I was invited by the IAB to chair their ATE session on “Affiliate Marketing: Loyalty and Cashback” on Wednesday 24th.I know from my recent speaking on Affiliates that the changing landscape as a result of the rise of cashback sites has created some controversy and concern, and equally from a retail perspective there’re questions as to the relative tactical versus strategic aspects of cashback. There’s no denying the responsive, even pavlovian, effects on sales that cashback promotion can achieve – but the question is about brand value, who has the relationship with the customer and whether there’s “loyalty” to anything or anyone other than getting cash back and therefore habitually cheaper prices.
To put perspectives we had:
- Richard Yendall, Chairman, The Loyalty Association (speaking as a cashback affiliate, as well as for that association)
- Helen Southgate, Head of Affiliates, DGM (looking from an agency/network perspective at issues and considerations)
- Peter Wakim, Head of Business Development, Quidco (speaking for one of the most well-known and powerful of the cashback sites)
- Matt Bailey, Head of Affiliates, iLevel (asking questions from a merchant’s perspective, but also sharing research showing that cashback vs ‘normal’ affiliates’ performances are not as generally accepted).
Beer afterwards ensured that the questions continued well after the close of formal proceedings.
The IAB’s venue is a handy, well-appointed and nicely-sized one for these 50-person events and I hope that they’ll be doing more of them in future.
Details of the event, along with speaker presentations, are on the event page, while you can see their events programme here.