March Madness Isn’t Over: Are You Betting On the Right Kinds of Partners?
The excitement of March Madness is still with us — even though April is here. For most sports fans, brackets have long been busted, but now is a good time to consider some other odds. That is, are you betting on the right kinds of partners in your program?
Just as with March Madness, there are so many things to consider when choosing what players — or in this case, partners — to put your support behind. How will a particular partner affect your current marketing mix? Where along the customer journey does that particular partner fall?
An influencer, for example, is very good at starting conversations at the beginning of a journey. So, to compensate influencers appropriately, a first-click model might be necessary. On the other hand, if you’re working with a loyalty site that expects a certain amount of commission, your flexibility might be diminished and you’ll have to keep that in mind as you align compensation.
Here are three ways to make sure you choose the right partners for a winning game:
1. Don’t place your bets without the best data to fill out your bracket.
The real winners who bet on March Madness are the ones who make their picks with the deepest, best data, with true insights about who is playing better. Are you someone who simply fills out your bracket with the top seeds? Or do you incorporate personal details about players (was that point guard sick last week?) as well as in-depth team trends across the season? The same is true when it comes to choosing the right partners. Most brands typically do day-to-day performance reporting, including clicks, conversions and impressions, to help make their most educated partner decisions. For the big win, you need to see the entire consumer journey with full visibility, so you can measure incrementality effectively. The richer the data, the better informed your decisions will be.
2. Know how all your channels play against each other.
You can’t make bets on who the winning team will be without seeing the entire team — and how they play against all the other teams, too. In the same way, you can’t drive a truly incremental program without knowing how all of your channels play against each other and how your partnership program plays into marketing spend across channels. With the right automated platform to provide trusted, real-time measurement of performance and spend across channels, you’re not just seeing individual “player” stats when it comes to your partners. Instead, you’re gaining a deep understanding of who they interact with on the court.
3. Going after the top players isn’t necessarily going after the best players.
Sure, everyone hopes to find the next LeBron James for their winning team. But the team with the top player doesn’t necessarily win the NCAA tournament. There are dozens of other factors that go into creating a team that works well together and wins. The same is true when it comes to choosing the right high-performing partners: Going after the simply “famous” or big name influencers, for example, doesn’t necessarily mean going after the best influencers for your brand. Just because a partner looks good on paper doesn’t mean that partner will resonate with your audience or fit in with your specific messaging. With today’s rich partnership universe, casting a wide net and then watching the performance of your partners, you may discover the true diamonds in the rough — perhaps micro-influencers, brand-to-brand partners, or applications you never knew existed but that you should focus on.
March Madness may be coming to an end, but the lessons learned will guide you towards improving your strategic partnership picks, so you can keep growing and expanding your program all year long. By managing partnerships in one central hub, with a holistic view of the customer journey and ability to measure every aspect of performance, you can make sure you place your bets on a sure thing.
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