“Selleris a column written by the sell side of the digital media community.
Today’s column is written by Anthony Capano, North American General Manager, Rakuten Advertising.
For too long, publishers have not been rewarded for their influence on consumer behavior. From increasing awareness and attracting new customers, to influencing conversion and inspiring long-term loyalty, publishers offer a diverse mix of KPIs for their Brand. Yet too often publishers are only rewarded when their content is the last click before a purchase, leaving a growing group of upper-funnel contributors, like content publishers and influencers, without credit for the work they do in the customer journey.
Historically, control of publisher attribution has been solely in the hands of advertisers, who are concerned with proving ROI and incrementality. But today, with the imminent end of third-party cookies, we are seeing a shift in favor of publishers which, if acted upon, may put publishers in an advantageous position to negotiate greater recognition of their contributions. inter-funnels. It’s a move towards better collaboration between advertisers and publishers that is long overdue.
Gain influence with a wealth of proprietary publisher data
The first-party data publishers have about their audiences is increasingly valuable in a cookie-free future, putting publishers in the driver’s seat of targeting and personalizing consumers’ advertising experiences. Tech companies have developed new tools for marketers that aggregate and distribute first-party data from publishers.
Reports show that publishers are skeptical of these tools because if they choose to sign up for them, they feel they would essentially be giving up their newfound leverage on a silver platter.
That doesn’t mean publishers don’t want to work with advertisers and share their data in any capacity. I see editors in our network at Rakuten who are actually quite open to sharing their data – as long as the collaboration is mutually beneficial. The call is now on advertisers to prioritize stronger relationships with publishers directly to better optimize what publishers can offer at all phases of the purchase journey.
Rethink incentives as publishers grow in power
Realizing that publishers hold this power, advertisers must adapt their affiliate strategies to reward them for their contributions beyond the last click, expanding commission strategies so that publishers receive incentives regardless of location. where the contribution takes place in the customer journey.
While publishers who drive conversions deserve to be compensated appropriately, so do those who thrive in the upper funnel and help drive brand awareness and new customers, or those who help build long-term loyalty and repeat purchases.
It is up to the merchant to decide whether the first purchase is more important than the repeat purchase. Advertisers who are transparent and open about their priorities when working with publishers will then be able to commission appropriately, and publishers will better understand the rates they are earning.
Attract publishers with various commission strategies
In order to appeal to a diverse mix of publishers, advertisers will need to be flexible in how they incentivize publishers and provide unique commissioning strategies based on their audience, priorities, content, etc.
Take the example of a retailer who wants to boost sales of a new product line. They can increase commission rates for that specific product line, incentivizing publishers to drive traffic to that specific page. Or a retailer looking to build long-term loyalty can adjust commission rates to reward publishers for generating more repeat purchases during a given period. By setting commission guidelines around specific business goals, publishers have the opportunity to earn more money while helping advertisers optimize their results.
Attract dynamic publisher partners with the right incentives
Attracting and retaining the right publisher partners should be a top priority for advertisers. Now that publishers wield more power, advertisers need to do a little more work to align themselves with publishers that contribute the most to their business goals across the consumer journey.
These publishers understand their value and are in a position to demand more recognition, transparency, and collaboration in return for their valuable first-party data. By investing in dynamic and flexible commissioning strategies, advertisers will win over publishers who have the most engaged audiences and can deliver the most value.