PI Live returned to the architecturally grand setting of Old Billingsgate in Central London with attendees from all walks of the performance, affiliate, and influencer marketing sector in attendance. It was certainly the place to be with over 2,000 attendees and guest speakers from a variety of backgrounds gathering to debate and discuss the most pressing topics being thrown at businesses right now and how these marketing channels can help.
A big theme of the conference was the impact of the cost of living crisis on brands, businesses and audiences. We were thrilled to attend – to see what big insights we could unlock for the loyalty industry. Here are our key take-outs for loyalty marketers everywhere.
#1. Offering real value is going to matter more than ever
A key part of affiliate and performance marketing is driving sales and acquiring and retaining customers by promoting compelling value driven offers to engage existing or attract new customers.
We will see these types of promotions and rewards become even more key over the coming months as we navigate turbulent economic times, consumers will be looking for extra value wherever possible. Offering good value rewards will be key over the coming months as consumers turn to brands for tangible value to help them through tough times. Experts from Three Mobile, The Body Shop, and PayPal all confirmed that value-driven rewards are something that should be firmly in the marketing mix currently.
Brands from across the days also flagged that the value offered needs to be very real and very tangible. Consumers are giving promotions and rewards more scrutiny, due to the cost-of-living crisis. They are really checking as to how much value brands are actually offering them. This is a key time to be authentic in the value you offer, clear with messaging and remaining genuine to consumers, as reinforced by Edith Batchelor, Senior Affiliates & Partnerships Manager at Boohoo PLC.
If you haven’t already, it will be worth refreshing your reward strategy to ensure you are getting your positioning right, offering genuine real value and maximising the opportunity whilst helping your consumers through a difficult period.
#2. Affiliate marketing will get a greater share of marketing budgets
It isn’t just consumers that are going to see their budgets tightening. As we navigate the current financial crisis, businesses will also have to tighten their belt and cut costs across various functions as they deal with consumers spending less and the rise in operating costs. One interesting point that was raise several times on panels and by guest speakers, was that affiliate marketing is likely to gain greater share of marketing budgets. This is because, used selectively, it can demonstrate stronger ROI vs other channels as it operates on PPC and CPA models, and only pays out on actual results.
Headline sponsor CJ, that leads the industry as the largest, most trusted name in global performance marketing, specialising in affiliate marketing technology and services) had their very own Beth Lawrence and Gaurav Arora sharing new insights gained from studying the consumer behaviour of 400 million global shoppers.
The results showed that affiliate ROI is bigger than ever:
- Affiliate drives 153% more revenue per shopper
- Shoppers who experience affiliate marketing are 92% more likely to convert
- Average order values are 36% higher for affiliate shoppers than non-affiliate shoppers
The full report is available to download here: CJ's updated Incrementality Report
Explore developing an affiliate strategy to create additional trackable ROI, or you have one already in place, review it to see where additional high ROI quick wins can be achieved.
#3. Smart use of segmentation, tech and content help retain members
Another theme that cropped up numerous times during the conference was the importance and value of understanding and retaining your current customers and members. It’s always been important; in the current climate it’s now business critical.
3 key retention techniques were discussed at length:
- The use of smart segmentation and targeting is critical to understand, serve and retain customers. Segmentation should combine attitudinal and behavioural factors. This will enable programmes to offer more relevant rewards and communications and therefore retain members better.
- Using technology smarter to help brands achieve their objectives was a second key technique. Referral and advocacy were explored. Referral company Mention Me’s CEO Andy Cockburn’s talk on Day 2, giving insight into how brands such as PUMA, Charlotte Tilbury and Farfetch are future-proofing growth through customer advocacy. Their technology gives brands valuable insight into how to engage customers and build lifetime value better.
- The final technique discussed was the use of simple and relevant content for engagement. Sneaker marketplace Sole founder and CEO George Sullivan shared how the brand uses content to maximise engagement. Tech has come a long way aiding marketing activity, but the desire for a human element will always be there. Sole said they have seen brilliant results from the use of simple, engaging, relevant content, really investing in building their community and their relationship with their customers.
In summary, PI Live 2022 was full of great insight as to how brands and loyalty programmes can best use performance, affiliate, and influencer marketing, as well as tech and segmentation, to navigate the current cost-of-living crisis, whilst achieving customer, business and brand objectives.
Oscar Finch is a Senior Partnerships & Relationships Manager at Mando-Connect. Charlie Hills CLMP is the Managing Director & Head of Strategy at Mando-Connect and a featured contributor to Wise Marketer.