mThink Blue Ribbon Panel Member, Jackie Bates, recently sat down with Revenue to discuss advertiser focal points for 2017, the ShareASale acquisition and ASW17. 


What should an advertiser using performance marketing be thinking about in 2017? 

I believe there are 3 top advertiser initiatives for 2017:

Brand Equity

As we see content production increasing at a significant rate, a company’s brand equity becomes an all-important factor in attracting its target consumer—a consumer widely inundated and socially connected in today’s online world. An advertiser’s brand must hold authority value and differentiation. An advertiser must diligently work to earn trust and a solid reputation. Influencer marketing and strategic content marketing are effective ways an advertiser can meet this challenge. eMarketer suggests influencer marketing is easily a multi-billion dollar industry right now and growing. Look for more networks to innovate with technologies enabling influencer marketers to elevate brand equity on a performance basis and across more platforms (think offline as well), as advertisers build more of these relationships.


Without insights into how various affiliate partnerships contribute to a sale along the purchase path, advertisers are operating in the dark and often rewarding only a fraction of the affiliates contributing to a sale. Advertisers need insights into their affiliate’s contribution at each stage through the funnel. Greater accuracy in determining the value of each partnership is a necessary first step before an advertiser can properly incentivize and reward their partners and ultimately optimize and grow the channel.

Network Evaluation

How is your network enabling influencers to easily adapt to the AM model and promote your campaign using their unique social marketing strategies? Does your network enable sophisticated attribution modeling? How is your network enabling you to track consumers and sales across multiple devices and browsers? Moreover, is your network innovating with technologies that promote growth in these key areas in 2017 and beyond?

With network acquisitions and consolidation, this evaluation becomes particularly challenging as lines become blurred between what was and what now is available. Solutions vary widely. Advertisers must understand these differences and think critically about which technologies and solutions best meet their own unique needs.

What were your takeaways from ASW?

Influencer marketing continues to trend upward. With ever growing online content and social connectivity, brands need a compelling voice to have an impact. Innovative technologies, like LinkConnector’s Naked Coupons that enable the reach and creativity of influencer and social marketing, are increasingly important. Other trending technologies in support of influencer marketing include cross device and platform tracking. As consumers operate across more devices and browsers, advertisers need 360 degree tracking capabilities to accurately attribute sales to affiliate partners.

Beyond tech, Affiliate Summit sessions often bring attention to the hustle and tenacity necessary to succeed (even survive) in our fast-paced, output-heavy industry.

With over 6,000 in attendance, a quick search on #ASW17 shows the conference’s phenomenal networking opportunities, educational sessions, industry parties and extravagant exhibit halls. Snoop Dogg was in the house, and Topgolf, the venue for the ASW speaker party, gained widespread buzz (it is now on my 2017 must-do list).

What does Affiliate Window’s acquisition of ShareASale mean for the rest of the industry? 

The ShareASale and Affiliate Window acquisition is particularly exciting as it adds to the cogent evidence for the fortitude and global demand of the affiliate marketing (AM) industry. The acquisition attests to the effectiveness of the AM channel in driving digital marketing growth for e-retailers.

Also, unique from other recent acquisitions in our industry, the SaS acquisition is representative of promising opportunity for smaller, private players in the AM space. Networks with strong ethics, innovation and brand equity prove to have a competitive advantage, no matter their size. The AM space does not belong exclusively to the network giants. Check out Brian Littleton’s personal words on the acquisition.

This interview was originally found on the mThink website here.

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