Dave Naffziger, our founder and GM, takes a closer look into what the new year has in store for the industry.
After an eventful 2020, we are still calibrating the impact on digital marketing at large. With this increased velocity and importance on online presence, we look to 2021 to see what trends are here to stay for brand protection and marketing compliance programs. We asked Dave Naffziger, BrandVerity's founder and GM, to break it down for us here.
In what ways has the industry changed in 2020 and how will this impact the future of compliance in the performance marketing industry?
2020 saw an extension of the industry consolidation that had begun a few years prior. We’ve seen Partnerize acquire both BrandVerity and Pepperjam, consolidation among agencies and OPMs and we’ve seen Awin further strengthen its market position as it began to integrate Commission Factory.
Historically, the performance marketing industry has been quite fragmented - this fragmentation created favorable opportunities for fraudulent affiliates as they could move from network to network and program to program. Compliance plays an increasingly central role to networks and platforms as the affiliate bad actors increasingly focus on the participants with low compliance standards, tools and processes.
Covid-19 has absolutely impacted the industry in a broad range of ways. I’m sure others will go into detail elsewhere, but I’ll highlight that Covid-19 accelerated the penetration and ubiquity of online retail and forced the travel industry to partially reinvent itself.
How are the more sophisticated marketers/advertisers combating and monitoring paid search and trademark violations?
In many ways, the sophisticated marketer continues to combat paid search and trademark violations as they have in the past - by using advanced tools to automatically detect and remediate search and trademark violations.
We are seeing a shift though, as a broader segment of marketers are recognizing the ROI and branding benefits to managing trademarks and partners in paid search. This might be due to either the headwinds or tailwinds presented by Covid-19, but we’re definitely seeing a broader segment of marketers engage in protecting their brands in paid search.
If a marketer is just starting to look at search monitoring tools, what should they look for or be aware of?
Paid search monitoring software is different than other SaaS solutions in that many of the most important capabilities can’t be distilled to a functional checkbox. All vendors will provide monitoring for the major search engines, but monitoring is absolutely not equal. Bad actors have developed a range of techniques that enable them to hide their activity from some monitoring vendors and it’s incredibly important to spend time understanding how a vendor ensures their monitoring captures activity that is intentionally hidden. One of our newer customers shared that BrandVerity detected the affiliate running an ad and provided full evidence 451x more often than their prior vendor.
What are your top 3 predictions for 2021 for the performance marketing industry?
Consolidation in the industry will continue. The story over the last few years has been the consolidation in the industry, not just in the US, but globally. Every sign points to increasing consolidation in 2021.
Brand safety in the affiliate industry becomes a given. Major brands, particularly luxury brands, have traditionally shied away from the affiliate industry for fears of the control they’d give up of their brand working with affiliate partners. Tools, technologies and processes continue to develop that directly address concerns about brand safety and bring assurances to brands that their affiliate programs will reinforce and enhance their brand image.
Network and platform compliance becomes a must have. In order for affiliate to retain it’s place in the marketing budget, network and platform compliance becomes essential to brands. Brands will increasingly place compliance at the top of their evaluation criteria as they consider providers.
If you have any comments or questions on the above topics, please reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org we'd love to hear from you.