Cashback sites a winner for SMEs

Cashback sites a winner for SMEs Post Featured image

Affiliate industry publisher Hello Partner recently reported, after analysing all their member data, that Cashback publishers were te biggest moneymakers for SMEs last year.

Update from our CEO


It is hard to believe that we are at the half-way mark of 2024. The first half of this year started off slow but steady and we have been fortunate to sign up several new advertisers and programs.

The most common e-commerce mistakes – and how to avoid them


There is estimated to be about 26.5 million e-commerce sites across the globe currently. 27% of the global population shop online. The growth rate of retail eCommerce sales is absolutely astounding and it’s not slowing down any time soon, with global eCommerce predicted to exceed $8.1 trillion by 2026.

Privacy please!

Privacy in digital marketing

Privacy please! The world of Martech (marketing technology) is developing at a breakneck pace. Marketers can bearly keep up with the rate at which new technologies and solutions are coming into the market. From video & audio to AI, the Metaverse, Web3 (crypto) and the rise of marketing fortresses (think Amazon, FB, Tiktok, Instagram), competition for eyeballs and consumer dollars is stiff indeed. But the word that is likely to rise to the top of the priority pyramid in 2022 is undoubtedly Privacy. Whether you are an advertiser or a consumer, we’ve all been there. We’ve signed up for a newsletter with a company we like/trust or want to buy from, and the next day we get emails from companies we’ve never even heard of, using personal information we never gave them. We don’t like it. Or you want to buy some coffee pods for your morning cuppa, but in turn, the sales lady needs your cell number, ID etc. WHAT?? That’s too much information. We don’t like it. Each year we grow more and more suspicious, and every time we hear about a data leak or a hack, our trust goes down even further. Because of the way data has been treated in the past, consumers have become angry, confused and suspicious. We want a personalised experience without personal infringement. This will be the biggest challenge for marketers in 2022. Marketers need to be or become mini data scientists in today’s tech-driven world. They must be prepared to invest and get the right tech in place to develop its first-party data (the data a customer shares with you directly). Customers want brands to have this data and want them to use it to personalize experiences. They don’t want brands to share it with others. Of course, there will always be those who won’t share data at all. For that, mass personalization is still a viable strategy: tailoring experiences, content, ads, and products to known segments of consumers. That delivers a “personalized” experience feeling without requiring the data that true personalization requires. Delivering it successfully demands new skills, however. There is no doubt that marketers have their work cut out for them. The focus will need to shift towards building their own audiences and communities and embracing new types of data using intent-based solutions. As we head towards more privacy-focused advertising, contextual targeting has become one of the main viable ways to reach a target audience, and thanks to technological advancements, the solution has become much more scalable. Those who do the best job at integrating these contextual tools with the entire programmatic ecosystem will ultimately be the most successful. Happy selling! The Publisher Management Team All Interviews and Insights Industry News CEO's Thoughts Interviews and Insights Why Black Friday 2022 will differ from before 26 Oct 2022 Why Black Friday 2022 will differ from before Despite current downturns in the economy, evidence shows that the e-commerce industry is picking up and going back to pre-pandemic… Read More CEO's Thoughts Never stop marketing 26 Oct 2022 Never stop marketing There’s a LOT going on in the world right now. This is not a political piece, yet it is diffiult to ignore the world-shaping events… Read More Interviews and Insights Interview with Sandra Jardim, Blogger/Founder of MammaBearLove 26 Oct 2022 Interview with Sandra Jardim, Blogger/Founder of MammaBearLove Our October profile is Sandra Jardim, mom to twins Gisela and Alaia and blogger/owner of MammaBearLove. She uses her blog as… Read More Prev123Next

Why affiliate marketing is right for SME’s


As a small or medium enterprise, navigating the digital advertising landscape can be daunting and budgets are likely tight. Small businesses do not always have a dedicated marketing team to promote their business. Affiliate marketing offers a cost-effective, low risk and efficient way to drive more traffic to your business and increase profits. However, while having a terrific affiliate marketing network is a huge advantage for small businesses, you still need to be selective in who you choose. Rather than accepting everyone into your program, it is best to have a vetting process in place. In the same way that an ecommerce search marketing strategy impacts your brand’s visibility, your affiliates also impact your brand image and reputation. This is often where a reputable affiliate network company can help. Not only will they assist in finding publishers relevant to your offer/product, but they will also do all the checks to eliminate illegitimate sites and potential fraudulent traffic. A network should also provide transparent, real-time reporting on your affiliate program, assist with uploading creatives and content, and deal with the invoicing and payment of publishers on your behalf. You can of course run your own inhouse affiliate program, but you will need to allocate resources towards this and make sure you do your homework. Much like the search engine strategies used in ecommerce, affiliate marketing will help increase your product exposure and increase sales. Here’s a rundown of its benefits: Boost brand awareness. Every business’s online goal is to be easily recognized by as many potential buyers as possible. As affiliates drive more traffic to your website, they increase awareness of your brand and its reach. Because affiliates earn a share of your revenue, they have a vested interest in your success, are loyal brand advocates, and help build trust with potential customers. Broaden your targeted audience. Small businesses can tap into the audience of their affiliates and, as a result, expand their brand’s reach. These new audiences might not have been easy to target and identify using other marketing and advertising methods. By selecting affiliates who resonate with your brand, you ensure that the traffic you receive through an affiliate’s link will be targeted to those who find your products or services useful. Up your conversion rates. The ability to track how your business performs enables you to make operational improvements in the future. By collecting data from affiliate marketing tracking, companies can gain essential insights into where their customers come from and why they are buying. Studying and analyzing the rich collection of data helps companies improve conversions by making changes to their website, offering more engaging visual creatives, and identifying which affiliates bring in the most revenue. Save money. When compared to the costs of advertising or other marketing initiatives, affiliate marketing is far more cost-effective. Because it is performance-based, affiliates are only paid when they generate a sale. Businesses set up the commission structure in advance and avoid wasting money on ineffective advertising campaigns. Increase ROI. The performance-based model of affiliate marketing is built for profitability. Businesses are not paying for potential buyers through impressions or clicks, only for closed sales. This is one of the primary reasons small businesses choose to utilize affiliates to promote and sell their products or services. By channeling your promotion efforts through an affiliate program, you are gaining influence and direct access to a receptive, highly targeted audience more likely to buy from your company. Happy selling! The Publisher Team

Change, they say, is the only constant


Welcome back! (although it feels strange to be saying this in early March). The last two months have felt oddly familiar being back in lockdown, home schooling the kids (again), and no social gatherings. Not the start to the year we had imagined. And yet, there are positives to be taken out of difficult situations. Change is certainly one of them. While our natural instinct is to rebel against change, the last year has taught me to embrace it. News from my side is that we are seeing a gradual uptick in the performance marketing/affiliate side of the business with several new campaigns coming on board the last few weeks. The travel industry remains under a lot of strain and it will be a while yet before international travel picks up, but with vaccines being delivered and rolled out I am positive we will see a change in the coming months. Meanwhile local travel has picked up as South Africans get tired of sitting at home. We are so fortunate to have wide, open spaces where we can distance and be safe while enjoying the outdoors and switch off the screens for a while. We have also settled in nicely into our beautiful new office space in Paardevlei in Somerset West. It is a move we have been considering for a while, and perhaps it was lockdown and working from home that gave us the nudge we needed since it showed us a) how much time can be wasted on unnecessary commuting, b) how flexible people can be in adapting to new circumstances and c) how important face-to-face interaction is. Although most aspects of a business can be managed electronically, a lot can get lost in the world of two-dimensional  Zoom meetings. So, we are all very happy to be back – social distancing, sanitisation and all! We continue to grow our media consultancy arm and are currently in the process of hiring another Digital Account Manager to assist the team in running our FB and Google Ad accounts. If you know anyone who may be interested please ask them to look at the job description on our Careers page. I also have some exciting news about the digital media side of the business which is in the final stages of implementation – I hope to be able to announce this in our April edition so watch this space! As always feel free to drop any comments or feedback to me at Onwards and upwards! Daniel Gross – CEO

How 2020 has changed Digital Marketing


2020 and the emergence of COVID-19 has altered the way we all live and work, including the world of Digital Marketing. While the pandemic’s full impact is still to be determined, its effects on Digital Marketing has been profound as people increasingly go online to meet their day-to-day needs. From SEO to the way businesses interact with consumers, the script is being rewritten for better and for worse. The way we interact with each other has significantly changed, so it doesn’t come as a surprise that companies also need to change how they interact with customers. From giving back to the community by offering free services to putting a positive emphasis on marketing messaging, most businesses have had to shift their digital strategy in order to adjust to this new world order. For many companies who hadn’t already gone online, 2020 was the ‘point of no return’. With customers spending more time online than ever and looking for information and safer ways to shop, online is now a ‘must have’ even for services industries. 2020 has profoundly changed online consumer behaviour. For lunch or dinner options, instead of searching for restaurants closest to our locations, we are searching for delivery options. We are more online than ever before. Online appointments are now the norm for many businesses. Online meetings and Zoom calls are on the rise while face-to-face interactions are on the decline due to the COVID-19 crisis. Consumers are hopping on websites and communicating through brand’s social media platforms more than ever. Digital marketing is one of the best and most cost-effective ways for businesses to reach their target audiences. New behavioral practices like social distancing are accelerating consumers’ use of e-commerce options, forcing traditional marketing to take a backseat. As interpersonal communication declines, businesses are becoming more reliant on digital tools and other accessories to accomplish their goals, I.e., Facebook Messenger, live chat on websites, text message marketing, etc. Brands investing in SEO may have initially seen a decline in revenue when the pandemic began but now may be seeing a rise. 2020 has been a challenging year for most businesses, and marketers have had to put their thinking caps on and adapt quicker than ever. The good news however is that many of these changes, are likely to be with us for the foreseeable future, and in a way this has been a year of accelerated learning and finally executing those plans many have been talking about, but just haven’t had the urgency to follow through on. What will 2021 hold? Only time will tell. The Publisher Management Team

The end of the cookie era?

End of the cookie era

In the face of rising data regulation, third-party cookie restrictions and ad blocking, relying on one revenue stream to support an entire business just isn’t sustainable anymore. The changes in technology and people’s inherent need for privacy are making headlines more than ever, and it is forcing marketers to rethink the way we communicate while gathering useful information to make the user’s journey as positive and relevant as possible. More importantly marketers are asking, what will life without cookie tracking look like? Cookies are nothing new. Almost from the moment the Internet came into existence, cookies have served to collect user data. It was, and essentially it still is, a great tool but, unfortunately, its use has become unbelievably widespread. Ever since Google announced that it would deprecate third-party cookies within Chrome in two years’ time, online marketers have been in a bit if a panick, not because it is the end of the world as we know it, but because the announcement sparked panicked conversations around a “Cookie Apocalypse” that could destroy digital advertising and threaten the future of the open internet itself. The truth is that Google had already flagged as far back as August 2019 that they were planning to make these changes. That’s why this really is not much of an earthquake. What perhaps is more of a shock is that there’s such a lack of consistency in the answers across the industry about why the transition is happening in the first place and what it signifies. But how is this change likely to affect advertisers, publishers and agencies? The truth is that no-one really knows, yet. Most adtech companies and analysts are playing the ‘watch-and-wait’ game. There are likely to be some benefits and some losses once it has run its course. There are those who fear that it will make the rest of the adtech ecosystem even more dependent on playing with Google, because the third-party cookie is, for all of its faults, the underlying mechanism by which the whole digital advertising ecosystem transacts and communicates. However, a cookieless world is beneficial because it leads to an identity-centric approach, which we have seen to be a more effective approach to marketing. When you stop focusing on the cookie and instead focus on the consumer’s overall journey, you have more insight and control when it comes to your impact on both. On the up side, not all cookies are going away. Google’s announcement only affects third-party cookies, so first-party cookies will be alive and well long after the two-year mark. First-party cookies are those sent to a browser from the site visited by a user. They help advertisers, retailers, and publishers understand their customers and deliver the best user experiences on their own sites. Another truth is that advertising on the open internet may be imperfect, but it is much more private than you think. Third-party cookies, in fact, do not reveal personally identifiable information (PII) to outside parties against a user’s will. In practice, users on the open internet are identified via a random identifier and their PII is hashed or encrypted, so that advertising and tech partners can only access unspecified users’ interests and behaviours. A transparent and fair advertising industry is essential for the open internet. Personalised experiences not only drive value for users by seeing ads that are relevant for them, but for society as a whole. This is because relevant experiences drive revenues that fund the open internet, where people enjoy content and services for free. The Publisher Team

Transparency: the key to digital advertising success

The subject of transparency in digital advertising cannot be ignored. With issues like brand safety and ad fraud long having made headlines, the digital industry is demanding change. Transparency in digital advertising is important from two perspectives: cost and inventory.  You need to know where (and in what context) your message is being served, and where in the ad chain your money is being spent. Without this data, you cannot make well-founded decisions. Over the last decade, marketers have given digital agencies a lot of freedom when buying ad space. Agencies have made a lucrative business out of running an arbitrage-based model, buying digital inventory in bulk and then marking it up for advertisers. Writing for the Wall Street Journal, Alexandra Bruell points out that “clients didn’t cry foul, because they were happy with the performance of digital campaigns. Or because they weren’t clued into the complexities of digital ad buying and agency profitability.” However things are changing. We now live in a world dominated by Google, Facebook, and programmatic ad exchanges which is anonymising the ad selling process. This is in stark contrast to the pre-digital era, which was intensely personal.  Essentially, a large number of brands got used to pouring money into a black box marked digital advertising. But as clients become more informed and aware of better options and channels, they are now asking for more transparency within these processes. Performance marketing is by far the most transparent model out there. While brand marketing has its benefits, when it comes to transparency and calculating return on investment, performance marketing’s strength lies in one simple concept: The agency network must meet client-defined metrics and achieve the desired impact (a measurable business result) to fulfill the client/agency contract. In other words, the agency must “perform” or they don’t get paid. The process is simple. First, a client defines the desired action and its qualifying criteria. Then, the marketing agency/network designs a campaign that drives the greatest number of completed actions for the client. The most common actions include: Purchasing a product Installing an application Filling out a form (lead generation) AdMarula works with numerous agencies to help achieve these performance metrics for their clients. The agency/network relationship can be a tremendously beneficial one since the agency’s strength often lies in delivering the creative work, while the network’s strength lies in generating performance-based results. For clients, the results move their bottom line in the right direction and allow for greater investment in and collaboration with the agency. A win-win for all. Daniel Gross – CEO

CPI: what you need to know

CPI (Cost per Install) is fast becoming popular. Most people use apps every day to perform various activities. Apps are now part of almost everything in our lives, and advertisers have – correctly so –started to take notice. Just as with a CPA campaign model, CPI downloads can be tracked so the client only pays when the user performs a specific action. However the way an advertiser approaches CPI differs from the way they perceive CPA. Bear in mind that the definitions of both CPA and CPI are always evolving, but for now we’ll assume CPI stands for the cases where the conversion happens when the user installs and opens the app. As for CPA, let’s assume it stands for those offers where the conversion takes place when the user purchases something inside the app (as is the case in regular Mobile Subscription offers). It’s important to understand why advertisers choose one over the other: CPA guarantees “instant revenue” users since volumes are substantially lower. In CPI, they’re paying for users that may never spend a penny on the app. Even so, due to the fact that the number of installs is much higher, they predict what percentage of those should turn into active users. This prediction of the highest number of active users is what can make advertisers choose the CPI model instead of CPA, where they’d get fewer users. The way an advertiser approaches CPI differs from the way he perceives CPA. It may sound weird, but advertisers aren’t always looking for committed users. When an app has a high number of installs, it goes up in the Google Play/App Store ranking. This gives advertisers what they’re ultimately looking for – visibility to reach organic users. For the initial high volume installs, advertisers usually look for incentivised traffic. In this type of traffic, users need to install the app to either get some reward in a game they’re playing or be able to see some type of content. Generally, these guys won’t become long-term users of the app they’ve installed. What does this mean? Basically, it means that incentivised users are a way to get to those cool, money making organic users that won’t be forced/lured to download an app. Instead, they’ll decide to download it without seeing any advert because they’re genuinely interested in it. This way, developers will pay for the initial downloads only as bait for the real users they’re looking for and that’ll be acquired for free. Nonetheless, if advertisers want real paying users instead of just many users to go up in the rankings, they’ll become more demanding with the quality of traffic.They’ll need to take the LTV (lifetime value of the user) each publisher delivers into account so they can select which ones they want to see promoting their products. At the beginning, advertisers may lose some money until enough time has passed for them to be able to analyze the long-term value of users they’ve lured via CPI. AdMarula Publisher Team.