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Affiliate Huddle 2024: What to Expect

What to expect at Affiliate Huddle 2024

Steven Brown

Affiliate Huddle has become a solid fixture in the UK affiliate calendar. Curated by a team led by industry legend James Little, the one day event is a brilliant opportunity to catch up with current trends and issues in the industry. Plus of course there’s a chance to meet up with friends – and make new ones – this is still very much a social industry.

What to expect at Affiliate Huddle 2024

Last year Moonpull published takeaways from Affiliate Huddle 2023 – this year Steven Brown put together some thoughts for Moonpull staff to help get the most out of each session. We thought that it made sense to share that with others – so we hope it proves useful for your Huddle experience. 

Affiliate Tracking panel: Affiliate Huddle 2023

10:40 We need to talk about compliance: 

Speakers:  Smita Pillai  |  Elena Glynn  |  Lydia Perrin  |  Stephen Kerin

The intentional and the unintended misuse of promo codes and paid search terms. It’s not fun and it’s not sexy, but it is important.

42% of online businesses fall victim to promo code misuse every year. When publishers misuse a brand’s promo codes – whether intentionally or unintentionally, customer experience deteriorates, brand reputation is damaged, shopping carts are abandoned, and revenue is lost.

And close to 50% of all online sales start on a search engine – but when unauthorised or malicious partners use branded keywords, the problems begin. Compromising the user experience and driving up CPCs, this erodes trust in partners, and creates reputation damage for our industry as a whole.

At a time when marketing budgets are being slashed, making sure your marketing bucks aren’t being wasted is hugely relevant.

This panel will be a discussion about how compliance violations occur, the damage they do to our industry and what can be done about it.

The conference kicks off with a discussion about responsibility and ethics. To start with a session on a problem highlights its importance in holding program investment back. It’s natural for a CMO to say ‘I don’t want to invest in a channel with fraud’. Spotting bad actors to focus on the good is a vital part of the role of everyone in affiliate marketing. How they’re spotted and managed is no doubt going to be discussed in this session.

11:10 GA4: Unfair Modelling or Concerning Revelation?

Speakers:  Steve Bryant  |  Imogen Collins  |  Edwyn McFarlane  |  Marius Tudor  |  Andrew Turner

Since the launch of GA4, there has been a growing discrepancy of Affiliate sales recorded in the tool versus through network platforms, with some advertisers noting up to a 90% drop in awarded sales to the channel. Is this a result of Google’s new DDA integration, or is it a symptom of something more concerning? Our panel will come together to discuss the impact of GA4’s deployment and its effect on the affiliate channel, and how the industry should respond.

This is important as marketing teams need to have confidence in the measurement of a channel to invest in it. The team extends from the affiliate manager to the CMO and in breadth includes the paid search, CCS, SEO, programmatic buyers plus all the offline marketers too.

Nowadays almost everyone is a ‘busy person’ so the window for explaining to colleagues the affiliate channel measurement is accurate is small in a world where they see in GA4 (or adobe, omniture etc) different numbers, but importantly the numbers that are used for decisions on which channel to invest in. Therefore the discrepancy can lead to a lack of faith in the affiliate channel, with less investment, lower inclusion in campaigns and offers etc.

And at Moonpull, part of our mission is to play our part to get accurate affiliate measurement across the industry, so the affiliate measurement is believed. Therefore discussions about differences are about why different measurement platforms measure differently, and are no longer about ‘discrepancies’.

12:10 Real Publishers, Very Real Problems

Speakers:  Karl Wood  |  Victoria Gallego |  Jared Owen |  Aaron Dowler |  Ray Wright

Join us for an insightful panel discussion on the challenges publishers encounter in their diverse operational landscapes. Despite varying business models, some common hurdles are shared. Our expert panel will delve into some key challenges and explore how different businesses navigate them. Gain valuable insights and strategies for overcoming obstacles in the dynamic world of affiliate marketing.

In some ways there is no such thing as a ‘publisher problem’. If a challenge makes a publisher’s life harder it impacts on the whole channel. Long term problems need to be fixed, in the short term they need to be managed. Issues that need to be managed, take time and bandwidth away from building the relationships for belief in the channel.

Again, having CMOs believing that ‘I don’t like such and such category of affiliates because…’ means the channel finds it harder to get the investment to dispel or correct the underlying cause of the issue. Thus the foundations for growing a program are never quite established and compared to other channels, affiliate may get stuck in the slow lane.

Busy people have limited time for solving problems that should be solved by others. CMOs should be brought solutions and not problems. The in-house/agency affiliate manager needs to be working with publishers and networks on ensuring the problems don’t impact their program. And this comes back to looking at problems as short and long-term ones.

Rarely can one tool/platform/initiative fix a big issue – it’ll usually require collaboration. And perhaps the prisoner’s dilemma kicks in where notional competitors can work together for the greater good. (Honourable mention to the PMA and the APMA, as well as all the many conferences, including Huddle).

12:40 Navigating the challenges of cookie deprecation and user consent

Speakers:  Steven Brown  |  Samantha Mills  |  Chris Said  |  Dominic Butterell

Three UK’s leading publishers explain their strategies to navigate the challenges of cookie deprecation and user consent on affiliate revenues

In this moderated session, three publishers discuss their concerns, experiences and strategies to positively navigate the industry-wide cessation of fallback third-party tracking that is the result of Chrome’s Q3 deprecation of third party cookies. This is shining a light on both first-party tracking and the associated implications of user consent on tracking methods now being a hot topic for the whole channel. This is especially true in the UK and Europe where consent is required for a significant proportion of advertisers. The publishers will discuss the issues from their perspective and how they’re working with networks, agencies and advertisers to have a successful 2024 leading into the years ahead too.

The theme of affiliate marketing being the formation of partnerships and management of relationships continues. It is right for:

– publishers to earn commission when they reasonably expect to earn commission

– advertisers to pay for sales they should reasonably expect to pay out on

We’ll cover (as it’s moderated by me) that tracking is the responsibility of all in the channel. Yes, networks are the leaders as the technical providers, but in order to help the networks a better understanding of tracking, how it breaks, how to spot if it’s broken and knowing that some fixes can be instant across all in affiliate marketing will benefit. Publishers can be responsible for broken tracking, advertisers often are. Managing your supply chain is a normal business process and so should be for all of: networks, publishers, advertisers and agencies.

Affiliate Huddle takeaways for 2023

2:40 Debunking Myths: Why Publishers Need to Rethink Their Affiliate Monetization Strategies

Speakers: Lavin Punjabi  |  Yusef Mirza  |  Heather Peebles  |  Dan Cohen  |  Charlotte Moore

It’s increasingly clear that the old playbook Affiliate Publishers are operating on is no longer sufficient. As team sizes shrink and advertiser budgets shift, publishers must reassess their affiliate-led monetization strategies. The landscape has significantly evolved, and holding onto outdated beliefs is like trying to win a drag race with a horse and buggy. 

The panel aims to debunk some fairy tales, such as:

  • The best monetization for each merchant is only possible through its primary affiliate network
  • Holding on to manual decisions in managing Affiliate links and merchant x network combinations
  • Lacking competition between networks for highest EPCs

Now this is a panel to learn from. It’s very much forward looking and at its heart is how to maximise revenue. I’m a big fan of publishers – and all businesses – looking at the short, medium and long term. For publishers to move to appraising shifts in their approach they need to measure what is working. So some of the earlier topics are very relevant. This then is looking out to how publishers are setting their 1-5 year strategies.

Major shifts such as Google entering the voucher space just underline how important this is.

3:10 Revolutionizing Affiliate Marketing with AI: Strategies and Success Stories

Speakers: Alona Malinovska  |  James Bentley  |  Rob Berrisford  |  Danielle Dickinson  |  Lewis Broad-Ashman

Explore the transformative impact of AI on affiliate marketing in our engaging panel discussion. 

Learn from industry experts about AI’s role in optimizing strategies, enhancing personalization, and streamlining operations to drive success in affiliate campaigns. Discover actionable insights and innovative approaches to leveraging technology for competitive advantage in the dynamic affiliate marketing landscape.

I’m in the group of people who think that the benefits of AI should always be nuanced; that it is based on machine learning and needs good training to be reliable. At Moonpull, we use Chatgpt/openAI, Copilot within Github and also Google’s Gemini. In these we see it absolutely streamline processes – I’d be keen to hear not just about what it can do, but how you get it to do it.

More generally from AI, I’ve seen great answers, but also great answers that are compelling, articulated well, but plain wrong. So avoiding hallucinations is key – no one wants to waste time or mislead clients with inaccurate assessments.

4:10 Dynamic solutions through the affiliate channel

Speakers: Charlie Row  |  Kirsten Black  |  Peter Smith  |  Carolina Paradas  |  Grant McAngus

This panel will showcase the full value of the channel and all of the activities that an advertiser can do within it. 

It will delve deep into the experiences of advertisers, technology partners and agencies to really show to the audience that there is so much more out there than just last click. Throughout the panel, we will highlight when you would look to use the solutions, and also shine a light on some of the following:

  • The full array of tech partners
  • Influencer activity
  • CLO
  • Brand partnerships

The affiliate concept at its heart is powering partnerships, and mostly CPA ones. Publishers need to monetise their audience and they can’t stand still, because if they don’t innovate their competitors still will.  The same is true about advertisers, their website needs to sell their products efficiently and effectively to users.

So publishers and advertisers need to look to improve their current partnerships and establish new ones. To this end, affiliate and partner networks need to continue to embrace innovation to continue to be at the heart of powering the partnerships between publishers (including influencers) and advertisers.

4:40 The Leaders Panel

Speakers:  Julia Stent  |  Christie Frazer  |  Suzanna Chaplin  |  James Little  |  Linda O’Connell, Calum Lewis

A lively and illuminating conversation with some of the affiliate marketing industry’s most distinguished figures. This panel promises an inspiring blend of stories, insights, and forward-thinking ideas, all shared in a light and engaging manner. Hear from the visionaries who are shaping the future of affiliate marketing as they discuss trends, share their experiences, and offer a glimpse into the innovative strategies driving their success. Don’t miss this opportunity to be inspired and entertained by the leaders who are setting the pace in the dynamic world of affiliate marketing.

What more can I add? If you’re serious about having a career or successful business in the sector this is a must. Clearly, you’ll not hear about proprietary game-changing innovation being formulated for years down the line, but in terms of getting knowledge of matters to address in the short term it’s essential.

Join us at Affiliate Huddle 2024

5:20 Update from The APMA presented by Kevin Edwards

The APMA is a voice on all matters about affiliate. An opportunity to listen to Kevin’s view on their prioritisation and how he is going to champion the industry.

The Social Huddle

5:30 Drinks reception at Brighton Dome

A drink for the road, and perhaps to find a speaker you’d like to explore an issue with.

And you’ll need some food before…

7:00 After Party – Revolution Bar

Optional, but perhaps where you’ll have some of your most interesting conversations as you’ll end up talking to people you didn’t know before.

Affiliate Huddle After party