of last year are hopeful more advertisers will consider the concept of value attribution that is explored within it.
The continued rise of mobile – 2013 saw mobile really come to the fore and we can expect it to play a more important role this year. With one in every three clicks originating from a mobile device advertisers will be looking towards a “mobile first” strategy – not only optimising their sites for mobile traffic but also looking how to utilise mobile capabilities in terms of targeting by device and location. Affiliate tracking will be added as a standard rather than merely an afterthought and publishers will become increasingly savvy in developing their mobile offering.
Emergence of cross device tracking – with the rise of mobile commerce and consumers using multiple devices, we will begin to see cross device tracking to help us answer questions of incrementality. Are customers who would typically purchase from a desktop just migrating to mobile devices or are they additional shoppers? Cross device tracking will also be instrumental in helping target consumers across multiple devices.
Compliance to play a more significant role – any channel attracting significant marketing dollars needs to be able to demonstrate the efficacy of its traffic and the value to its customers. For too long the performance channel has allowed elements of bad practice to cloud advertisers’ judgement of affiliates. Compliance and protection need to play a bigger part in the day to day running of affiliate networks and their programmes in order to win the hearts and minds of senior marketers as well as win a bigger slice of the marketing pie. This year into next we should collaboratively work on common standards that further professionalize our industry.