April 15th, 2014

Photo: istockphoto

Photo: istockphoto

We frequently have clients ask us, “How soon can you get our offer going?” We answer that question with some questions that have to do with the readiness of the campaign and the speed that a prospective client can turn around paperwork.

Has the creative side of the offer been built? 

Is the tracking technology in place?  

Has a suppression file been created?

Sometimes negotiations can take a only few minutes. Others can take a few months. If the campaign is ready to go, and if we’ve successfully negotiated the agreement, decided on a plan of action, received all campaign assets, successfully tested the tracking pixel, then the offer can be live within one business day.

Some advertisers start seeing traffic almost immediately. Other may need to exercise a bit of patience. It really is a case-by-case situation dependent on market factors: Competing offers in same vertical and how long affiliates’/publishers’ queues for testing. However, there may be some ways to break in line. If you have a good distribution partner, they will discuss those options with you.

What are some of the quickest offer placements you’ve had along with turnaround time? We’d love to hear about your experiences.

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April 14th, 2014

Photo: Marketing Profs

Photo: Marketing Profs

In another great post by Ayaz Nanji, he reports that 65% Americans age 65 and older are now going online. 71% of those users go one daily or almost daily, and 11% go on at least five times a week. This is also a six percent increase from 2012 (Pew Internet and American Life Project.)

They also found that seniors were lagging behind younger American in tech adoption and additionally, internet and broadband use drops off around age 75.

As far as social media is concerned:

  • 27% of Americans age 65 or older (46% of online seniors) use at least one social networking site (SNS), such as Facebook.
  • 81% of older adults who use social networking sites say that they socialize with others (either in person, online, or over the telephone) on a daily or near-daily basis. Among older adults who go online but do not use social networking sites, that figure is 71%; and for those who are not online at all, it is 63%.

We don’t need to tell you the importance of knowing where your target audience is. If you’re aiming for seniors, this data is priceless.

Read more at Marketing Pros.

April 11th, 2014

drawing social network structureWe’re tuning into Marketing Profs ‘Social Media Marketing’ virtual conference today, and we just heard author, speaker, CEO, and social business evangelist, Bernie Borges speak about transforming from social media to social business. Some of his main points:

Turn your ideology around – Stop engaging with customers/clients as B2C or B2B. Rather, begin engaging as P2P or H2H (people to people, human to human).

Businesses are made up of people and people are social – Encourage your team to get involved in social media. Encourage employee branding with your branding. It may also lead to employee loyalty over the long haul.

There are many factors involved in shifting to the midst of social business. Here are aspects of a great foundation: 

  • C-Suite gets it
  • Culture of transparency
  • Service mindset
  • Collaboration mindset
  • Engagement mindset
  • Social mindset

 What about our CMO?

Borges believes CMOs should really be vision casters. They should understand and know how to analyze data and understand content marketing. And of course, they need marketing skills. It’s also important to understand that “marketing is NOT a department.” Social business has a bigger picture. Here’s how to see that picture when you’re thinking of your marketing strategy as a movie producer goes about production. There are so many moving parts. Here’s where to go:

  • Start with C-Suite and the culture
  • Vision casting strategy
  • Identify employees to participate
  • Make it easy for employees
  • Develop content strategy
  • Invest in social technology
  • Anticipate some resistance
  • Go forth
  • Measure, react, revise, repeat

Never wait until you feel like you have a perfect strategy or have all your ducks in a row to begin. Sometimes the best way to go about things is “ready, fire, aim.”

Is your business currently going through the social media to social business shift? Do you recognize any of these traits? What are some challenges you have?

April 9th, 2014

Young Woman using mobile phone walking on streetWe’ve been talking a lot about mobile when it comes to where customers are coming from. In a recent report released by Vibes, a mobile marketing technology company, email was found to be the most effective mobile strategy, even compared to social media, where social came in last place, for mobile opt-in campaigns. adotas reports:

“For retailers and brands, growing a robust mobile database can be challenging, particularly following the changes from last October’s Telecommunication Consumer Protection Act (TCPA).”

Vibes is looking for a way to grow the mobile opt-in in a manner that works for everyone. According to adotas,  Vibes has been collecting and analyzing data over the past six months from hundreds of customer campaigns which has resulted in a new metric, APM (Acquisitions per Thousand Impressions), which identifies the number of people who will opt-in to join a brand’s mobile database for every 1,000 marketing impressions a company delivers.

Here are some of their key findings:

1. Average APM is 1.3 people. For every 1,000 impressions delivered across all marketing channels, an average of 1.3 people join a mobile database.

2. Email offers the greatest return when marketers take aggressive measures with an APM of 10.5 vs. an average of 1.6. Social came in second with a double down impact of a 2.9 APM vs. an average of .7.

3. Social media has the lowest APM. In-store and email came in first and second, respectively (before TV, website and lastly, social media).

4. In-store promotion has great potential. And it is not used enough. Highly engaged shoppers are already predisposed to engage with your brand through multiple channels, especially mobile.

5. Incentives/sweepstakes are significant. Those who used a thank-you incentive or sweepstakes as part of their acquisition program saw six times more subscribers using one tactic and eight times using both.

This research shows us that SMS should not be dismissed. Brands are more likely to get a response if they have an opt-in option through a mobile-optimized email. If you’re an advertiser, it seems this research lays out the best place to ask for SMS subscribers. At Millionaire Network, we take mobilization of email campaigns very seriously. A major key is to have your email/offer/page be mobilized so the customer has a clear understanding of what the product or service does. It also must capture their attention in order to move them to action.

Additionally, customers certainly don’t always fit into the nice box brands often want to put them in. It’s highly likely they’ll stray from the perfect order. We’re able to see the number of initial opens on mobile device but then also see that same consumer come back when they’re on their computer or tablet to make the purchase or opt-in to a campaign. Then you get the data.

Have your campaigns been running smoothly? Let us know how we can help you.

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April 8th, 2014

FINAL3This past Sunday, April 6, officially marked the 4-year anniversary of Millionaire Network. We’re so proud of what we’ve been able to accomplish and how we’ve grown over these four years.

Our team, along with our advertisers and publishers, have gone above and beyond which has allowed us to do the same. Thank you for the last four years! We’re looking forward to even more!

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April 7th, 2014

Working at home

photo credit: iStockPhoto

The Drum reported last week that female website owners and bloggers are now twice as likely to engage in affiliate marketing activity in the future. According to newly gathered research and data from Optimus Performance Marketing, nearly half (47%) of female website owners will begin promoting products and services on their respective blogs and websites.

Here is what they reported:

Of the 632 females and 589 males who took part in the survey, 86 per cent of the participants had at least a basic understanding of how affiliate marketing functions, but only 14 per cent of the male respondents and six per cent of females had experience of using it in the past.

Only 23 per cent of the men asked agreed that they would be doing so in the next year or so; with a further 24 per cent of females and 11 per cent of males stating it was part of their plan within the next five years.

Our CMO of Millionaire Network, Dean DuBois, says, “Affiliate marketing has been primarily male-dominated, which doesn’t make much sense. It’s refreshing to see more females entering the affiliate marketing sector. I think females have a knack at understanding their audience and influencing them. It will be a great shift to see.”

So, what is causing this shift? The most popular reason given was simply earning extra money. Another reason was that products or services they chose fit in well with their site or blog.

Are you a female blogger or business owner currently active in affiliate marketing? If you’re not currently involved, what is one thing that stops you?

April 3rd, 2014

iStock_000000822210SmallIt is no surprise that out of the many new networks that form each year, few of those tend to make it in the long haul. Is there a reason for this? We have utmost respect for the networks who consistently do a great job with their clients: advertisers and publishers alike. There are reasons, where many like Millionaire Network, continually see success and see our clients experience success. When partnered with a top network, you should experience these traits:

ALWAYS Have Exceptional Client Services - No Compromises

One On One

Every client we have gets one on-one attention. It is CRUCIAL for affiliate success. We’ve seen networks that work half-heartedly once they’ve signed up a client, or get too overwhelmed by signing too many clients. This loses the value of the overall long-term potential relationship. As a result, advertisers and affiliates end up out in the cold. We work religiously to give our clients our undivided attention. They are truly the most important person in the room at any given time.

Every Client Is Equally Important

We never play favorites. We treat all clients with the same respect, courtesy, and unwavering attention. Slow and steady wins the race. Burn out is more likely to occur if you go all fast and furious all the time. We keep things and equal and consistent, by learning with our partners each and every day.

Always Be Available

Our team doesn’t sleep. We make our best effort to always be available to clients when they need us most. Need to set an offer up on a Saturday? We’re here for you. Need tech support at midnight, 3am? We’re there. If you want to be in the top 40, you need to do what it takes to get there.

Coach and Mentor 

Our goal is to always coach and always mentor.  From our continued learnings in this ever evolving industry, our goal is to continually bring forward the best tips and keep our clients fully informed on the network’s plan of action and industry changes. It’s important for our clients to know they made a good partnership decision.

Exceptional client service results in higher profit margins all around.

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April 1st, 2014

european brand new clothes shopOne of the biggest projections of 2014 affiliate marketing was to be the rise of luxury brands’ utilization of the practice. It’s not to say that luxury brands have been entirely out of the game, because they haven’t. It will however, become more popular as more brands are seen entering the space and then seeing success with it.

According to the IAB/PwC Marketing Survey, more than a third of UK Internet users are now using price comparisons or coupon sites, and over 150 million purchases have been made via affiliate sites. Additionally, the last year has seen an influx of completely new brands from the luxury sector. Consumers are now likely to see Tommy Hilfiger, Ralph Lauren, Burberry, Gucci, Michael Kors, Jimmy Choo, and more. This changes the landscape for the brand along with their competitors.

Diane Canady, marketing and e-commerce director of luxury tailoring brand Savile Row, believes brands are becoming more and more aware that by disregarding affiliate marketing, they lose dollars. The customer journey is too complex to ignore where they actually go online.

Another reason it’s becoming so popular is because of all the current websites that carry different luxury brands, especially from fashion publishers. In the UK, there’s ShopSyle, Polyvore and ASOS. In America, there are outlets like Revolve Clothing and Nasty Gal. Shoppers go to these sites to hear from the pros, get ideas, and be in-the-know. Plus there are blogs related to these site, and they’re completely user-friendly.

So, what has taken so long?

Tom Woodhouse, senior affiliate executive at iProspect believes the hesitancy among luxury brands was, and for those who have not yet jumped on board, a “distress” to the brand. In other words, by offering vouchercodes and coupons, it could lessen the value of the brand. However, the benefits and scaling out opportunities gained outweigh the risks to the brand, according to Fenton-Elstone. The brand risks are more of a “perception challenge”, he says, which is often the hardest bit. “If you’re restricted by brand, you’re not going to be able to scale out.”

For luxury brands, it’s important to work closely with their network in order to find the right publishing outlets to protect brand integrity. It’s also important to adhere to the current marketing plan to have cohesion across the board.

If you’re a publisher or an advertiser, let us know how we can help you connect the dots. It’s our specialty. And once you’re in, you’ll understand.

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March 26th, 2014

ForkPhotoIn a brilliant blog post in regard to who’s responsible for what when it comes to social media, marketing, and PR, Stephanie Walden points out REAL questions organizations often ask themselves, especially as they grow: Does our business need ALL three teams (social, marketing, PR) thus team leaders, and how does that work?

Through the rise of social media, PR and social have become incestuous and fall into the marketing overview. That’s no big surprise, but then, it changes a questions a bit to: Who is responsible for what? When does the PR team handle social? Does your business need a separate social media division? What’s a growing business to do? Walden asks a few experts:

“It totally depends on the size and nature of the business,” says Dane Atkinson, CEO ofSumAll, a social analytics tool. “In the startup world, you’re strapped for resources, and [employees] may have to wear many hats; thus small companies might not have the capacity for a full-time social media team.” Atkinson adds that each business’ target market affects the need for dedicated team members to handle social. “If you’re selling to enterprises, [expending resources on social] may not make any sense; but if you’re selling directly to consumers, you want to be part of their direct environment.” This is the major advantage of social for B2C companies, he explains — the opportunity for direct interaction with consumers, a real-time help desk.

Peter Friedman, chairman and CEO of LiveWorld, a social content marketing company, equates the “marketing mix” to a party, explaining that each element of the planning and execution is crucial to its overall success.
“Think of advertising as the invitations, PR as the promotion and digital as the arcade game at the entrance. But the party itself — the ambiance, the DJ, the bouncer, the guests themselves; talking to one another, dancing, forming relationships, having a great experience together — that’s social,” he says.

These are brilliant ways to put it. But in this case, it’s important to point out that all sections would have different roles. To have conversations with the social media realm, you must BE social, and create those back and forth conversations. However, the main thing, whether you have a team doing this, or a couple of people, or one person pulling the entire thing off, it must be cohesive with the entire brand message and brand marketing. Communication is KEY so everyone is on the same page.

As with any project, there must be clear objectives, direction, goals, and a strategy to reach those goals. On the marketing side of things, I like to think of a fork, with the prongs being different aspects of the marketing process. We have print (self-explanatory), digital (email, website, landing pages), video (television or YouTube), and of course social media (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and dozen or so others). You need all of these prongs to get a really good bite. Who runs these prongs really will depend on the size of your company, your budget, and identifying key players to help get that message across.

Check out the rest of Walden’s article as it appeared on Mashable. There are some great points made by some great minds in the business. What comes to your mind when you think of social media, marketing and a PR department?

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March 24th, 2014

Engage pinned on noticeboardDo you wonder why the latest poll on CMOs and social media integration shows the ever-changing world of social media is tripping them out? In our last blog post, we talked about the power of now, and how everyone in any business space, especially CMOs, need to embrace social media. This has been an ongoing conversation for years. So, that being said, let’s talk about the six core objectives every company should consider when implementing a social media strategy, courtesy of Social Media Today:

 1. Building Brand Awareness

Brand awareness is goal number one! Hundreds of millions of people are talking, meeting, learning, and growing online through social media. If you’re not there, you’re missing out. Period. Social media is one of the best ways to be in the same space your customer is. It’s a MUST HAVE.

 2. Making Customer Service Personal w/ Social Media

I’ve seen this time and time again. Your customers, fans, potential clients contact you via a social media platform. They want answers. They look for you to engage with them, and it’s a perfect customer service channel. Additionally, if there is a complaint against your company or someone within the company, you can show the rest of the world how you handle the obstacle. Whether you can get to it immediately, or do it privately, an authentic response of next steps and great customer service goes a long way.

3. Adding Events to Social Media Programs

We all have corporate events, social events, and business-centric conferences we attend. These are great to add to your social media streams and a perfect way to find out who inside your clientele and industry are going to be at a particular event. It’s also an incredible way for event organizers to see the promotion and pride your company is putting into it.

Also, while you’re attending these events, use a hashtag (#) to promote the event and/or promote the speakers. Tweet and utilize the content you are learning to teach those who are not there. This also allows for promotion, real-time awareness, audience participation, and community sharing.

4. Adding Social Media to Product Introductions

Anytime you have a new product, introducing it to your fans and followers allow for them to be the first to know, first to try, and of course, first to share with their peers also. Having a strategy to build enticement and buzz around a product launch has the potential to make it much more successful than without the product incorporation.

5. Embracing Social Media to Build Your Sales Pipeline

We obviously all want to build brand awareness, and for most companies, we’d like to take that a step further and win potential clients. This is done through great content, thought leadership, helpfulness, and call-to-action. It’s important to pay attention to what people in your community are talking about. When you can be helpful with something, chime in. Ultimately, you’re in the space to help. So be helpful.

6. Activating Your Community to Take Action

There’s nothing worse than a social media site that doesn’t have much community engagement. Here are some tips SMT gives to help encourage your friends, fans, and followers to take action:

  • Provide pre-packaged content for your network to share
  • Launch a “Share with a Friend” program
  • Empower your network
  • Ask for user-generated content of people sharing personal brand experience or opinions
  • Create an ongoing activity or program to promote repeat activity
  • Provide incentive

Measuring all of your objectives is simple when you go back and compare what your most popular posts are. Social media is trial and error to see what works for your particular company or industry. What works for you one week, may not the next. What works for one company, may not work for yours. Pay attention to patterns.

You don’t have to have thousands and thousands of followers to make a difference with what you’re doing. New businesses are formed every day and it takes time to build. Always remember that quality is 100 times better than quantity. And be patient. Nothing ever worth while is built in one day.

What are some social media practices from this list that you’ve been missing out on? What on this list could you easily implement in your brand’s social activities?  Let us know in the comments.

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