Leadership Perspectives

2021 Partner Marketing Predictions: What the Experts Are Saying

Becky Doles

Photo by Olya Kobruseva from Pexels

‘Tis the season! For yearly wrap-ups and predictions posts, that is. This year, we’re betting there are more than usual. Here at TUNE, we’re definitely ready to say goodbye to 2020 already. So let’s look ahead to a new year with new hope with some partner marketing predictions for 2021.

What’s Next for Partner Marketing

On a recent virtual panel, experts from Acceleration Partners, Tundra, and TUNE shared their thoughts on where partner marketing is heading and what affiliate marketers should look out for in 2021. The panel was hosted by Acceleration Partners Founder and CEO Robert Glazer, who was joined by Keith Posehn, Head of Marketing at Tundra, and Brian Marcus, Vice President of Global Marketing and Partnerships at TUNE.

Watch On Demand:
“Prioritizing Performance: Affiliate Marketing Predictions for 2021”

During the hour-long event, discussion ranged from mobile affiliate marketing strategies, to the shifting landscape of paid search, to the lasting effects of a global pandemic on partner marketing. It was both a look back at this unprecedented year and a look ahead to the road that 2020 has set us on as an industry. 

Some highlights from the discussion:

On what’s driving today’s exponential growth in digital marketing and affiliate partnerships:

“Accountability and risk mitigation are driving the growth and the shift to affiliate today. More people are buying online with trusted, authoritative sites to guide their buying. Partner marketing fits that proposition to a T, because they’re investing in relationships that are proven to work. Digital marketing is transparent, it’s measurable, and covid makes these relationships much more critical. So how do you position for success? You need to recognize that this ‘new normal’ really presents opportunities to strengthen your partnerships.”

— Brian Marcus, TUNE

On why more brands are turning to partner marketing during the coronavirus pandemic:

“Most online advertising outside of this channel is auction-based. If you think about the triopoly of Google, Facebook, and Amazon, at this point you have people pouring into it and they’re dumping more money into it. It’s costing you more and more money to get the same thing. So you have this weird duality, which is you have all this demand and move to digital, but then the number one, two, and three places you would go are getting more expensive to get the same customers. So brands really need a different approach.”

— Robert Glazer, Acceleration Partners

On the challenge of educating finance teams and CFOs about budgeting for the affiliate channel:

“Helping finance teams understand, don’t say ‘Spend a million bucks.’ Say, ‘I need you to make me X million bucks.’ Then we go, ‘Great — this is how we can get there.’ Or, ‘We understand you want this much or this return on investment, but based on what we have, this is how much we’re going to get you back.’ It’s really less about the amount of money to put into it, and more about understanding what they get back out of it. … It’s the kind of thing where education is key. Finance teams have to understand that you can’t put a block of cash towards it. You have to allow affiliate teams to know what they need to get back to you, and then they will go spend against that. When you artificially constrain it, the impacts of those artificial constraints can be far worse than anticipated.”

— Keith Posehn, Tundra

For the rest of their partner marketing predictions, watch the full on-demand webinar, “Prioritizing Performance: Affiliate Marketing Predictions for 2021.”

In Closing

It’s never too early to start planning for next year. We’re here to set you up for success with tons of helpful blog posts and industry resources:

When you’re ready to see the benefits partner marketing can bring to your business, get in touch with us.

Becky Doles

Becky is the Senior Content Marketing Manager at TUNE. Before TUNE, she led a variety of marketing and communications projects at San Francisco startups. Becky received her bachelor's degree in English from Wake Forest University. After living nearly a decade in San Francisco and Seattle, she has returned to her home of Charleston, SC, where you can find her enjoying the sun and salt water with her family.

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