Product Marketing in the Affiliate Vertical

Over the last six months technology continues to be the driving force behind that changes our learned behaviour and in our consumption and usage of brands, products and services, especially in the attention economy where consumers have an attention span of several seconds and the backdrop of the global pandemic which is reshaping consumer interactions.

Traditionally iGaming Affiliate Marketing, which focuses on traffic generation techniques’ such as SERPs’ is not immune to these changes in consumer behaviour, of which acquisition and retention marketing operational tasks are becoming more reliant on big data / AI and automation and a paradigm shift to product focus in order to keep valuable traffic generated prospects engaged. So, what does the next few months look like for affiliate marketing?

Every customer journey leaves a trace. Whether we are consciously aware or unaware of it. We leave a digital data footprint. From our Mobile Internet browsing behaviour to our social platform purchase intent and affinity towards brands either positively or negatively is available for public scrutiny on the major social networks, to even the smallest amount of minutia can be found, if you dig deep enough.

Digital Data often referred to as ‘big data’ is everywhere. According to IBM 2.5, quintillion bytes of data are generated every day. To provide some context, 90% of the data generated in the world at this time has been created in the last two years alone.

Some examples of digital data sources include: sharing on social media sites, pictures via Instagram, videos, e-commerce and mobile commerce transactions, loyalty card schemes, medical records, tax returns, voice and data calls via our mobile and instant messaging via Apps such as WhatsApp and Telegram.  Other examples include satellite data for Google Earth and Maps, weather information, military intelligence and usage by other heavy industries. Indeed, more of our physical non-digital movements are also being captured by CCTV cameras and now low flying drones. This ‘digitized data’ using triangulation via our mobile phones GPS for location-based marketing along with tracking sensors surreptitiously hidden in the vehicles which we drive, means we are never really out of the line of marketing sight.

So, what is the iGaming affiliate marketing challenges during the Pandemic, post GDPR and post the continuous Google Algorithm updates and Google Page Experience slated for May 2021? If you asked most marketing CMO’s, they would agree data to deliver a product focus is considered the panacea to a brand’s sustainable competitive advantage and perhaps survival in the new digitally and socially challenging and technology based ecosystem given the shift from offline to online accelerated by the pandemic.

Martech & Affiliate Product Focus

We have seen data and the complexities it brings in terms of collection, storage, and analytics giving rise to a new skill set requirement within the marketing and IT departments of operators and super affiliates – the Productologist or the old term known as data scientist.

While it’s fair to say the Productologist role could be seen as the intersection or hybrid between marketing and IT in getting both factions to talk the same common language, it probably isn’t as clear cut as that.  The clue is in the name ‘Productologist’, these individuals have big ‘product’ ideas to create another marketing hyperbole – hyper growth products – and are highly educated, highly trained, having a background in mathematics, statistics, or MIT. The Productologist role is therefore to create ‘hyper growth products’ using predictive data models that capture the underlying patterns of complex customer and organizational systems and deliver coding solutions to turn those models into working product applications for business and marketing insight.

It is clear more and more data is being created, and, therefore, the long ball game is do iGaming affiliates hire the Productologist talent or outsource. This, of course, is down to the individual iGaming affiliate, but I suspect the big operators shall want to rinse every ‘byte’ of data for insight and competitive product advantage, and those are likely to be the publicly traded affiliate performance marketing companies, thus creating a bigger divide within the iGaming affiliate vertical. In short, the affiliates companies that shall survive and flourish will be focused on martech solutions and deep insight into the players’ needs and wants.

The Long Game

Digital marketing is moving fast, very fast. Businesses need to pivot quickly into today’s environments. There is no denying that affiliate and digital marketing as a discipline is becoming more data-driven, more product orientated and more automated and that will impact on decisions and operational efficiencies and growth prospects for any online business.

Add in a sprinkle of machine learning, algorithms and artificial intelligence, which are more front and center in the affiliate marketer’s toolkit, doesn’t necessarily mean discovering nuggets of actionable information or insight through the usage of more and more data-savvy and data-intense technologies, to unleash that hyper growth product.

Our understanding of how ‘things’ work has lessened but our reliance on them has very much increased to solve our daily problems. The reality is a computer program or digital assistance is only as good as the person that wrote the code and as the person inputting the data and analyzing the outputs.

Martech and its application via new products are about making us mere mortals’ mundane life and tasks easier. Marketing is the emotive and creative engine that delivers that message, solving your problem.

I’ve yet to witness a marketing technology that exhibits or mimics human creativity and passion, but it is coming that’s for sure, and an example of that is the recent artificial intelligence program which defeated an experienced US fighter pilot in five rounds of simulated aerial dogfights.

However, our continuing reliance on technology to unearth answers for the marketing and product competitive advantage could result in more commoditized and vanilla products. The reason perhaps is that they shall all be using the same core AI data or martech technologies and these will result in similar product features.

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