By Damian Juarez-Mrazek on February 14, 2018 In my role as a Customer Success Manager, I talk to a lot of clients who ask about incrementality and are always looking to take their partner marketing programs to the next level. They wrestle with how much to pay their highest performing partners, whether or not they should purchase promotional placements to gain more exposure, and how they can ensure the best return on ad spend (ROAS).

These are questions marketers have grappled with since the inception of affiliate marketing, which we are increasingly referring to as “partner marketing”. And I’d argue, they’re the right questions to be asking if your ultimate goal is to scale your program while minimizing wasteful spend.

Pay Closer Attention to Conversion Paths In order to begin to answer some of these questions, I usually tell clients to look no further than the customer journey — the click path the customer took to complete their purchase. In the early days of affiliate marketing, we weren’t so interested in the clicks that started the path, or the clicks that contributed to an eventual purchase.

But today, program managers are paying closer attention to how the customer got to the conversion. This might be a new concept for those just starting out, so I’ll focus on three basic takeaways that savvy marketers will observe when analyzing the most common conversion paths.

Takeaway #1: The media partner (publisher) that kicks off the customer journey is often not the party that receives credit for the sale. According to 2017’s Connect Shopper Report, 85% of shoppers rely on research from multiple online sources before completing a purchase. Read more from…

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