CJ Affiliate’s latest regional networking event took on Seattle last week.
On October 17, we hosted our Seattle-based clients at The Sole Repair Shop in the vibrant neighborhood of Capitol Hill, just east of downtown. Built in the 1900's as a shoe repair facility, the space is now transformed into a unique and rustic event venue and was the perfect setting for an evening of drinks, hors-d'oeuvres, networking, and learning.
Our panel discussion, “The Art & Science of Program Transformation,” was the highlight of the event, focusing on how Expedia as well as other global retail brands, have used influencers and data to achieve program diversity and increase market share. Moderated by Ben Kopetti, CJ Affiliate, VP Corporate Development, our speakers Katie Cammilleri, Expedia, Partner Marketing and Lindsay Alesso, CJ Affiliate, who has led content efforts for brands such as Forever21 and Nike, shared their insights on how they’ve leveraged the affiliate channel to try something new and transform it completely.
- Be Empowered by Data
Margin-driven businesses demand the most accurate info, Katie shares. Having a holistic view of partner performance across the CJ network empowered the Expedia program to become more strategic with its investment and with targeting products and offers.
- Become More Customer-Centric
Advertisers and brands have the opportunity to meet consumers at important cultural moments of discovery and research, according to Lindsay. “We can empower our partners,” adds Katie. “They can control the voice and target a specific demographic. It’s where the Publisher can really customize the storyline to connect with shoppers.”
- Redefine Brand Success
Lindsay often hears Advertisers come to the table with the expectation to succeed based on traditional affiliate metrics. She advises that success should be determined by whether it meets a pre-determined goal for the campaign. Affiliate brand ambassador campaigns are developed in collaboration with both PR and social teams. Critical components to success for influencer campaigns are clearly defined goals and proper setting of expectations. Advertisers need to understand the role that influencers play in the customer journey. Success metrics should correspond to that part of the journey—they will look more like click-through and engagement rates.
- Understand the Contribution of Influencers and Content
One of the most important things brands need to be asking, noted Katie, is what they can be doing to help the influencers land the sale. “Don’t think of content as all upper funnel," says Katie. She advises marketers to expand the way they view content and to be sure to focus on the product. Lindsay adds, “Even though I am working with content, editorial, and influencers all day long, I am still highly influenced by content on a personal level. We wouldn’t continue this strategy if we weren’t seeing the results.”
At CJ Affiliate, we strive to facilitate strategic partnerships and offer innovative technologies that allow for better business decisions and smarter investment into the affiliate channel. We were thrilled to share such a great evening with our partners and look forward to continuing these events in a city near you!