April 9, 2020

Is Proprietary Marketing Technology Still Worth the Investment?

It was in an iPhone ad in 2009 when Apple famously coined the phrase, “there’s an app for that.” 

Technology, at its core, is designed to make our lives easier. And the ad was basically saying how every little piece of our lives could be improved through tech.

Since the explosion of mobile and desktop applications of the last decade, software companies have thrived through digital insight interfaces. 

Pizza ordering? Essential. Pizza timer and name of delivery driver? Kind of cool. Create your virtual pizza then save it as desktop wallpaper? Utterly useless. The surge of data driven applications was backed by aggregates to simplify them. 

American Airlines, meet Expedia. Expedia, meet Kayak. Bottom line, for every industry, there is an application that could help facilitate business. 

Marketing technology is no different.

In the last few years, the affiliate space has developed technologies that assist with consolidating network information and providing basic insights. 

Useful, of course, but how useful are they? Do they take the place of the grind and cost of developing technology in house? Is it now a complete waste of cash to hire a team of developers, create an Alpha, then a Beta, then turn it live and cross your fingers, hoping return on investment will be there in the future?

You bet your ass it is.

If you’re a marketer, there is nothing more sexy than being absolutely immersed in your own data. 

Being suffocated by piles and piles of numbers, decimals, commas, campaigns, and percents. Imagine jumping into a pile of softly melted marshmallow (minus the cleanup)…it’s kinda something like that. 

Ok – I am now heading to the kitchen, but before I do that let me hit you with my point: when you have full granularity into every piece of information, you are able to build paths to recreate the successful campaigns, and warnings to avoid others.

According to Advertise Purple president, Kyle Mitnick, “Ours was developed out of need. With the amount of data harvested, we would need to hire another 150 analysts and have them working around the clock to draw the conclusion now delivered at the click of a button. 

Our goal has always been to minimize the elbow grease needed to make smart decisions for our clients. Now, technology & AI can do that.”

Data-driven decision making is and always will be the difference between guesswork and the ability to accurately forecast results. Because in the end, that’s what brands expect most from an agency that they spend their time and money on.

Being the most creative, daring, or any other mantras self-proclaimed cutting edge agencies like to mention is great, but if you aren’t cranking out added revenue for the merchants you’re working with, you’re useless.

Of course, human beings are not machines, but we can utilize machine learning to accurately predict 99 times out of 100 which trends are valid and which are merely statistical anomalies. With this knowledge, we now have something going.

When running any company – or setting out to complete any task for that matter – It really comes down to something as simple as improvement. Instead of taking shots in the dark and hoping for the best, why not understand strengths and weaknesses?

Correct the weaknesses, double down on the strengths, and now you have the ball rolling on a well thought out strategy. And while it might be overwhelming at first, owning all of the data means more lessons to be learned. Simple as that. And the longer you play the game, the more data you compile. 

So, with access to real-time data and the ability to look out for Week-Over-Week, Month-Over-Month, and Year-Over-Year changes in key metrics, you can teach yourself… about yourself… with almost no lag-time at all.

The ability to make changes every week that in the past might have not been possible for months or years is where there being an “app” for that really can apply to one’s strategy as a marketer.

In an effort to strive to do the best work for clients, we are looking inward at what is cooking. Adjust the stove and moderate the temperature, and next thing you know you have a delicious meal. And next time, let’s add less salt. It’ll taste a little bit better. 

Oh, and maybe add olive oil instead of butter to decrease the calorie count. Whew, I think I might be headed back to the kitchen… anyway.

So, yes, proprietary marketing technology is absolutely necessary in today’s market. If you can tinker and tweak without waiting for 3rd party trend reports that take a while to produce and everybody can get access to, you’re ahead of the curve. 

And that’s where we always want to be.

Are you getting started in affiliate marketing or looking to improve your current program?

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