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As our clients continue to work to integrate their online marketing programs, we spend a lot of time talking to them about their affiliate marketing offers, their search keywords and their promo calendars. All of these channels work together to introduce our clients to prospective consumers, influence these new prospects as they research their potential purchase and, of course, try to get the right message that closes the consumer to buy their product or service.

In a recent study around the purchase path of online consumers, Forrester Research analyzed 77,000 online conversions and found that 33% of new customers are touched by more than one marketing channel prior to buying. The same study showed that with existing customers, 48% are also touched by multiple channels prior to purchase. This is where the case for the overlap of affiliate marketing and targeted display begins to take form.

Although much time has been spent analyzing the interplay of Search Marketing and Display in digital campaigns, finding research that dives into the power of Affiliate Marketing and Display together isn’t quite as prevalent. As two of the biggest channels that converge closest to the conversion point, spending increased effort to better align these resources can greatly impact a marketer’s success.

While your affiliate program is able to get your message in front of prospects who are out deal-hunting or in shopping mode via deal/review sites, targeted display can jump on the bandwagon, getting your message in front of prospects in almost any category. By utilizing this approach, marketers have the opportunity to greatly expand their reach, as well as encourage new and existing customers to get back into buying mode.

By looking at these as consumer touch points (as opposed to two separate campaigns), the attentive marketer has the opportunity to truly capitalize on the multiplying effect of affiliate marketing and targeted display running side-by-side. Even better, after speaking with multiple marketers, analysis has shown that consumers who interact with both retargeting, one of the most effective forms of targeted display, and affiliate ads in the same purchase experience typically take half of the number of marketing touches to lead to a conversion.

With advanced advertising data analysis, you can let the power of these touches increase the overall efficiency of your marketing budget. Within the GSI Commerce family, FetchBack is working with our sister company— PepperJam Exchange— to offer insight and solutions that allow for an even more seamless connection.

When analyzing your marketing components, remember to start thinking of affiliate marketing and targeted display as complementary parts. This will allow both campaigns to work together instead of limiting yourself to a “winner takes all” approach, affecting the overall efficiency of both channels.

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