With an expert understanding of the Gen Z student demographic, CJ Affiliate caught up with global student loyalty and marketing platform Student Beans. Here, Chris Mockford, Student Beans' Head of Affiliate, gives his insight on the performance marketing channel, the challenges he's witnessed over the past year, and how to leverage those insights for future growth.
What one thing do you love most about performance marketing?
It’s the most accountable channel there is. There is no hiding or subjectivity and it is very clear to see what works and what doesn’t.
There is no other channel where there is such a clear and direct correlation between a merchants advertising spend and the sales revenues generated.
Given a magic wand, what would you change about affiliate marketing?
Apps are such a dominant part of the way Gen Z behaves online - they are the primary platform for them to communicate, consume content and shop.
I’d love to see an acceleration in the number of merchants properly tracking and attributing these sales. There are huge benefits for merchants to be able to have a truly holistic view of sales being generated through affiliate marketing across all platforms including apps.
What has been the biggest change for you as a publisher during the pandemic?
Clearly the pandemic has had a huge affect on the lives and spending habits of Gen Z students. They are spending less on things like live events, transport and nights out but we have found that this spending has been redirected primarily into online shopping.
Overall during the previous lockdowns we found 45% of students increased the amount spent shopping online and 36% maintained their typical pre-Covid spend level.
We have been fortunate to maintain an exceptionally high growth rate during this period both in terms of team members (we recently passed 200!) and the number of merchant partners we work with. Ultimately this allows us to better serve our student audience.
Why is sustainability important to advertisers and publishers?
Firstly, sustainability is important because it's the right thing to do - there are so many ways we can reduce our footprints and create a longer, brighter future.
For advertisers and publishers specifically interested in engaging with Gen Z students, sustainability is a must. Our research shows that 97% of 16-24-year-olds have changed their behaviour to protect the environment, and we also know that Gen Z students’ values directly affect their spending habits. In order to stay relevant to this socially and environmentally conscious demographic, advertisers and publishers have to move with the times and embrace sustainability.
How is Student Beans helping clients overcome challenges and maintain online performance?
There are a variety of different ways Student Beans can work with merchant partners to achieve their goals. Our suite of solutions help brands to find, attract, engage and convert verified students. And that’s just the start. Our extensive network of global media touchpoints, along with our conversion optimisation tools, drive repeat purchases, building the habits that turn Gen Z into your lifelong customers.