Brands and Publishers Expect Strong Industry Growth Despite Uncertain Economy

The second panel at Martech Record’s Marketing Content and Commerce event focused on the ascendance of affiliate and how marketing spending is shifting to our outcomes-based industry in fascinating ways. Boil this session down to five words: it’s all about quality content.

Stream this panel discussion on-demand here.

Our thanks to for sponsoring this panel.

Usaid Khan, Director of Strategic Partnerships at Thrasio, Steve Moffat, CMO of The Savings Group, Greg Powel, CEO at & ConsumersAdvocate, and moderator Mike McNerney had a wide-ranging conversation about how affiliate and the coming down of the wall between content and commerce are driving bold initiatives from both brands and publishers.

Brands are pursuing affiliate to capitalize on marketing opportunities up and down the buying funnel. While much of the recent industry “action” has been in top-of-funnel influence, there has also been a substantial uptick in traditional affiliate spend – particularly since the global economy faces headwinds. Content plays an increasingly central role in driving qualified traffic and persuasion at every step in the customer journey.

Content is a critical component of go-to-market strategies for top brands today. According to our speakers, the challenge is to develop a range of content that can attract in-market consumers and individuals who may not yet be aware of the categories and solutions available.

Discovery content can add enormous value to consumers’ lives, particularly in the financial services arena, where people must make decisions without personal expertise. Both brand marketers and publishers are working hard to thread that needle with initiatives ranging from the advent of brand newsrooms to publisher content teams leveraging big data to pinpoint suitable topics and keywords.

Naturally, brands vary in how much content they choose to develop versus relying on publishers to create on their behalf. Further, when brands rely on others to produce content, they must consider a dual strategy of combining sponsored content and efforts to influence classic editorial.

But whoever is the producer, brands rely on content to foster discoverability – to grow the funnel at all stages to keep growth rates high and consistent. Content also offers outsized value for SEO, which most brand-side marketers and agencies see as an essential element of modern marketing.

With SEO, brands and publishers must be conscious of a constantly changing set of terms to maximize viewership and persuasive power. The focus is on data for publishers, and the ability to spot emergent content trends is key to effective monetization and growth. No publisher wants one-and-done readers, so continuously evolving editorial focus becomes an essential component of success.

The speakers also provided some critical insights into the characteristics of high-performing outcome-based content. The challenge is how to provide information-packed text and video that are convenient, fast, easy to consume, and transparent. Recent FTC activity adds even more urgency here.

While a seemingly simple set of principles, meeting this standard takes a great deal of discipline. Again, the theme is that we must put the customer at the center of every brand initiative. Just as a brand needs to consider every characteristic to maximize appeal, it must also craft content to answer customer questions in inviting and engaging ways.

Thanks to the Impact team for sponsoring this valuable conversation.

More Event Coverage (stream other panels below):

Content and Commerce Collide at the Latest Martech Record Event

Fragmentation and Change Create Opportunity for Partnership Investors

Partnership Brings Remarkable Business Opportunities to “Old” and “New” Media

The Changing Face of the Affiliate Agency Ecosystem

Check out photos of the panels and the rooftop cocktail hour.

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