Performance marketing insights, discussions and expertise

Nope, Not an Affiliate Network: How and Why We're Different

By on March 31, 2016

insider-spotlightHere at Impact Radius, we often get asked if we’re an affiliate network. We understand the question — and the confusion. For one thing, we’re listed on several “Best Affiliate Network” lists. Many of our clients come to us from affiliate networks. We do have a marketplace full of media partners that brands can work with as affiliates. And, oh yeah, our founders created Commission Junction and helped create the network model. However, Impact Radius is not a network.

So what’s the difference? We are first and foremost a digital marketing technology company that provides a full suite of digital marketing products, including affiliate solutions. On the affiliate side, we provide a SaaS platform that allows both advertisers and media partners to develop affiliate relationships as well as track and report on performance. Our founders did not want to build another network, they wanted to disrupt the affiliate market and deliver unbiased data marketers can trust.

 

What this really means is that we separate technology from services. We provide the innovative, advanced technology advertisers, agencies, and media partners need to manage an affiliate program but we stop at the actual management. Advertisers and their agencies manage the programs, while our team provides the highest quality tracking, training, and best practices on how to get the most from the platform.

 

Unlike a network, we are not the middleman between the advertiser and their partners. Instead, we provide a robust marketplace with a large pool of leading affiliates, niche media partners, and non-traditional publishers. This facilitates direct communication and partnership between the advertiser and media partner. The platform makes it easy to enter into affiliate relationships with an electronic insertion order, the ability to negotiate contracts, and customize terms and conditions. After all, the majority of brands find that the bulk of their affiliate revenue comes from the top 10-15% of their affiliates — wouldn’t you want to have a direct relationship with those valuable partners?

 

We also have a very different fee structure.. Though the platform automates all the media partner payments, Impact Radius does not take a cut of the payouts. Because we’re a SaaS company, we simply charge a flat fee for the technology. This both avoids any potential conflict of interest, and leaves more marketing dollars to invest. Many of our clients use the cost savings to hire more staff, invest in other channels, hire an agency, or test promotions and placements within the affiliate channel.

 

Impact Radius provides an open platform that is constantly evolving and innovating, based on the market, new media, as well as client and media partner feedback. For example, there’s a white label option so our clients can have a fully-branded affiliate experience. If you want to run an in-house program but don’t have the resources, you can simply use our platform, and customize the interface. Many of our clients have found our white labeled solution has been particularly valuable in the onboarding of non-traditional or niche partners. Another example is our promo code management tools, developed to protect both the advertiser and the media partner. Advertisers can assign exclusive promo codes to ensure the right partner gets credit, even if someone else promotes it. We add new features and updates like these at regular intervals with dozens of product releases each year! Our teams take into account the requests we get from both advertisers and media partners to allow our platform to grow along with you.

 

As part of this innovation, the platform delivers advanced tracking technology that goes way beyond cookies. Using multi-layered tracking methodologies, we are able to combat cookie blocking and deliver close to 100% tracking accuracy. This superior tracking is a boon to both our advertisers, as well as our media partners who benefit from the additional tracking points and improved accuracy.

Perhaps the most important differentiator is that we are not just focused on the affiliate channel. Our comprehensive digital marketing suite allows us to put affiliate in the context of your complete marketing mix. We enable marketers to zero in on incremental value so that can make informed media investments and improve return on ad spend. Bringing together omni-channel analytics, attribution, and forecasting on one centralized platform means our clients have a holistic view of all channels that enables data-driven decisions for growth.

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