back to all blogs

The year is winding down but our sights are set on Affiliate Summit West (ASW), specifically, Jan. 7, 2018 at 2:30 p.m. when Todd Crawford, Impact Radius’ co-founder and VP, Strategic Initiatives moderates a must-see panel Affiliates to Partnerships: How Large Brands are Innovating.

ASW attendees will hear from an all-star panel that includes Ashwin Krishnan, Head of Online Partnerships, Airbnb; Ashlee Vega, Sr. Mgr of Affiliates & Display, Adidas; Keith Posehn, Performance Partnerships, Uber; and Coady Demuri, Affiliate Marketing Coordinator, Levi’s. These brands will discuss innovations, challenges, and opportunities in partner marketing, plus discussion topics include partner recruitment, program growth strategies, commission structures, and using data to your advantage.

In advance of the panel, we checked in with some of the panelists to find out what’s on their minds as we sail into 2018:  

What do you see as the biggest opportunities in affiliate/partner marketing for 2018?

The biggest opportunity for Levi’s in 2018 is content partners/social media influencers. We have just begun dipping our toes into that space and are already seeing great success from it. The trick is modifying KPIs for different types of partners. Influencers will bring in the revenue and traffic, regardless of whether or not we’re in a promotional period, but it will happen over a longer period of time than a coupon or deal site. Coupon and deal sites are great for quick conversion for shoppers who need that last push to buy, and typically you see the return on that investment immediately. Influencers are great for bringing in loyal shoppers who will keep coming back and are willing to spend more on pieces that are unique, special, and speak to their style.

—Coady Demuri, Affiliate Marketing Coordinator, Levi’s

Program growth is our biggest area of opportunity for the affiliate marketing arm in Adidas North America. We’ve treated the past few years as setting a clean base, now is our time to expand and stretch our ROI expectations. With any growth period comes a tremendous amount of testing and learning, and I am not afraid to do this. Our particular focus will be in growing our content base – we see tremendous value with sneakerheads, blogs, and micro-influencers. This also marries very well to our brand guidelines and overall tone of voice. However, I also see great opportunity within the mobile space. How are publishers approaching mobile? Is anyone thinking outside the box? How can we tap into our newly launched shopping app?

—Ashlee Vega, Sr. Mgr of Affiliates & Display, Adidas

The biggest opportunity is defining mobile beyond the original CPI/CPA space. It’s about adding value to the user experience through clear, relevant content, and functionality that drives incremental usage. We are leading the way here with several partnerships.

—Keith Posehn, Head of Performance Partnerships, Uber

What’s on your wish list for 2018 – an idea you really want to implement but haven’t so far?

For 2018 I have very different wish lists for both of the brands I work on. For Dockers, I want to explore new partners that we haven’t tapped yet. Male-focused, tech-focused partners seem to resonate with our guy and we need to capitalize on that. For Levi’s, I want to dig deeper into the influencer space and turn our brand awareness and brand plays into revenue-driving tactics.

Something on the wish list for both brands is affiliate-exclusive offers that are different than our traditional site-wide promos – whether that’s offering a discount on a specific product, partner-specific promo codes, or giveaways. I’m really excited to start thinking outside the box and expanding our affiliate program even more.

—Coady Demuri, Affiliate Marketing Coordinator, Levi’s

2018 is all about global scale and growing our partner base, along with helping set a new series of standards in the industry. There’s a huge green-field opportunity as more and more companies realize they need affiliate marketing but they don’t know how to do it. We can redefine it and really change it for the better! That excites me.

—Keith Posehn, Head of Performance Partnerships, Uber

Mobile is a large initiative for us in 2018 and is a bit of a new territory with our newly launched shopping app. I want to build a program of support ranging from CPI campaigns to retention goals. I’m also eager for us to roll out varying commissions by tactic. Most recently we’ve experimented with new vs. returning purchase commissioning. This will feed well into a new attribution model that will be coming to life in 2018. Finally, I’d like to see some cohesion with all of the Adidas markets. We’ve seen some of our publishers are present in America and Western Europe. How do we create one cohesive voice? How do we create one cohesive tracking link? And the list goes on and on.

—Ashlee Vega, Sr. Mgr of Affiliates & Display, Adidas

What was your biggest learning in 2017?

The biggest learning was around how to scale and gauge the real value of our partnerships. Everyone needs to remember that it’s a two-way street and it takes time to build trust on both sides. We’ve had our own missteps but overall, I believe our program and publisher bases are much stronger than ever before.

—Keith Posehn, Head of Performance Partnerships, Uber

That it is 100% acceptable to fail, but we must fail quickly. This ranges from testing new partnerships, to excluding commissionable products (that may not need excluding), to technical limitations.

—Ashlee Vega, Sr. Mgr of Affiliates & Display, Adidas

What’s a brand (besides yours) that’s doing a great job in partner marketing, and why?

Two of them! Airbnb and Houzz have both gotten off to a great start. I’ve been impressed with their commitment and their willingness to push the definition of what ‘affiliate’ marketing means in new ways.

—Keith Posehn, Head of Performance Partnerships, Uber

So as you’re making plans for ASW, setting up meetings, and carving out time to socialize, be sure to attend the panel Affiliates to Partnerships: How Large Brands Are Innovating to gain insights and learn best practices from the high profile brands on the panel. It’s January 7, 2018 at 2:30 p.m.

And if you’re looking to learn more or catch up on industry news, please visit the Impact Radius and Forensiq booths #440 and #438 Jan. 8 and 9 at the Paris in Las Vegas. 

Happy New Year!

back to all blogs