When discussing how the ongoing pandemic could influence performance marketing, I think it’s important to first recognize the potential complexity of that influence. By that I mean consumers, affiliates, advertisers, and networks are all likely to be impacted differently and to varying degrees. The way they’re individually affected also inherently impacts their relationship with each other.
However, what’s reassuring is that the fundamentals of this industry are likely to remain a constant. That’s partly because performance marketing can provide a vital e-commerce service during this pandemic. The biggest caveat to that would be if supply chains and/or postal services were to be disrupted by an increase in preventive measures. Thankfully, things have yet to escalate to that point.
Although we’re still in the early stages of this virus’ impact, our affiliates’ earnings and our overall network performance continue to trend upward. Some verticals like travel have obviously dropped off while others like financial, computer security, and home-fitness have surged, but it’s largely been status quo for our network.
Long-term, there’s bound to be change. Luckily, our network and this industry have had a lot of practice when it comes to adapting. There’s also potential for that change to be beneficial in some ways. For advertisers, performance marketing could become a more attractive advertising opportunity. Brands that are now budget-wary will want a constant, measurable return on their advertising dollars. A pay-per-performance pricing model would give them the ability to easily control their spending. That could become a top priority for companies who lost revenue due to lockdowns.
Disposable income may decrease for many consumers who’ve been negatively affected by the pandemic’s economic impact. However, there’s also likely to be an increase in the total quantity of online consumers.
Temporary closures of brick and mortar businesses are going to force some consumers to utilize e-commerce services for the first time. The more consumers that migrate permanently to online shopping, the greater the chance that a larger consumer base emerges once the pandemic comes to an end. If that were to happen, affiliates could greatly benefit from having more store shoppers transform into online shoppers.
During the 2008 recession, we discovered that many verticals continue to perform well despite online consumers being forced to tighten their budgets. Financial services and impulse products are two prime examples. Although the complications of this current pandemic will present different economic challenges than 12 years ago, we believe there’s a good chance we’ll see a similar trend.
The “what ifs” will eventually transform into actual change. Although we can make educated predictions, it’s difficult to pinpoint exactly what that will look like before it happens. Until then, our goal is to continue to provide a stable, secure, and unwavering network experience while we help our clients adapt to this unprecedented time.