Unfortunately, confidence in marketing leaves something to be desired. Year after year, in the poll of the market research firm GfK, marketers end up in the bottom echelons regarding the trust people have in professional groups. Many organizations feed this result with their practices.
Food watchdog Foodwatch has even created its own Wheel of Five variants for this purpose, namely that of deception. Number 1 is ‘nonsense marketing’. It often goes further than deception, such as deliberately avoiding agreements.
For example, some food companies evade advertising agreements about unhealthy food targeting children by petting them in with computer games. But adults too fall prey to misleading affiliate marketing. Think of customers who are persuaded to purchase complex financial products that they do not understand and of which they cannot foresee the consequences.
Is fair affiliate marketing – an illusion?
In many of these cases, affiliate marketing is still mainly seen as an instrument to make a product or service known to communicate to stimulate sales. It is not without reason that affiliate marketing evokes the association with advertising and sales in many people. Although we all know that this is too limited a conception of marketing, it does color the image.
The examples cited make critics wonder whether fair affiliate marketing is an illusion. In many cases, affiliate marketing is also aimed at the short term, and its effects are not or insufficiently demonstrated. Related to this, the marketing function appears to be relatively limited at the top of organizations.
The marketer threatens to end up in a vicious circle: because he adds too little value, he is seen as less valuable, which reduces his impact and allows him to add less value. And voilà, the critics are right: affiliate marketing has little or no value. Even reputable companies with a lot of marketing expertise fall into this trap.
Think Starbucks. Until 2007 a very successful company and very popular among investors. Until it went wrong. Starbucks had become more and more a sales-driven organization in order to please the investors. This resulted in “over-marketing,” whereby the primary focus on the customer was lost, as well as the value that Starbucks initially wanted to offer it: a nice cup of coffee in a pleasant environment. Coffee making was no longer traditional but automated. And the place where it was consumed was more a shop aimed at selling all kinds of stuff than a pleasant meeting space. The magic was gone, and customers turned their backs on the company.
Only after Howard Schultz returned the company to the focus with which it had grown big was that success returned. The Starbucks case illustrates that too narrow a view of affiliate marketing — focusing more on communication and sales than offering and realizing value — leaves the long-term value of affiliate marketing untapped. Opportunities are missed. Even after initial success, as we saw at Starbucks.
As a result, affiliate marketing doesn’t matter.
That is why it is important for marketers and those affected by affiliate marketing — whether as consumers or as stakeholders — to understand how marketing has value. What does that value mean, for whom, and how can it be realized? As we saw at Starbucks. As a result, marketing doesn’t matter.
Value to all stakeholders
Consumers pay a fair price for ‘real food’, and suppliers receive fair compensation. No price pressure and the associated “squeezing” of the chain. This vision, which goes beyond value for the customer and the own organization, is in line with the increasing importance of systems thinking. After all, value is increasingly created in and through a network of stakeholders.
It is not without reason that the authoritative institute American Marketing Association defines marketing as:
Activity, set of institutions, and processes for creating, communicating, delivering, and exchanging offerings that have value for customers, clients, partners, and society at large.
Marketing today creates and realizes demonstrable value for all its stakeholders. It does this in close collaboration with all parties, internal and external, that are necessary for this.
Companies such as Home Depot in the United States and Woolworths in South Africa set explicit goals that they want to achieve among their stakeholders and report annually on their progress towards achieving them. The value that Starbucks delivers to customers cannot be without an eye for supplier, shareholder, and employee.
Thus, the focus of affiliate marketing has broadened considerably, and the marketing function is no longer limited to a single department. That department can indeed steer value creation and value realization, but the underlying processes’ actual implementation affects all those involved. Therefore, affiliate marketing has become too important to be left to the marketer alone but must be done together with that marketer.
This requires the marketer and organization to transcend the level of flat marketing, as demonstrated by the examples as mentioned earlier. And the short-term focus must be exchanged for a longer-term vision on value creation and value realization for all stakeholders.
Marketers, therefore, have an important role to play, and that role is changing dramatically.
Affiliate marketing as a director of value
Increasingly, the product or service as a “carrier” of customer experience is central. The product or service itself is only part of that total customer experience. Starbucks understood this all too well when it saw its customers leave in droves after the customer experience was increasingly reduced to a transaction.
Think of Hilti, which was able to innovate the sale of construction equipment by introducing subscription contracts whereby the professional customer has the latest equipment available at a fixed cost, together with Hilti’s support.
Or in healthcare, where Jan van Bodegom founded the Alexander Monro hospital, which is specialized in breast cancer, based on the needs and experiences of patients.
In these cases, the role of affiliate marketing changes from a consumer-oriented provider of products or services to that of a facilitator of co-creation of customer value. Value is defined based on the intended experience of the customer, and the account is taken of value realization for all interested parties. All parties in the system play an important role.
That is why the marketer must know well, which goals the parties involved are pursuing and evaluate the extent to which these are achieved. To this end, affiliate marketing should have a broader perspective than just a focus on the customer.
Then her role can also be broader. In that case, affiliate marketing is no longer a department that operates fairly isolated from other functions and the top of the organization, but a function that directs the value process (creation and realization) between organization and environment.
Affiliate marketing is the pivot in the internal web of business functions and the external web of stakeholders and knowledge providers. The logic of value creation and value realization is the basis for the efficient and effective management of these networks.
The marketer continuously monitors this logic and plays a leading role in it. That is to say that he or she others, internal and external, stimulates, motivates and mobilizes with a view of this process and, where necessary, makes adjustments to achieve the goal of customers, organization, shareholders, and stakeholders.
In this way, it is monitored that activities goal-oriented, for whom these goals are pursued, and the extent to which the organization is on track to realize them.
This requires a business model that makes the logic of value creation and value realization very transparent. And that is precisely what marketing has an important contribution to make.
Empower marketing at the top
Research shows that an influential marketing department is a good news because it improves business performance. However, the influence of affiliate marketing still focuses mainly on the domain that we traditionally attribute to marketing: target group choice, positioning and communication, and maintaining the customer relationship.
Nothing wrong with that in itself, but as I said before, that is no longer enough today. Markets are changing too quickly for this, and a number of developments are occurring, including in the technological, social, and cultural fields, which require modern affiliate marketing to take on a new role.
Faced with a new reality, marketing must develop new skills that are more diverse and flexible than before and extend beyond the mere marketing function.
For example, organizations must be increasingly able to deal with complex (big) data, respond to heterogeneous customer requirements, understand and serve complex customer journeys, orchestrate unique customer experiences, monitor and satisfy changing customer needs, anticipate new competitors and offer innovative solutions.
This requires quick learning and application of knowledge from sometimes completely new angles.
The field of marketing is, therefore, broadening. After all, the customer can enter the organization in many ways and create value with the organization, whether or not in collaboration with its partners. A marketing function that is mainly concerned with communication and sales is missing the boat. Especially when the more strategic aspects of marketing are not or insufficiently covered at the top level.
Ironically, the marketing function has slipped further and further into the organization, while the need for marketing thinking at the top of the organization has only increased. Without a strategic vision on marketing, it cannot fulfill its role in the value creation and value realization process. This is a far cry from the traditional marketing department that mainly deals with marketing tactics.
Modern organizations are embracing marketing as a function that helps guide value creation for its customers and stakeholders and enables it to demonstrate its success in doing so.
Modern marketing creates value in a way that is accountable, sustainable, and desirable. In many cases, it will not be assigned this role of its own accord, on the contrary. Marketers will have to fight to play that role.
For the sake of their organizations and stakeholders and for themselves. Because if they don’t do it, their position will only come under more pressure, and marketing will eventually become a really dirty word. And that comes at the expense of everyone.
The new lead forms extension in Google Ads is a useful addition for B2B companies. What about lead generation options now? This blog describes how to lead gen-forms work on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Google. There are advantages and disadvantages to each channel, and we will discuss a few useful tips—the basics about lead forms.
Is it essential for your B2B company to generate as many leads as possible? With lead gen forms, you involve potential customers in the company, for example, by offering them a free whitepaper or demo after filling in contact details. This is particularly interesting for B2B companies that do not sell tangible products and who put personal contact with the customer first. Lead forms are applicable in three phases of the marketing funnel: awareness, consideration, and action.
Lead forms on social media
Facebook and LinkedIn offer opportunities to collect leads through paid advertisements. You do this via – you guessed it – lead forms. Users click a button in the ad, such as ‘sign up now’ or ‘download for free.’
Subsequently, data must be entered. The administrator will request that of the advertisement (that is you). As soon as the user clicks on send, you will receive their contact details and thus have a lead.
Both social media channels have advantages and disadvantages. The difference is mainly in the target groups.
Facebook allows the advertiser to choose from a wide variety of targeting options based on interests and behavior, for example. LinkedIn also has those options, but mainly focuses on the business information that the user has entered on his page. Think of data such as the job title, industry, company name, and company size.
LinkedIn is, therefore, often a more suitable platform for acquiring B2B leads. Facebook is more suitable for target groups outside of that. That does not mean that LinkedIn is always more convenient for B2B companies. After all, your target group can easily be found on Facebook.
“Cost per click is usually cheaper on Facebook than LinkedIn.”
Both Facebook and LinkedIn automatically complete users’ data so that only two clicks are required to submit a lead form. This allows you to generate many leads potentially.
Not unimportantly, the cost per click is usually cheaper on Facebook compared to LinkedIn.
Lead form extensions in Google Ads
Recently, Google Ads also offers the possibility to add lead forms as extensions to a campaign or ad group. This feature is in beta at the time of writing and not yet available in all accounts.
The lead form extension in Google Ads consists of three parts: a call-to-action, a page with contact details to be completed, and a thank you page. You can determine which information the user must enter. You can also design the form to your liking by adding a background image and descriptions.
Three tips for lead forms
You now know where to use lead forms, but what should they look like? Three best practices:
1. Could you keep it simple? Only ask for really relevant information. Lead forms with two or three fields are most often completed.
“Only ask for information that is relevant.”
2. Clarify what happens after each click. What added value does it offer for a user if he presses the ‘register’ button? What does that person get in exchange for their contact details? And what happens once this data is sent? Make this clear. Use the thank you page to tell when leads hear from your company.
3. Always emphasize what value the form provides. Free registration without any obligation is very inviting. If you offer free content downloads, use the ‘download now’ call to action on the thank you page with a direct link to the content.
Link new leads with a CRM
You can manually download lists of leads from social media and Google as individual CSV files. However, this is time-consuming and time-consuming, because double entry is created. It is more convenient to link the lead campaigns and the CRM of the company. This way, you receive and view all new leads in one place.
Lead Forms In Affiliate Marketing – Conclusion
With the rollout of lead forms on Google, the opportunities for B2B marketers to bring in leads are growing.
You can start experimenting using the tips in this article. Are you already using lead forms, or are you planning to? And how are you going to apply them?
We are working with performance indicators. Organizational design and corporate culture as success factors. Performance management and continuous improvement of results. Behavior, attitude, and corporate culture as success factors in performance management. Insights, examples, trends, and tips.
What is Performance Management
Performance management is steering on organizational goals and results. The first step is to identify these goals. We find this continued in the organization’s strategy in terms of turnover, margin, new products, better stock management, fewer returns or outages, and greater customer focus. Subsequently, a system of indicators can be used to keep track of the results based on regular reports.
Many organizations have such a system of performance indicators (also called key performance indicators or KPIs). In practice, it is often limited to a periodic perpetual exercise in the top team under the financial manager’s guidance. Deeper in the organization, people don’t know about anything or see it as a top-down control tool that you are occasionally bothered with.
In that case, ‘steering’ is mainly seen as ‘wanting to measure and want to know by the top.’
Performance management: trend
Performance management continues. It is about ‘ continuous improvement at all levels of the organization. ‘ This is possible by making performance management a living reality in the organization. All parts work on it by connecting the indicators to their performance. And by discussing the results in the work meeting to improve the results.
That often goes wrong. We have known for years why that is, but the practice appears to be unruly. Performance Management, doomed to failure?
The trick is to keep it simple. Sometimes they allow themselves to be fooled by an attractive ICT system of dozens of indicators, diagrams, and figures. Very impressive, but failure is near.
Let simplicity rule
We must continuously know how we are doing. Everyone must know about costs, income, and orders. Every director, every manager of ours, must feel that responsibility. Everyone should be able to clarify this to the people in the workplace.
From the start, I was already working on making the most important figures of the companies visible in a system that allows everyone to keep a finger on the pulse. The commercial ICT firms that we asked for such a system made great promises, but the result was nothing like. I wanted a simple system that continuously shows how we run based on just a few numbers. I then made the screens myself using the numbers we needed.
We still work with that system. Simple and goal-oriented, directly linked to questions such as: “Is money being made, and do we have enough orders?” Every operating company knows how it is doing.
Suppose your results are visible, then everyone understands why. The figures are known. Costs, indirect hours, order book. If costs increase or if the order book drops, there is a problem that needs to be solved.
The solution often comes in collaboration with the shop floor. There is also expertise to realize improvements. Suppose you involve people in the problems and are clear about how we are doing.
In that case, everyone will want to participate if the managers fail to do so if they do not know what is going on in the workplace if they cannot explain what is wrong with their own operating result when things go wrong. This is a flat organization with short lines of communication, our people deserve attention, and the managers must show that.
Performance management is also behavior and organizational design.
We see that performance management is more than objectives and KPIs. It is managing to focus on ‘result improvement,’ it is the relationship between bosses and the workplace and between staff and line. It’s commitment and motivation. It is an organizational design in which components have insight into their own results and are also responsible for them.
Are you wondering what you can do in your organization to make performance management work properly? Then see the examples in the articles on this page.
Instrument Performance management and indicators
Have you already tried everything and has not yet succeeded then take this test. With this instrument, you can measure the result orientation of your team and your organization. You also make the possibilities for improvement visible. The instrument focuses on questions such as:
- Is your organization really working on improving results?
- Is there enough involvement and action-orientation?
- Do managers direct and stimulate the process of performance improvement?
For many businesses, the market in which they operate is becoming increasingly dynamic and faces increasing challenges. Demanding customers, shorter lead times, and a large increase in technological developments, among other things, have ensured that the attention for Performance Management has expanded enormously in recent years. However, performance management is a broad subject. You often see that businesses think too lightly about it. Please provide a list of KPIs, communicate this to management, make their bonus dependent on it, and people will manage.
Nothing could be further from the truth, and you often see disappointing results. Setting up good performance management is, therefore, not easy.
Performance management can only succeed if the correct preconditions have been met.
- There must be a clear link between formulated KPIs and the organizational objectives. Often this link is missing, with the risk that people are not steering in the right direction.
- A good decomposition of processes is important in order to be able to do a good translation from strategic goals to operational objectives.
- Make sure you don’t have too many KPIs that make businesses micro-manage. This indicates a lack of focus.
- The introduction of Performance management requires a different way of leadership. Managers must be willing and able to steer based on the insights obtained. It requires a change in managers’ behavior in which addressing people about their responsibilities is of great importance.
- Ensure that the preconditions (rewards, responsibilities, etc.) are properly fulfilled for managers so that they can fulfill their role properly.
- Good and sufficient communication about the implementation of Performance management is necessary. The organization’s employees must be sufficiently informed because otherwise, resistance may be perceived as threatening as a possible consequence.
- The setup Performance management system must be sufficiently flexible. Inevitable organizational changes and adjustments in organizational goals must be easy to process if people want to continue to manage in the long term.
Performance management is, therefore, more than just managing based on a few numbers. Performance management is acting on business questions that play a role within the organization. Good Performance management must ensure that an organization:
• Can respond quickly to questions from the market
• Ensures the required transparency
• Manages the realization of the strategy
Performance management is, therefore more than drawing up a few KPIs. If businesses actually want to implement performance management and control performance, the preconditions are also very important!