Does a merchant or an advertiser need a digital marketing/ad agency in addition to their normal affiliate network partner?

It definitely depends where the brand is in their life cycle. Affiliate network partners should be the driving force purely for traffic, while the agency helps set an overall tone of the advertiser’s creative vision. When agencies and networks coordinate in tandem you historically see great success – ie – deploying email drops on the network side, while an ad agency rolls out a new TV/Radio campaign can 100% help bolster the performance on the network traffic side simply by brand recognition.

If they sometimes do need both, then where is the dividing line? How should a merchant aim to split the responsibilities?

The dividing line comes down to creative. Networks should be there to help discuss campaign statistics and performance affecting traffic, while the agency takes that information to help improve the creative and landing pages.

What factors should a CMO consider when trying to decide if she should run her own media buying team, let a network buy it for her, or use a dedicated media-buying agency? How to decide?

It all depends on the CMO’s level of experience with purchasing traffic, someone with no idea where to begin but can afford to hire an agency, may see better results. It should be noted though that as an affiliate network, while Clickbooth does not outright buy traffic on behalf of our advertisers, we have created a platform that is smartly designed to provide even the newest of client ease of use. They can easily log into our self-serve platform and set up a campaign in minutes, set budgets, schedules and targeting and begin garnering traffic immediately. It is in this way Clickbooth is constantly working to evolve the industry and reduce barriers to entry for smaller businesses within performance marketing.

Put yourself in the position of a clothing or cosmetics advertiser CMO coming into the holiday season.

  • What are the main points of your plan for the next four months?
  • By how much should your media budget increase?
  • What kind of return should you expect?

As the holiday season quickly approaches some of the key points for any advertiser during the next few months should include: seasonal landing pages and creatives, increasing staff for call center/fulfillment and setting aside budget for holiday deals/incentives.

In terms of media budget, in the CPA world every sale and customer can be driven down to a finite value (hence your CPA per sale). Meaning, if you have the cash flow you should increase your marketing budget as much as financially possible during the holiday season if you are paying a CPA that is profitable. Many businesses do the bulk of their business during holiday season for entire year.

Again, when working on CPA basis, you should have your ROI dialed in with every sale made or lead driven.

Erin serves as CEO of Clickbooth overseeing strategic marketing, sales and business development, client relationship management, and new product development. Joining the company in 2007, Mrs. Cigich has provided leadership through every growth phase of the company. Erin has a degree in Advertising from the University of Florida.