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Groupon decides to handle affiliate marketing on its own

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The latest action by Groupon in its aspiration to become a local commerce default network is going into ad tech waters. The company just recently launched Groupon Partner Network, a new avenue that will be used to manage all the affiliate marketing for the company with relation to deals and additional products that it sells. Distinct from other initiatives from the company, such as mobile payments, the Groupon Partner Network has achieved worldwide treatment since its launch. The company has rolled out all over at least 10,000 publishers for content in 34 nations so as to help advertise the Groupon deals, services and products.

Groupon decides to handle affiliate marketing on its ownSean Smyth, the Vice President Groupon’s global partner marketing and business development says that he that for anything that they seek to do with Groupon, they have their eyes set on what they can do to scale the heights internationally. He adds that with the building of the platform which their publishers can use globally, they will be able to share the best practices internationally instead of every country being grouped on its own.

Affiliate marketing is a profitable area for Groupon, with Smyth saying the company currently sets in motion and publicizes offers to users which include site search, email, and mobile notifications alongside others. He also said that the affiliate marketing has the highest conversion rate but the company did not want to reveal how much they rake in from this area. Nonetheless, the fact that it is currently the top-performing company’s marketing channels, it is not a surprise that it would want to continue expanding this avenue and have more control over it.

This is not the first time that Groupon is venturing into affiliate marketing. According to Smyth, the company has been involved in it since 2009. However, the company had until now just been running similar programs on a national basis only and by the use of third parties such as Commission Junction in United States and Vannox in Europe. The company is now positioning itself to become a distributor by use of retargeting and other tools for publishing, for instance the capability to choose deals by category so as to display Groupon offers which are more related to their sites.

The move by the company will at the end mean that it pays a smaller amount to the 3rd parties every time a user purchases a deal. The company is also promising the move will mean, at least for now, that the publishers who chose to become Groupon’s partners for affiliate marketing will get better returns. The platform is also offering some kind of dashboard to the partners that include immediate reports to help with tracking how the deals for the affiliates are performing. This is a feature that could create diverse widgets for linking through the company’s deals and access to the APIs of the company so as to incorporate deeper to a site. However, there is still a long way to go as currently, the network just covers mainly the popular blogs, websites and apps. In the long-term, it will lay the foundation for what the company may ultimately make use of the platform for promotion of services outer those of its own.

Majority of business owners in the UK don’t comprehend affiliate marketing

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A research that was conducted by the Optimus Performance Marketing has established that two thirds of medium to small business owners in the United Kingdom do not understand what affiliate marketing is. In the research, only a third of the respondents who were interviewed gave an accurate description. This comes despite a research that was conducted by PWC and Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB) and published at the start of the year and revealed that the industry’s performance is worth 9 billion pounds.

Optimus Performance MarketingHelen Southgate, the United Kingdom managing director at affilinet says that in the past, the small businesses have had a tendency to shy away from affiliate marketing due to the perception that it is complicated. She however differs with this saying it is everything else but complicated and all you just need to have the right information on how to manage the program in the best way. She adds that affiliate marketing is a very efficient and quantifiable way of increasing the sales in order to grow your business in a sustainable manner.

Tradedoubler regional director, Dan Cohen, says he is still surprised that even with the proven affiliate marketing sector’s power, there still exist some business owners who do not take advantage of the method to increase their sales. Tradedoubler made over €3.5 billion in additional revenue for the clients in 2012. This is proof that the method indeed works. Cohen says that the statistics reveal that the industry needs more education within the SMEs. Eleanor Pickering, who is the advertising development’s head at Commission Junction in UK, also echoes this view saying that just like the other areas in the online marketing industry, there is need to continue educating the businesses, particularly the SMEs, so as to ensure that they become aware of the benefits they can reap from affiliate marketing. She says that if the survey conducted is accurate, it shows that the market has still a long way to go. She however adds that the affiliate networks and the IAB Affiliate Marketing Council were working to ensure that the industry is easier to fund and it is more recognizable.

John Weeks, Ve Interactive’s senior partnership manager, says that the findings of the survey are not surprising as the continued growth of the performance channels has led to questions from the highest organization levels. According to him, the lack of knowledge on the matter of affiliate marketing comes from the senior management and it may be as a result of an offline background among these people. He however adds that even some people in the management who have online experience do not understand affiliate marketing. As a remedy, he recommends that businesses start including affiliate marketing in their digital marketing strategies, particularly if they are seeking to expand their business globally.

The affiliate manager for DigitasLBI, Rachael Spowart, says that it would be hard to dispute the findings of Optimus with regards to affiliate marketing saying that the lack of understanding is something they also face as an agency. She says that the research emphasizes the need to educate leaders of businesses about the performance model’s benefits and the nature of the affiliate marketing industry.