As the consumer media environment evolves, every marketer needs to find new ways of reaching and connecting with people. One area that has become nicreasingly popular is performance-based partner marketing. With this form of marketing, a brand works with another entity (another brand, publisher, influencer, etc.) to drive site traffic and sales. When a person makes a purchase, the referring partner receives a commission or bounty for their efforts.

Here are six key must-knows for CMOs interested in partnerships.


Partnerships operate on a performance-based revenue model, meaning that the brand or influencer is paid only when a sale gets made. That provides an outstanding incentive for performance. Further, partners often have well established equities and reputations that engender consumer trust. A recommendation from a trustworthy ‘someone’ or ‘something’ often goes down very well with prospects.


There are many different kinds of companies you can work with as partners. Affiliate publishers are perhaps the most common, and many can deliver strong volume and revenue. But affiliates are just the beginning. Influencers are becoming increasingly popular as a marketing and publicity channel. While brands often think of uber celebs like Kim Kardashian as go-to influencers, there are also thousands of “micro influencers” -- experts on topics like tech or fashion -- who can drive strong sales in many categories. Loyalty communities make up a third category, and channel partners or resellers are increasingly common as well. Finally, a growing number of brands are working with other brands to co-promote products and services.

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