Partner Marketing has become the mainstay of the major brand’s marketing strategy. While once thought of as simply a lead generation tool through affiliates, creating strategic marketing partnerships has become vital for brand engagement and discovery. A recent survey from Digital Commerce showed that partner marketing affected 14% of sales in 2016, and this number is only growing. With leading brands now seeing 40% of their online revenue being driven through performance marketing, the partnerships channel is more important than ever.

However, there is a gap in many partner marketing programs, which means not only opportunities missed but missed revenue. To fill this gap, marketers will need to understand how the online to offline economy plays out in their marketing eco-system and how it can be utilised to boost performance.

ONE TRILLION US DOLLARS.... AND GROWING....

Let’s get straight to the bottom line - the global call commerce market generated US$1 trillion in sales for brands globally in 2016 (BIA/Kelsey, 2016). In that year, consumers who were ready to purchase generated 85 billion calls to businesses, and this figure is set to grow to a whopping 169 billion money-making calls by 2020. With 61% of consumers calling during the purchase phase (Google/Ipsos, 2013), it is no surprise that 65% of businesses view a phone call as their most important lead source.

So what is driving this growth? With the rise of digital over the past two decades, many predicted the phone call would fade into oblivion. This was in part driven by the wish that consumers would do all their buying online and stop those pesky, expensive inbound calls. For CFOs and COOs, “self-serve” digital touchpoints meant that they could cut call centre headcount and offshore for lower costs. But the rise in digital saw a massive increase in mobile phone and smartphone ownership – and this has changed the ways consumers interact with brands dramatically. As of 2016, over 4.7 billion people worldwide own a mobile device – that’s 63% of the entire planet’s population. (Statistica, 2017)