Learn how to navigate changes in the economy with brand and publisher partnerships as your compass, steering you to business growth. Also, find out how top brands like JSHealth Vitamins and Zero Co tapped into partnerships as a revenue-generating channel.
The world’s economies have sailed into choppy seas due to the pandemic, supply chain problems, war, and changing economic conditions. The Reserve Bank of Australia forecasts inflation to peak at around 7 percent by the end of 2022, with New Zealand already hitting 7.2 percent in the September 2022 quarter. Many retailers cut expenses when looming financial insecurities affect the market, and the marketing budget often lands first on the chopping block.
Bolstering your marketing department for belt-tightening is crucial. When oil prices caused comparably high inflation in the early 1980s, companies that maintained their marketing budget benefited from up to 140 percent higher sales over the next six years than competitors who cut theirs.
While anxiety often arises during economic uncertainty, there are ways to fight programme cuts and turn adversity into an advantage with low-cost, high-reward affiliate partnerships. Partnerships managers that take the following steps can survive and thrive in the months ahead.
Dive into six ways to weather the storm with partnerships
Partnership marketing offers brands the opportunity to:
- Grow brand awareness
- Reach new audiences
- Improve customer retention
- Strengthen market share
- Increase conversion rates
- Create incremental avenues for growth
Brands that leverage the power of partnerships by tapping into different partner types, including influencers, content creators, and more, are armed with the right tools to help them batten down the hatches during economic downturns. Partnerships managers that take the following steps can survive and thrive in the months ahead.
1. Strengthen your partner relationships
Remember, your partners are also worried about the economic downturn. To maintain your relationship, reach out to your partners to keep them updated on new programmes and equipped with assets that may provide value to their audience. The more they feel like part of the team, the more engaged in your business they’ll become.
For JSHealth Vitamins, empowering content partners with the right educational resources helped them reach a new audience. It gave the brand a competitive edge, leading to an astounding 411 percent return on ad spend (ROAS). The impact.com platform allowed them to streamline engagement with proactive communication tools, easy creative asset sharing, and robust performance reporting for actionable feedback.
2. Attract new partners
More partners create more opportunities to make a sale. Recruiting partners that align with your brand values allows you to reach new markets. By adding 381 new partners to their programme, Australian company Zero Co boosted their average ROAS by 1699 percent. To attract more partners, focus on the following:
- Understanding your partners. Recruit partners more effectively with a clear vision of your audience. If you haven’t already, build detailed partner personas that outline your ideal partner’s needs, desires, and concerns.
- Keeping ahead of the competition. Invest in partner recruitment by maintaining flat commissions. Partners want the opportunity to work with brands that offer consistent payouts.
- Establishing thought leadership. Positioning your brand as an authority in your industry attracts better partners. Work with other members of the marketing team and internal experts to build out thought leadership efforts.
- Keeping an eye on your recruitment efforts. Stay on top of your recruitment pipeline and gather actionable insights to determine which methods attract the right type of partners.
To ensure you have the resources to pull all this off, defend your programme from cuts with some strategies from impact.com’s “Weathering the Storm” ebook.
3. Carefully calibrate your messaging
Your words make a big impact, so avoid fear-based messaging. Respectfully acknowledge the state of the world, but keep sensitivity at the forefront of all messaging.
Understand how the brand wants to talk to customers and other external parties about current conditions, then apply that approach to your partner messaging. Taking the lead on these conversations proves your value and emphasises your willingness to adapt.
4. Build customer loyalty
Cultivating loyal customers pays off, especially when net new business slows down. Acquiring new customers costs five times more than retaining them, and existing customers spend 31 percent more on average.
Consumers look for coupons, sales, gift cards, and other loyalty efforts to make their dollars stretch or test a new product. Discovering your brand through a deal or coupon affiliate partnership increases the chance they’ll make a purchase and become a loyal customer in the future.
5. Reduce waste and inefficiency
Even if your budget remains intact, look for creative ways to reduce waste. Here are some ways to improve programme efficiency:
- Look inward. Take a critical look at your team and their talents. Who could more effectively leverage? Can you outsource some tasks?
- Dig into the data. When you use all the data at your disposal, you’ll likely discover hidden efficiencies or programme improvements you can implement to boost ROI.
- Replicate successes. Investigate the practices of top-performing partners and share that knowledge. What are their secrets? Why does your brand resonate with its audiences?
- Build the right toolbox. Robust partnership automation tools like impact.com can eliminate inefficiencies, free up time, and potentially replace multiple tools in your current tech stack.
6. Make better decisions with the Partnerships Experience Academy
During challenging times, knowledge is everything. The more you know about partnerships and affiliate marketing, the more your brand will grow.
The Partnerships Experience Academy (PXA) by impact.com provides free training on partnerships and affiliate marketing to boost your campaign effectiveness. Reach target audiences and build your partnership strategy with industry-approved best practices vetted by the PXA Council and recognised leaders in the affiliate marketing industry.
The right tools, knowledge, and approach will carry you through hard times, but remember that this, too, shall pass. In the meantime, adapt to the current circumstances, give consumers what they crave, and watch your programme thrive. Check out our ebook “Weathering the Storm” for more ways to tailor your strategy to the times.