Once again, industry research indicates that partnerships may make businesses more resilient in a crisis. Results from a 2020 IAB survey of the Australian affiliate and partnership industry show partnerships as a stabilizing force in an uncertain business environment.
The IAB and its Affiliate and Partnership Marketing Working Group published this third annual industry review to explore business perceptions and plans for the affiliate channel among brands and agencies in Australia. The survey took place during October and November of 2020, and respondents comprised more than 130 advertisers and agencies working in the affiliate space.
The results show that affiliate partnerships continued to grow even amid the uncertainty brought about by COVID-19 and resulting lockdowns. More than 60% of survey participants actually saw an increase in affiliate spend during 2020, and 70% of those brands saw an overall increase in business. Notably, 68% recorded increased revenue through the affiliate channel specifically.
Affiliates are a safe harbor
Sam Morton, Impact Account Director in Sydney, is a member of the IAB working group. He saw the relatively high performance of Australian businesses participating in the affiliate partnership ecosystem as confirmation of trends seen elsewhere.
“Affiliate partnerships have a number of characteristics that appear to make them more resilient and sustainable in difficult economic times,” he says. “When both advertisers and consumers are feeling conservative with budgets, the partnership channel can provide a safe haven because of its pay-for-performance model. Risks are low for brands who can spend on a CPA basis and know partners are accountable for results; and deals, cashback, and other discounts are going to be especially compelling for shoppers.”
Advertisers see good value
A large majority of the survey’s respondents rated affiliates high for ROI, and 63% of respondents rated the channel a 7 out of 10 or higher for customer acquisition. Respondents also reported that reward partners, including cashback and loyalty/points programs, are the most valued type of affiliate partnership in their programs.