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    How Partner Marketing Will Change in Southeast Asia in 2019

    By Sarah Kelly - Jan 3, 2019
    How Partner Marketing Will Change in Southeast Asia in 2019

    Jakarta, Indonesia (PxHere)

    Partner marketing is exploding in SEA as more brands recognize its business-building power. This is both a natural outgrowth of the astounding 30 percent annual growth in ecommerce sales for the region, as well great ROI performance.

    With ecommerce growing at that rate in the region, it’s natural that marketers are looking for efficient and cost-effective ways to drive customer acquisition and repeat purchases. But increased spending isn’t the only major change for the category in the region.

    Here are five key trends to watch in 2019.

    Senior execs will focus even more corporate attention on the channel

    In some parts of the world, partner and affiliate have been viewed largely as niche tactics rather than core marketing strategies. But in the SEA region, which faces the heady growth demands that come from VC funding, every senior brand leader worth their salt will demand outstanding results from partnerships. That’s incredibly exciting for affiliate and partner experts because it guarantees a seat at the table and strong resource commitments. It also increases the pressure to deliver. Every single day.

    SEA will lead in adoption of mobile partner measurement

    To say that Southeast Asia is a heavily mobile-driven region is the biggest of understatements, and brands will need to understand and track partner sales journeys that include mobile. The historically popular third-party-pixel-based tracking methodology simply cannot meet the needs of this region.

    While the rest of the world slowly wakes up to mobile measurement challenges in the wake of ITP2, Southeast Asia has long recognized the need for more comprehensive mobile measurement

    For brands, complete mobile measurement must accommodate activity that occurs both on the mobile web and in apps. On Android and iOS, cookies cannot accommodate complete mobile measurement, especially on iOS. While the rest of the world slowly wakes up to mobile measurement challenges in the wake of ITP2, Southeast Asia has long recognized the need for more comprehensive mobile measurement, and adoption should come at a very fast clip, especially in the first half of the year.

    Blockbuster events will drive stronger results and create seasonality

    Ecommerce across the region is strongly driven by major marketing initiatives, many initiated directly by the regions’ retailers themselves. Singles’ Day, 9-9 and country-centric promotion events already enable brands and partners to drive fantastic volume and revenue during key promotion periods. On our platform, we’ve seen explosive sales growth when brands get behind these time-sensitive events and create programs to get partners to support their efforts.

    In 2019, the rush of dollars and major brands into the space will change the game. Big brands demand transparent relationships and real insight into what works.

    While partner marketing is generally evergreen — meaning that lots of sales are made throughout the year — brands and partners in this region have seen how much business can be driven by these major events and will get behind them in even bigger ways.

    Transparency will become the rule

    In the past, much partner and affiliate marketing in the region has not been transparent. Brands contracted with opaque network partners, making it difficult for clients to dig into their results for insights on site quality, site revenue contribution, brand safety and ideal product assortment.

    In 2019, the rush of dollars and major brands into the space will change the game. Big brands demand transparent relationships and real insight into what works. The largest partners are already making major changes in how they serve clients, recognizing that better results help everyone. And a number of very large and technologically sophisticated partners across the region are driving changes for everyone, from the largest publishers to the long tail.

    Recruiting and retention for partner management will get even tighter

    Partner marketing experts are very in demand across Southeast Asia, especially in the fastest growing markets like Indonesia and Malaysia. Demand will only increase in 2019. Further, as ecommerce sales grow, senior management attention to this channel will continue to increase, underscoring the need for finding the very best management talent available. Companies will have to lure people with great opportunities, and ensure the people they land will have solid career growth plans and trajectories.

    These certainly are exciting times for partner marketers in Southeast Asia. Get ready. The channel is poised to be a central driver of ecommerce sales across the region in 2019.

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