Most companies have felt the economic impacts over the recent years, not only from increased overheads and struggles to keep up with demand but from greater pressure on budgets across all key functions. This has encouraged many to explore the benefits of performance-based marketing. With goals of maximizing tight budgets while driving growth and recovery post-pandemic, more than 400 affiliate programs are launched on ShareASale each month – making this performance marketing platform one of the largest and most in demand in the US.
The role of performance-based marketing in a difficult economy
Just when economies have started to recover from the worst effects of the global pandemic, recent geopolitical events threaten them once again.
Energy prices skyrocket across the world and continued supply chain issues affect businesses and consumers alike. In the US, we have seen one of the largest surges in the consumer price index (CPI) outside of Eastern Europe, hitting an 8.5% annual increase – a high not seen in over 40 years. Exacerbated by geopolitical complications, prices of key goods like gas have surged 48% compared to last year. Even taking energy and food out of the equation, the so-called core inflation rate currently stands at 6.5% YoY – significantly higher than the Federal Reserve’s target of 2%. The situation is compounded the rate of inflation rising above salary increases, cancelling out any added pay. Average hourly wages dropped 2.7% in February once factoring in inflation, the 12th month in a row workers have seen their effective pay fall.
Unsurprisingly, most businesses are tempted to cut spending from core functions like marketing during economic downturns. However, history shows us that businesses that tried to increase short-term profits and efficiency during a recession by reducing marketing spend saw virtually no benefit. The classic illustration of this comes from the Harvard Business Review’s researchin 1927 following the fortunes of companies during the Great Depression.
Tracking ad spend and company revenues during this period, it found that those that continued to invest in marketing grew inordinately quicker than those that did not.
Cereal brand Kellogg’s epitomized this tactic, doubling its ad spend during and surpassing market-leading rival Post, which had reacted by cutting marketing dramatically. In doing so, Kellogg’s established a dominance over competitors that it never relinquished.
Without capital to invest aggressively like Kellogg’s, greater pressure is naturally placed on brands that can’t simply spend their way through challenging periods. This is when intelligent and cost-efficient marketing measures like affiliate marketing offer critical solutions during economic uncertainty.
How ShareASale makes the channel more accessible as ever
When ROI is at the heart of the discussion, only paying for desired outcomes – whether that be sales or leads – is a huge benefit. Working with an affiliate platform like ShareASale offers the smallest startups and the largest businesses flexibility to fine-tune commissions via an intuitive and easy-to-use platform.
ShareASale’s low-cost entry point solution to affiliate marketing appeals to business of all scales, and is perfect for any brand looking to test the waters. However, entry level doesn’t mean feature light. All tools, from real time APIs to attribution tech, are readily available and accolated for speed, efficiency and accuracy.
While affiliate marketing is inherently lower risk due to its payment model, exploring a new channel can understandably come with concerns, especially during times of uncertainty. Compared to a general investment that could (or could not) pay off, enabling an affiliate marketing solution can drive more value with existing marketing budgets. With spend squeezed harder as inflation climbs, making each dollar go as far as possible is vital in maximizing efficiency. On average, ShareASale brands see a measurable return of $16 for every $1 spent, and due to the affiliate model, these dollars are only spent on desired outcomes – no performance, no payment.
That by itself would be a strong sell, but discounts the massive potential that lies in the new audiences and customers reachable via ShareASales’s vast range of partners. Every month, ShareASale welcomes over 10,000 new revenue-driving partners, which offer a completely new avenue for growth in a cost-efficient and minimal risk manner.
Setting up a ShareASale affiliate program is simple. Along its self-guided integration solution, ShareASale supplies readily available app store tags across popular ecommerce platforms like the ShareASale plugin for Shopify. Via these apps, ShareASale accelerates a brand’s ability to launch by tapping into the platform’s diversified partner directory – ranging from micro-influencers and bloggers to content commerce and tech innovation partners, as well as loyalty and coupon affiliates.
Although economists have suggested inflation is nearing its peak in recent months, implementing cost-effective strategies now will have significant impact even after pressure eases. If you are looking to simultaneously grow to meet demand, while also ensuring each dollar is spent as efficiently as possible, ShareASale’s easy and low-cost affiliate marketing solution best positions you to achieve these goals.