Mike McNerney, Senior Director of Strategic Alliances, has had a byline published in MarTech Advisor. Mike writes about how the evolving partnership channel is driving more sales than ever for leading brands and this creates a huge incremental revenue opportunity for their agency partners. He outlines several ways agencies can drive value for brands already working with them. Here is an excerpt from Mike's article:
Partnerships are driving a higher percentage of sales than ever before for today’s leading brands, and that creates a tremendous incremental revenue opportunity for their agency partners. For those that are looking to expand and deepen the strategic value that they provide to their clients, it’s time to invest in the expertise and services required to drive results in this channel. A recent survey of 1,200 global business leaders found that 95 percent of companies currently leverage revenue-driving partnerships to drive customer acquisition and/or incremental purchases. Meanwhile, 56 percent of brand marketers surveyed said the channel drives more than 20 percent of total company sales, and 24 percent said it drives more than 30 percent. Given figures like this, and the strategic attention that the partnerships channel is now receiving among senior management teams across the country, it’s only natural that brands are going to be looking for partners that can support this channel’s growth.
At the same time, the partnerships channel is evolving in ways that further lend itself to agency participation and leadership. The barriers to building and operating partnerships have fallen. Automated commissioning, payments, and terms and conditions remove barriers to managing, growing, and better monetizing strategic partnerships.
And, as the affiliate industry shifts away from blind networks with limited reporting, agencies demonstrate more value to brands. Like most other channels, data is the key to growth and competitive advantage. For those agencies looking to deepen their strategic alignment with clients around partnerships, there are several straightforward ways to drive unique value.
Agencies have always been good at finding the right media partners. Partnership expands on that key competency, but it’s a little different. Partnerships typically operate on a cost per acquisition basis. There are a host of affiliates who have always operated this way. And new opportunities exist at legacy content brands and other brands feeling the squeeze from the digital giants. Anyone with a website and data can be a partner.
As partnerships continue to drive more revenue for brands and evolve beyond basic affiliate arrangements, many brands have an expertise gap. Agencies represent a natural ally in this respect, and those that on-board and develop the needed expertise internally will find that such resources can benefit a wide spectrum of clients.
Agencies can play a key role in more aggressive recruitment of partners for their brand clients. Partner marketing is still a very relationship-driven business. In that way, it is the antithesis of the programmatic RTB world. Just because partnerships are pay-for-performance does not mean you can just flip a switch. There is a ton of blocking and tackling that needs to be done to build a strong program. But, agencies need to start looking beyond the typical publishers to differentiate their offerings.
Read the rest of the article in MarTechAdvisor.