Earlier this month, Jennifer Kok of affiliateblogger.nl hosted an affiliate marketing masterclass where we had the opportunity to learn and network with some of the biggest Dutch brands and publishers. They discussed the future of affiliate marketing, including some of the most powerful tools they use and the key trends that may have significant impact on 2018. In this post, we’ll take a look at three takeaways that jumped out of the excellent presentations and slapped me right in the face.
- The Netherlands is a breeding ground for innovation.
The Dutch market has always been a leader in the affiliate industry, so it comes as no surprise to see so much innovation coming out of the Netherlands. But what was surprising was that innovation is coming from so many different corners of the industry. We heard from:
- Publishers who were using innovative ways to reach new customers for the brands they were advertising on behalf of
- Technology partners who enabled publishers to connect more instantaneously with brands and their products
- Agencies who were attempting to solve one of the affiliate industry’s biggest dilemmas – attribution.
Typically, we see advertisers driving innovation, so in a market as mature as Netherlands, it was refreshing to see so many pieces of the affiliate puzzle trying to eliminate roadblocks in the performance industry.
- Affiliate marketing is everywhere. Literally, everywhere.
Affiliate marketing was once confined to the less traveled corners of the web. Consumers used to have to really dig around the web to get that sweet “free next day delivery when you spend over £250” offer. Now, affiliate marketing is moving onto center stage — an integral part of so many brands’ efforts. It’s now everywhere. From being
able to shop instantly through videos to becoming an integral part of one of the world’s largest social media networks and its influencers, affiliate marketing is starting to appear in more and more parts of our day to day lives. That means brands and partners should look to how they can leverage that consumer availability to drive growth.
- Control is possible, you just have to take it.
Dutch brands and publishers are driving the trend towards taking more control over their affiliate activity. Publishers are being more selective over the brands they advertise, smarter with the data they collect, and more effective in how they use that to drive repeat business. But who says controlling relationships have to be one way? Not I my friends, not I. Nor do those forward-thinking Dutch marketers we’ve come to respect so highly. One big trend we’ve noticed in recent years is the move from outsourced networks to in-house affiliate management. Marketers are taking control of not only those top partner relationships but also their potential missed opportunities by looking at the robustness of their programs and the benefits that future-proofing can provide. In this area, the Dutch are ahead of the curve, and it really gets the strategic juices flowing when you see such an important market embracing this important trend.
In summary, Holland is a dynamic hub of innovation, and without being too blunt, many across the international scene have some catching up to do. Advertisers are moving towards API tracking. Publishers are constantly seeking new ways to attract valuable consumers. Entrepreneurs are finding and capitalising on lucrative innovation gaps… Look out for 2018, there are some exciting things coming.