3 Advantages of Private-Label or In-House Affiliate Marketing

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The affiliate space continues to become more innovative each year. As a result, clients are looking for ways to enhance their affiliate programs. This could include anything from cross-device tracking to multi-channel attribution. And one of the fastest-growing affiliate marketing trends is private or “in-house” programs that are powered by white-label network or technology solutions.

After a decade of complacency—especially in the U.S.—the pace of innovation in the affiliate space has advanced considerably. In addition to new entrants, pricing, and models, clients are demanding more sophisticated tools for their affiliate program. This is especially true with CRM solutions, cross-device tracking, mobile solutions, dynamic commissioning, global payments and multi-channel attribution.

Private programs make it easier and more economical for retailers to manage certain affiliate, business development, and partner relationships directly or with the help of their agency partner. With this in mind, here’s a closer look at some of the most significant advantages of white-label affiliate marketing.

Private partnerships take center stage

Businesses realize that the affiliate model—and many of its technology and tools—is great for managing some of their business development and partner marketing. But they want a more direct relationship with their partners. Therefore, they are increasingly licensing white-label affiliate technology to run their own, direct affiliate program under their own brand.

Private-label affiliate programs are a fast-growing area of the affiliate industry. They are increasingly attractive to large brands, as it is a smarter, better way to do everything in one place for marketers who are seeking great transparency and control. It mirrors the trend in programmatic where brands are demanding more control and developing private marketplaces as they look to harness the best technology and automation.

Brands want more control

A private affiliate program that’s powered by a network or SaaS platform allows brands to develop their own page on their website, as well as collateral that prominently features their brand and lets them own the relationship directly to their partners. And it operates the same way as a traditional network affiliate program.

The core difference, however, is that all the partners and data remain private to them. By contrast, in traditional affiliate programs, the networks display brands prominently on the programs they run, creating a co-marketing relationship, and partners are shared across brands in the network for economy of scale. While many brands are excited to bring new partners into their program, they don’t want to introduce those same partners to potential competitors.

Innovation and technology have dramatically improved

Private-label affiliate marketing has a number of important nuances. Today, brands want more say over both the partners with whom they’re working and the branding of the affiliate program itself. In light of these trends, SaaS-based programs have become one of the fastest growing segments of the affiliate and partner management industry. They offer similar functionality to affiliate networks and license white-label affiliate network software that allows brands to run their own direct affiliate/partner programs under their own brands—often with a fixed fee, rather than a performance model.

Brands want to work directly with their partners on a daily basis and understand their performance so they have the opportunity to make improvements. And they don’t want to pay a performance fee for relationships they already have in place. They prefer the fixed fee or usage-based pricing models that are not tied directly to revenue or commissions.

The affiliate industry continues to automate and develop more sophisticated tools. Savvy marketers are investing in strategically designed partnerships and leveraging technology to aggregate and analyze data across channels, predict and project sales trends, and automate tedious or complex tasks. These affiliate power tools and the growing trend towards private-label affiliate programs are critical to watch as affiliate marketing becomes as streamlined and powerful as spending money with Google and Facebook.

Robert Glazer is the founder and CEO of global performance marketing agency, Acceleration Partners. He is also the co-founder and Chairman of BrandCycle. In addition to being a serial entrepreneur, Robert has a passion for helping individuals and organization build their capacity to outperform. Bob is a past recipient of the Boston Business Journal “40 under 40” award and is an advisor/board member to several high-growth companies. He also recently authored the international bestselling book, Performance Partnerships: The Checkered Past, Shifting Present, and Exciting Future of Affiliate Marketing.