What are your two or three key performance marketing-related predictions for 2016?

1.    New Customer Focus – as retail affiliate marketing continues to mature, brands will be even more intensely focused on new customer acquisition and give preference to the affiliates that can bring them. Affiliate managers and OPMs will need to streamline the new-customer reconciliation process – to sort out which affiliates played what role in journey to the shopping cart. This involves crosschecking affiliate ID tracking software against the brand’s internal new-customer tracking software to determine actual value.

2.    Attribution – We will see commissions being lowered for “cart closers” – those affiliates whose last- click cookies claim the sale when a customer leaves their cart to look for a coupon and then comes back to finalize their transaction. Brands are increasingly reporting that they feel these kinds of affiliates do not add tremendous value. The biggest trend will be brands migrating away from the networks that do not provide detailed, customizable attribution modules in favor of the networks that do.

3.    Social Comes of Age – New software services are constantly being developed and launched that provide very valuable, comprehensive tracking statistics that to show the exact performance and costs of social media campaigns. These innovations show the maturing of this marketing method into the hard and fast numbers game that marketers need and expect.

About Linda Woods

Linda Woods is the managing director of MadrivoOPM. Linda is a 15-year veteran of the affiliate marketing industry who is widely recognized as the founder of the outsourced program management (OPM) movement. She is known in the industry as “Affiliate Goddess” and as the former CEO of PartnerCentric. Linda and her teams have managed affiliate programs for hundreds of brands including eBay, Motorcycle Superstore, 21st Century Insurance, Quicken Loans, and Wynn Las Vegas.