How long have you been active in the partner marketing space? Whether it’s 10 minutes or 10 years, it makes sense to examine your go-to-market strategy efforts in comparison to the emerging best practices principles that are driving extraordinary results in the category.

Some people outside of the partnership marketing industry have the false impression that partnerships and affiliate are quiet little businesses that “click along” without changing much. 

While that may have been true in the early days of the category, it is no longer the case today.

A variety of forces are contributing the changes in marketing campaigns that are propelling the industry forward:

1. The availability of rich and comprehensive partner marketing data from the most sophisticated tracking and measurement solutions 2. Real-time measurement that enables brands to track and optimize on the fly 3. Emergence of new segments of partnership including influencer marketing and strategic brand-to-brand partnerships 4. The emergence of increasingly large and technologically adept partners who can action data immediately for the best possible results 5. More sophisticated and active partner program management from both internal and agency teams 6. The availability of powerful program management tools to simplify partnering in whatever form a company chooses

All this has not only increased the revenue contribution from the channel but also increased the interest in partnership among senior corporate leadership. In short, CMOs now recognize the kinetic power of partnership and want to unlock it in support of their businesses. We recently fielded a massive research study of 1,200 marketers asking them about their performance marketing strategy in partnerships and perceptions of the industry. We learned that partnerships are driving a lot more revenue at most companies than people might think. More than half say partnership accounts for more than 20% of revenue, and a quarter said it accounts for more than 30%.

If your company is looking to drive more revenue and conversions from the partnerships channel, it makes sense to explore this checklist of partner marketing best practices and how it can potentially help you drive more revenue from this large and dynamic channel.

YOUR PARTNER MARKETING BEST PRACTICES CHECKLIST

While there is no rule of thumb that says that partner marketing should grow at the same rate as your total business, it is useful to compare the relative growth rates to determine if your are capitalizing well on the partner marketing opportunity for your business.

While affiliate is by far the largest segment of the partner marketing category, marketers say that fully half of the potential sales from partnerships are from outside the affiliate world, in influencer marketing, brand-to-brand partnerships, and in partnerships with mainstream media companies.

Partner automation toolsets are serving to streamline partnership marketing campaign management across all of these categories.

While mobile now dominates total connected time and represents a large portion of both shopping time and digital commerce revenue, many companies still don’t measure mobile in a comprehensive way. To do so requires a channel program solution that can address mobile measurement.

The best results come when advertisers and partners are completely aligned in their objectives.By incenting the partner to deliver the results that align with your KPIs, you achieve the best possible results. Your largest partners are incredibly important to your partner marketing efforts, delivering a strong proportion of total volume. It makes sense to work with them directly to develop new approaches and innovative programs that can help further grow your business with them.

All evidence indicates that tailored messages and offers outperform generic offers. By leveraging insights about the content clicked, considered, added to cart, etc. you can formulate messages that speak more directly to specific user needs. And drive more sales. Money flows to the measurable. Your CMO and Finance team want evidence that your programs are driving profitable incremental sales. By integrating partner data into your company’s multi-touch, multi-channel attribution toolsets, you’ll get the credit needed to win more marketing dollars for partner channel programs. It’s about being “at the table” and applying data-driven marketing principles to these challenges.

Cookie deletion, ad blockers, and developments like Apple’s Intelligent Tracking Prevention are the latest challenges facing third-party cookie data accuracy. While we still offer strong, reliable third-party cookie measurement, we believe that most brands will move away from pixel-based tracking in the coming years. It’s a question of when, not if.

1. Does your partner marketing growth rate compare well to the total growth rate for your Business?

While there is no rule of thumb that says that programs for channel partners should grow at the same rate as your total business, it is useful to compare the relative growth rates to determine if your are capitalizing well on the partner marketing opportunity for your business.

2. Are you taking advantage of ALL of the key segments of the performance partnerships category?

While affiliate is by far the largest segment of the partner marketing category, marketers say that fully half of the potential sales from partnerships are from outside the affiliate world, in influencer marketing, brand-to-brand partnerships, and in partnerships with mainstream media companies.

3. Are you able to measure and attribute all conversions that include mobile touchpoints (mobile web AND mobile app)?

While affiliate is by far the largest segment of the partner marketing category, marketers say that fully half of the potential sales and lead generation from partnerships are from outside the affiliate world, in influencer marketing, brand-to-brand partnerships, and in partnerships with mainstream media companies.

4. Are your compensation models aligned to your objectives?

While mobile now dominates total connected time and represents a large portion of both shopping time and digital commerce revenue, many companies still don’t measure mobile in a comprehensive way. To do so requires a solution that can address mobile measurement. The best results come when advertisers and partners are completely aligned in their objectives. By incenting the partner to deliver the results that align with your KPIs, you achieve the best possible results.

5. Are your working directly with your largest partners to drive better results?

By incenting the partner to deliver the results that align with your KPIs, you achieve the best possible results. Your largest partners are incredibly important to your partner marketing efforts, delivering a strong proportion of total volume. It makes sense to work with them directly to develop new approaches and innovative programs that can help further grow your business with them.

6. Are you using data to customize and personalize messaging for better results?

All evidence indicates that tailored messages and offers outperform generic offers. By leveraging insights about the content clicked, considered, added to cart, etc. you can formulate messages that speak more directly to specific user needs. And drive more sales. Money flows to the measurable.

7. Are your program results and customer insights integrated into your company’s attribution and analytics?

Your CMO and Finance team want evidence that your programs are driving profitable incremental sales. By integrating partner data into your company’s multi-touch, multi-channel attribution toolsets, you’ll get the credit needed to win more marketing dollars for partnership programs. It’s about being “at the table.”

8. Are you preparing for a post-pixel-tracking world?

Cookie deletion, ad blockers, and developments like Apple’s Intelligent Tracking Prevention are the latest challenges facing third-party cookie data accuracy. While we still offer strong, reliable third-party cookie measurement, we believe that most brands will move away from pixel-based tracking in the coming years. It’s a question of when, not if.