Leveraging the Network Effect for Global Expansion

28 Jun, 2019
Written by Jacob Jeffery

Publishers and advertisers are constantly on the lookout for methods of increasing their sales or leads. From CJ Affiliate’s perspective - there are few better and faster ways of doing this than by opening yourself up to a completely new market.

Data from our network shows a staggering 96% of advertisers and publishers generating cross-border traffic. This alone should be opening the door for expansion. In most cases, though, the opportunities presented by global commerce are not being capitalised on, at least not effectively and proactively.

It’s a strange situation when considering the availability of partners like BorderX - which provides a seamless way to sell and ship products to consumers in China - on affiliate networks.

If you’re attempting the transition from single-market seller to global behemoth, you should be aware of the value of affiliate platforms, especially when building the foundations of an international presence. Here are three areas which really showcase the network effect:

  1. Domestic market strengths

Entering new territories can be difficult, especially when you have little in the way of consumer reach and local suppliers. From experience in the international affiliate space, I have seen far too many businesses ignore their negotiating strengths when it comes to building a new set of foundations.

Complementing this, the affiliate channel provides access to a strong list of partners. Both publishers and advertisers can work in mutually beneficial ways by planning media placements, at scale, across their common markets.

Not only does this unlock huge cost savings for advertisers when entering new territories, it can also give publishers new relationships that a small market share would not usually facilitate.

  1. Local market expertise

While knowledge can move across borders, there is certainly a demand for experts that understand the nuances of a given territory.

In some cases, that resource is only a few desks away. Others may have to look further afield - to their partners, or the international divisions of their affiliate network.

Publishers have the luxury of being able to connect, sometimes very seamlessly, to other areas of an advertiser’s programme. For the advertisers themselves, it pays to have a contact, through a network or otherwise, that can share insight on the expansion of similar businesses - ideal for gauging opportunities and threats.

These conversations will unearth the little details that create a big difference. For instance, you shouldn’t need us to tell you that a localised language website is vital when attracting a new audience. Still, it’s just as important to learn about preferred methods of payment, currencies and logistics if you actually want to turn some of that traffic into sales. This is where international affiliate networks with experts in multiple territories really earn their keep.

  1. Breaking barriers through centralisation

Every programme needs a cluster of engaged, high-performing affiliates to build that vital connection between products and audience. Of course, publisher recruitment can be arduous and time-consuming. It’s why advertisers look for a way of attracting lots of publishers globally, at scale, when entering additional markets.

Networks have made it easier to navigate this crucial step by providing access to thousands of partners through a single account. This prevents having to set up new contractual arrangements and logins for each region.

Those same benefits carry across to publishers, who would otherwise suffer from the administrative tornado brought on by joining multiple networks. By using one platform to connect with advertisers across the globe, the possibilities of expansion become all the more limitless.

What do I really need to know?

When exploring the different avenues of cross-border selling, publishers and advertisers should be looking into three key factors - accessibility, scalability and risk. Networks provide just one way of entering a new market. Yet, there is a domino effect within their advantages.

The availability of partners on a single platform saves time, money and effort in the recruitment phase. This is in turn limits the risk attached to entering a new market. In addition, when heading deeper into a network’s vast bank of global resources, it’s much easier to scale a programme from the ground up.

There are many ways that publishers and advertisers can tackle international expansion. However, given the need to avoid extra complication via the piecemeal recruitment of experts and partners, there is a good case at the networks’ end.

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