About Our Guest
James is a seasoned digital marketing professional, having dedicated the past 13 years of his life towards becoming a philosopher of affiliate marketing. With experience working for an affiliate network, a multi-channel retailer, a gambling white label business and finally a large affiliate publisher, James has a unique view of the market and, outside of the day job, has made it a bit of a mission of his to try and educate others on best practice and market insights via:
– The affiliate podcast (www.affiliatepodcast.co.uk)
– The affiliate huddle (www.affiliatehuddle.com) – a free one day affiliate conference for around 800 people I run in London
Known for being outspoken about how the industry needs to continue to develop and improve, James has twice been named to PerformanceIn’s list of the Top 50 Performance Marketing(2017 and 2018).
Awin and ShareASale provide brands of all sizes an open marketplace to create any type of acquisition partnership. Their 270,000+ active partners operating across a million-plus websites – including traditional affiliates, global mass media houses, trusted micro-influencers and innovative fintech businesses – enable advertisers to generate more sales, expand customer reach and strengthen their brand. In addition to leading the way with their reach, Awin and ShareASale’s award-winning technology and tools – including first-party tracking, multi-channel attribution, ecommerce plugin integrations and in-app tracking – ensure a program tracks all sales, making it optimally attractive for partners to want to promote
On Episode 8 of “Performance Marketing Spotlight,” we’re joined by James Little. James is a seasoned publisher with extensive experience in the affiliate marketing industry. James raises important questions about validations for advertisers in the affiliate industry, especially for smaller publishers who may struggle to track confirmed sales. We also delve into the issue of fraudulent activity and the need to prevent such behavior. James sheds light on the current payment process in the industry, which can be lengthy and frustrating. As we navigate various topics, James shares his insights, challenges the marketing funnel concept, and emphasizes the continued growth of affiliate marketing.
Marshall Nyman [00:00:01]:
Hello and welcome to the performance marketing spotlight. I’m your host, Marshall Nyman, founder and CEO of Nymonco. Each episode, the podcast brings you someone with deep experience in the performance marketing space where they highlight their experience within the industry. Today I have James Little, who is group commercial director at Top Cashback. Welcome to the podcast, James.
James Little [00:00:22]:
Hey, thanks for having me on.
Marshall Nyman [00:00:24]:
Of course. Very excited to have you on today. So let’s get right to it. Would love for you to start with just an introduction about yourself to the audience.
James Little [00:00:32]:
Yeah, absolutely. So, yeah. James Glitter. I’m Group commercial director top cashback. I’ve been doing affiliates for, I guess, almost 20 years, which shows my age a little bit, unfortunately. Got a wife, three kids, two of which have moved out. Two dogs, I should say have moved out because they’re old enough to move out and go about their own lives. But I’m an avid barbecuer, so I can now say I’m a micro influencer because I’ve got about 6000 followers on Instagram.
James Little [00:01:01]:
So do follow me on there at Belly of Barbecue, if you like. All things barbecue. And I will be making some smashburgers after this podcast. Big fans of all things America. Well, most things anyway. And almost moved out there. Got my green card approved, just pre COVID, but then the world changed. So stick around in the UK for a bit longer and yeah, that’s pretty much me.
Marshall Nyman [00:01:26]:
Awesome. Well, I can relate. I got three, but on the other end, super young, still in the house.
James Little [00:01:32]:
Keeping me super busy.
Marshall Nyman [00:01:35]:
What’s your favorite thing to?
James Little [00:01:38]:
Oh, well, do you know what really got me into barbecue was I went to Austin for a Deal Maker conference last year and just had the most incredible Texas brisket. It was just amazing. And I kind of came home and I’m like, you know what, I need to somehow replicate that flavor back home. And I’m not there yet, but I’ve almost got there and I’ve bought, like, a Camaro Joe, and I’ve now got an outdoor kitchen. I’ve spent a lot of time out there and all because of that trip to Austin. So, yeah, I guess brisket would be the way to go. But I cooked almost anything on there. Even my turkey for Christmas last year was cooked on the barbecue.
Marshall Nyman [00:02:19]:
Well, I can relate. I went to Dealmaker last year and I went to Austin for the first time as well. And I had barbecue, and it was the best brisket I ever had. And I actually made one last weekend for July 4. So, yes, making a great brisket is always nice and it’s a crowd pleaser.
James Little [00:02:40]:
Marshall Nyman [00:02:41]:
Well, great for the introduction. Would love to know how you got started in the industry.
James Little [00:02:45]:
Yeah, no, sure. So I actually came out of school when I was 17, so I kind of started work quite early. I’ve got something called Dyspraxia, which kind of made education just a bit more difficult than maybe it could have been for others and still impacted my day to day life quite a lot. And I’ve started to be a bit more open about that on LinkedIn and some of the challenges that it has. But, yeah, so I kind of got a full time job at 17, worked for an Australian company called Onetel, did that for five years and they did all their recruitment internally. So I went from being a customer service rep to ended up being a web developer there and kind of started to integrate some tracking code for these affiliate networks. And I was like, wow, what’s this all about? And then started to learn about it and realized I didn’t want to spend my life as a web developer because I wasn’t great at it. And managed to find my way into a job at an online retailer as an Internet marketing manager, doing all things affiliate, SEO, Paid search, et cetera.
James Little [00:03:42]:
But affiliate marketing was the thing that I really loved, really. So then kind of went for a bunch of different companies on the way to Top Cashback, but seen every side of it from affiliate network to agency to white label to publisher to merchants, so have quite a lot of knowledge or done quite a lot anyway in the industry during that time.
Marshall Nyman [00:04:06]:
Yeah, it’s nice to have a perspective from all the different angles.
James Little [00:04:10]:
Yeah, I think it helps, and I think it just enables you especially when I joined Top Cash back, there was only about 30 people that worked for the company at the time. So I was the first kind of recruitment that they’d made of someone from within the industry and just be able to hopefully the idea was to bring some of that experience of saying well this is why maybe an advertiser made this decision or why networks made this decision or whatever it might else be. Because you’ve had some of that experience yourself I think really helped. And we made a few recruits from the industry that I think has kind of really given the company more knowledge in that space.
Marshall Nyman [00:04:45]:
Awesome. Why don’t you tell the audience a little bit more about Top Cashback and how they work as a publisher?
James Little [00:04:51]:
Yeah, absolutely. So Top Cashback has been going just over 18 years, so in the UK, 18 is the legalized age to be able to drink. So we put together a Top Cashback logo, drinking a pint recently to celebrate the 18th, and it was the first cashback site, really, to offer 100% of the commission back to the user. And it’s what still really sets us apart, so we don’t keep any of that commission and like I say, it all goes back to the user. So we killed 100% cashback site. We’re now the biggest publisher in Europe. So when I joined, there was about 30 of us. There’s now over 300.
James Little [00:05:29]:
I think we have 750,000 UK only members at the time and we’ve now got over 25 million customers across the globe. Sites in the UK, US, China, Germany, France, Australia, Sweden, Norway, Poland and there’s definitely more to come as well. So UK our biggest market, like I say, we’re the biggest publisher in Europe, but US, we launched about eleven or just over eleven years ago and is going really well, as are a bunch of the other markets, but a lot of those are kind of newer off the ground. So I guess what makes us unique is we are the most generous cashback site. So if you’re a customer and you’re trying to get the highest cashback rates, then we can’t be beaten most of the time and we make our money via solely from kind of paid placements and tenancy. But even then we’ll only really work with clients and earn money from that tenancy or pay placements if we know they’re going to see a benefit from it or think they’re going to see a good benefit from it. Because ultimately we’re here for longtime partnerships.
Marshall Nyman [00:06:27]:
Exactly what type of brands do you see successful on top cash back or is there anything a brand would need to consider before maybe starting a partnership?
James Little [00:06:36]:
No, so I think it depends on the they. For example, in the US we can’t work with insurance brands, right? Because you’re not allowed to offer cash back and insurance. We haven’t historically in the US worked on finance, but it’s an area you definitely want to kind of try and tackle and we’re working towards. But I would say other than that, every market is kind of open. Obviously some niches will do less in than others, but one of the gain, the things that kind of sets apart is we try and have everyone and as many advertisers we can on there. So across the UK, we’ve got close to 7000 merchants in US, we’ve got around 10,000 merchants or advertisers on our site and then similar numbers when we look at our other sites as well. So ideally we want as many brands as possible to be listed on our site. We don’t charge integration fees or any of that kind of stuff to work together either.
James Little [00:07:33]:
So it’s all about trying to bring everyone on board.
Marshall Nyman [00:07:35]:
Really awesome. Always nice when there’s a low barrier to entry to work with a publisher, especially since the industry is making it a lot more challenging with some publishers to work without having some sort of paid partnership to get off the ground.
James Little [00:07:50]:
And you know what, I do understand and I do sympathize with advertiser, sorry, publishers that do have those kind of integration fees because it does take time to make sure you’re on all the different networks and like to launch a program. And we have a really good kind of admin team who kind of get all these programs live every day and we have a lot of programs go live every week, but we want more. Right. There’s still a bunch of flip programs we’re not live in and we’ve got a real kind of task at the moment to try and continue to increase that number and hopefully potentially double it in the year to come. Right. We want, like I say, every brand possible to be on there, really.
Marshall Nyman [00:08:26]:
Yeah. I think the publishers were basically taking all the risk in the beginning and now they’re trying to basically balance some of the risk where if you think you’re a fit, you’re willing to take on a little bit risk too, where they’re just taking on all the risk previously. So I think that’s probably why we’re seeing that little bit of a shift and I think that’s fair from a publisher standpoint. They’re looking to get compensated for their time as well and same thing with influencers. They don’t want to just review your product and make a post for nothing. It takes time to do that, whether they’re going to make any sales or not.
James Little [00:08:57]:
Because whilst other publishers might charge integration fee, we then hopefully have more than anyone else that gives customers another reason of why they should use Top Cash Back over.
Marshall Nyman [00:09:06]:
And if I can bethesd that’s a good point. Yeah, you can definitely have everybody versus kind of being like a walled garden. So now that you’ve been there at Top Cash Back for twelve years, which is definitely a really good run in the affiliate space, would love to hear a little bit about the different roles that you’ve had there and the evolution.
James Little [00:09:25]:
Yeah, absolutely. I joined to launch our London office and to head up our UK partnerships team. So we kind of had a small team in our head office which is up in the Midlands in the UK. For anyone that knows the area and joined to kind know, really start to build out that know, go and start to meet clients and all the things. Know, affiliate marketing is all about relationships so it’s a massive part of what it is. And whilst we had some good relationships, we didn’t have a big enough team to actually go out and see those clients, whether it’s clients, agencies, networks, et cetera. So, yeah, joined to start a team to do that. One of my colleagues, Graham, joined just after and then we’ve going out having meetings.
James Little [00:10:06]:
I think sometimes I went across kind of four or five meetings a day at different locations. Right. And that team has continued to expand and about 20 or so of them in the UK and we’ve got a good team in the US. Jillian Passada heads up over there as well. So other than that, I also kind of lead and have led a lot of product launches. So whether that’s our install cash back in the UK, whether that’s a gift card mall across the UK and the US, our browser extension products, we’re probably one of the last market on browser extensions because we worried that it wasn’t the right thing for kind of incrementality and various other things, but kind of had to use it to love it, right? So there was always that kind of request from our customers. And, yeah, I think as like I say, because of my background in the industry, I generally understand a lot about how all this fits, you know, things like affiliate tracking, for example, and understanding kind of how it works and where it’s sitting and some of the issues around it in the market today. With google and their move to get rid of, well, apple restarted it, but soon chrome losing the ability to have third party cookies and that kind of stuff as well.
James Little [00:11:13]:
So lead group internally to kind of help understand what impact that’s going to have and what we do about it, et cetera.
Marshall Nyman [00:11:20]:
I think that kind of leads me into maybe my next question. And you published a great article this morning about browser extensions, so very timely as you’re speaking about it, would love for you to share a little bit about that article and what you were talking about.
James Little [00:11:37]:
Yes, I think for us, one of the things that maybe if you don’t run a browser extension, you might not know this, but one of the rules that a couple of networks have in place, and certainly CJ and Rakuten is they have rules around what they call standing down. And what that means is if another affiliate has been involved in that journey and led the customer to an advertiser site, then the pop ups that the browser extensions have aren’t allowed to pop up effectively, they’re not allowed to be shown. And those rules have been in place for a number of years at Rakuten and CJ. And the article this morning was saying, actually, I think those rules are really good. Yes, it can sometimes cause I can understand how from a publisher perspective and someone that has a browser extension can cause potentially confusion for customers, not knowing whether they’re going to be able to get cash back, not get cash back, get the deals, et cetera. But I think for the positives, it can cause the industry of kind of stopping those cookies from being overridden at that kind of stage of a pop up, I think, is why the likes of CJ and Racketell have done it. And I guess my post today was to say is it time that we start to kind of talk about this as an industry and should there be some standardization? Because that’s one thing the industry really lacks is kind of standardization across topics such as this. And they’d love to kind of start to see that happen and start to see some agreement over.
James Little [00:12:55]:
Is it that this is the way to go? Is it that soft cookies are the way to go? These are the kind of questions that we should be asking ourselves, I think, and having some serious tough conversations around. So, yeah, I’d love to see more people comment on the article and get some other views and see that later. Really?
Marshall Nyman [00:13:12]:
Yeah, I think you make a good point. We definitely try to limit the browser extensions in some of our programs to kind of keep the tracking the way it should be, where if we’re trying to drive a top of funnel program, we don’t want to see somebody with the browser extension come in there and.
James Little [00:13:27]:
Take all the credit.
Marshall Nyman [00:13:28]:
So I think it’s like, basically we try to set up maybe a separate conversion line or something so it kind of doesn’t steal the credit from that publisher. But I think there are things that you can do and there are a lot of things from a tracking standpoint that I think that the networks are looking to try to evolve on to make things easier and more insightful.
James Little [00:13:47]:
I think it’s tough, right? Because I think you mentioned about the funnel, and I think I kind of like I’m not a big fan of the talk of funnel, right. An upper funnel and lower funnel. Because there was someone that commented in the article today that I wrote and talking about browser extensions being at the very bottom of the funnel and the lower end. But actually, when you see some of the companies that have these extensions where they have websites as well, especially they might be take someone like a ratan, for example, who have super well adverts and similar to what we’ve done in the UK have built a well known established brand that so many people have heard of and publishers like ourselves that ultimately have kind of built probably bigger brands than most of the advertisers that we promote on site. And the face of loyalty has kind of changed. It isn’t the customers loyal to advertisers anymore. They’re often a lot more loyal to the publishers there as well. So I don’t kind of see cashback sites or some of the extensions as being at the bottom of the funnel in the same way as maybe historically they’ve been known as.
James Little [00:14:50]:
I think that’s changed a lot and I think if you look at some of the data behind it, I think that can be backed up that way as well. So I would kind of pick up that and I think there’s a really important place for it. I think one of the other issues that we need to tackle, which is probably another article in the making as well, is saying but if we are going to take these kind of things seriously, then we also need to look at the code situation. The number of fake codes that is often called use generated content but just don’t work. Should they really be monetized in the way they are? And I think in the UK we had something called the IAB, which still exists, but affiliate played part of that for a while and put some rules in place around kind of compliance, around Voucher codes and what can be monetized and what we can’t and stuff like that. And it’d be great to kind of see that kind of rekindled in the UK and also whether that’s something that the PMA will look at in the US as well and whether there’s anything that can actually be done about this stage or not. Because it is. One of the things that I think is really bad in the market is the fact that there is especially coupon and Voucher codes is to say that half time they don’t exist and customers are aware of that, but then they’re still dropping cookies at that point and that’s where it’s really bad.
James Little [00:16:04]:
I think if there’s valid codes and it’s really good for the user, then I’m all for it, but half the time they’re not. And that needs to be explored.
Marshall Nyman [00:16:11]:
Yeah, we set up our programs that we won’t give attribution to codes that aren’t part of their setup. So it usually mitigates that. But I think to your point as well, and I saw a comment and I’m not sure if maybe you made the comment actually about networks or publishers not taking user generated codes anymore. And that’s where the big problem is. They’ll take a code from a customer, maybe it worked one time for them, it doesn’t work for someone else. Or maybe it does work, but the brand doesn’t want it out there. So I think having a better process in place to be able to manage the codes and what codes are available and what should get commissioned, stuff like that, I think is definitely another big.
James Little [00:16:53]:
Piece that exists already. I think that’s the thing, right? You can already pull the APIs from the networks of the codes and near enough all of them have APIs for that. And you’ve got products like FMTC that can help there as well and others that do something similar. And we will only promote codes that have been provided for us with affiliate channel because we think that’s the way to go. Like having user generated codes that won’t necessarily get then the commission might be declined. That’s obviously bad track customers, right? But half the time, like I say, sometimes they’re even just made up, they’re not even necessarily generated, right? And it’s just so we can pop up at the end and say, hey, try these nine codes and by clicking the try it then triggers the affiliate tracking. Like is that really right? We need to tackle this and these tough conversations need to be had.
Marshall Nyman [00:17:48]:
It doesn’t create a good user experience. And I think shoppers, they remember where they’ve gotten that code from. And if they’re going to a place and they’re getting, like an accurate code all the time, they’re going to more likely go to that source for that code, where if they’re browsing a few different sites and they’re getting all these codes and it doesn’t work, they might be less likely to click on some of those coupon sites in the future. Or loyalty sites. So I think having a better process around all of it and making it a smoother checkout for the customer is also going to make the publishers look better. Yeah, well, let’s shift gears a little bit. I know you’re also a co organizer of the affiliate Huddle event. We’d love for you to tell us a little bit about the event and your experience with them.
James Little [00:18:32]:
Yeah, absolutely. So this has been a bit of a passion project for me. So it started about ten years ago, probably was the first one that we ran effectively. I went to an event called Brighton SEO. A guy called Kelvin organizes it. Not long after I was at Top cashback, I went there and it’s always amazing kind of SEO event. It’s become the biggest search event in Europe, and it was a free conference and people can go along and saw some really good content, et cetera. And I kind of said to him at the end of it, because I knew Kelvin, I said, wouldn’t it be great to see us in the affiliate space? And then we said, well, why don’t along with Top Cashback, we kind of do this together? So that’s what we did.
James Little [00:19:10]:
And it went from maybe 100 people in a room the first time around to this year we had almost 1000 people. Again, a bigger venue than the year before, but it was still full to the brim. I think one person on the feedback that we got said that because of how busy it was, he was more sweat than man by the end of the show. We’ll continue to move to bigger venues and continue to increase that. But still it was a great venue this year that we’ll be able to go next year. And I think the thing that makes it special is it’s completely free for publishers, for agencies, and for advertisers to attend. And it’s the only show that is like that where it’s able to do that, see some really good content, and it’s probably moved more towards networking. We have a bunch of tables there now where people can arrange meetings and seeing each other and that’s become kind of a big part of the show and continues to kind of grow because of it.
James Little [00:20:06]:
The aim really is to continue to see that, have thousands of people attend, and hopefully in a couple of years I’ll be saying, well, when there’s only 1000 now, we’re 2000 or 5000 or whatever it might look like. But yeah, I’m really proud of the success and Top Cash bit. Being able to continue to co organize it and be a big part of it, that’s great.
Marshall Nyman [00:20:28]:
And I think anytime you’re hosting an event for people and it’s no cost and they can get together and network. That’s great for the industry.
James Little [00:20:36]:
So really nice to see good content as well. That’s the other thing there’s. The stage that we’re at, like the Brighton Dome is where we host it this year. And the stage is where famous comedians and singers and everyone else from around the world is kind of used as a backdrop. So to be able to be on a stage and have some really good content on there is great as well. And long may we see that continue.
Marshall Nyman [00:21:02]:
And when is the event usually?
James Little [00:21:04]:
It’s normally April and it’s held down in a seaside town of Brighton. So, yes, it’s a nice day out by the beach as well. Well, last year, I’d say it was a nice day out. Last year it was torrential rain and wind and hail, et cetera. So that was sometimes good because it kept everyone in the venue and meant they didn’t go after a pint at lunchtime and not come back. Right. But, yeah, this year the weather is a lot nicer, thankfully awesome.
Marshall Nyman [00:21:32]:
Well, we talked a little bit about tracking and a few other challenges the industry is facing. Are there any other major challenges that you see that the industry needs to tackle?
James Little [00:21:45]:
I think the main thing for me, right, and the three kind of pillars of what an affiliate, network and advertisers need to get right is tracking, like you say. And that is definitely one of the things that we’re working on. Validations, I think. Really interesting. I was on a panel at ASW earlier on the year, I was moderating a panel there and one of the panelists had said that one of the best things about the industry is the fact that merchants can validate or cancel sales where they need to. And I can understand that for an advertiser that is a really good thing, but you can’t do that in many other marketing channels. So actually, I do wonder if we’ve done it a little bit wrong in the affiliate space and actually saying that whilst those validations would be needed for things like naughty sites like ourselves, because you want the customer ordering loads of stuff and then returning it and still getting a cash back, right. Is it a good thing for everyone else, especially? How do you plan for that? If you’re a publisher, especially smaller publishers that maybe are putting money into driving traffic through to advertiser sites, and then they’re not sure, actually, when they get those sales come through, like, how many are actually going to be confirmed? And how can they even see which ones are confirmed on some of the platforms? And it could take 90 days before they can even see them be revoked.
James Little [00:22:59]:
So I do think that’s an area who needs to tackle and then finally the payment side. Right. And we are, as an industry, very slow at getting payments we’ve had. Sometimes it could take up to a year to get a payment on a transaction. And I’d love to think that was rare, but it’s not that, you know, I’d love to see if there’s ways of, as an industry coming together and again saying, is there a way of speeding these things up? There are some new technologies that are coming out, some new partners coming out, but especially we’ve seen the UK like Aewin’s partnership with Payoneer that allows certainly kind of more bigger publishers, guests pay to get paid early and take some insurance on that and stuff like that, which I think will help. And it’s a shame that we’re at the point where that is needed and we can’t just get advertisers to pay as fast as they pay Google or various other things. So, yeah, I’d love to see that improve in the months and years ahead as well. But I’ve been saying that for probably five or ten years, so I don’t have a huge amount of optimism that will happen.
James Little [00:24:03]:
But those are the areas I think are where we see the biggest challenges anyway.
Marshall Nyman [00:24:08]:
Yeah, we’ve talked a lot about that at Naimo. I think one of the things that we’ve seen shifted is brands didn’t really have as strong of a connection between the affiliate platform and their CMS, and now that’s a stronger connection and so they’re able to see if an order didn’t go through or was returned. So I think there’s a lot more validation that’s probably happening than happened in the past, so that’s probably why that’s become an issue as well. I think the other thing we’ve been talking a lot about, and be interesting to hear from a publisher’s perspective, is the locking period, is anything more than 30 days just too crazy or what are your thoughts on a fair locking period?
James Little [00:24:50]:
I think for me, I’m clearly going to say the lower the better from a publisher perspective. Right. But equally, I don’t think it should be as long as 90 days. I think actually it depends on the store, ultimately, it depends on how long the customer has to return the product. Now, some places will say you’ve got a year to return the product and clear that isn’t going to be possible. Right, but a lot of stores will kind of say 30 days, maybe 60 days, that should be the limit and definitely know more on top of that. So I think it varies depending on the advertiser themselves. But yeah, from my experience, the lower the better.
James Little [00:25:27]:
Because then the quicker your publishers get paid, the quicker they can either then pay their members if it’s a cashback site or a loyalty site that they can put that, or if it’s not, that they can maybe reinvest that money to continue to drive more sales for your business.
Marshall Nyman [00:25:41]:
Ultimately, yeah, I think sometimes brands don’t understand from when the conversion happens to the affiliate gets paid. There’s a really long period of. Time, there’s the locking period and then there’s also the payout period. So it’s not just like as soon as that 27, 30 days happens, you get paid out instantly, you still got to wait. So that’s I think another thing is helping publishers get those payments quicker is always to their benefit.
James Little [00:26:07]:
Yeah, one thing we did in the UK actually is as publishers, we got together and created what’s called the publisher board, which is just a ability to kind of tackle some of the kind of key challenges, I guess. And one thing we put together and the main thing that happened from it so far is put together like some best practice guidelines for advertisers. And one of the things is like payment periods and validation periods and keeping those as short as possible and a bunch of other stuff and some really good reasons around that in terms of things like your validations and what you’re doing in the transparency. You’re giving and stuff like that over what might be the reasons why something might get canceled and various other things. So I think definitely if you’re interested, go in and Google that and I’m sure we can find a link that can pop on Linting, et cetera. But, yeah, I think that was a really good piece of work. But led to Awin’s gold standard and led to some of the things that Rakdan have got in their interfaces these days and around kind of transparency and a bunch of networks. Kind of hopefully took a lot from that and helped them develop their own product as well.
Marshall Nyman [00:27:10]:
Awesome. And one last question, any predictions on the future of performance marketing?
James Little [00:27:18]:
I think for me it’ll continue to grow. I think we’ve seen some huge changes over the years and what I find really interesting is I did a piece of work recently where I went to a couple of universities or colleges as you might call it, in the US. And talked about affiliate marketing because on a lot of the digital courses, affiliate marketing isn’t talked about. Every other part is but not affiliates. I don’t know if you see the same in the US. So went in and did some talks and one of the things I showed on there is to show kind of the ecosphere of the affiliate space and to actually say what’s really interesting is that every website you go to near enough has some form of affiliate. So whether that’s your bank and the cashback deals, you get the banks via the card linking, whether that’s your news site and whether that’s the New York Times or whatever else integrated links, whether that’s through skim links, Et. Cetera, whether that’s internally, whether that’s the review sites talking when you’re going to buy a product, and then you’ve got your loyalty and you got your cash back and you got your influencers, and you’ve got even the likes of TikTok as a platform of integrated with some form of affiliates on there.
James Little [00:28:28]:
And then nowadays you’ve got Google who are working out how to put coupons in the search engines and use affiliate links for that. Right. So every website or near enough, every channel you go to uses that. And that’s very different to how it was certainly when I started in the industry and even just a few years ago. And you got the great to kind of see that shift and see more really large content commerce sites kind of really utilize affiliate marketing, see that as a massive driver of sales volume. So, yeah, great to see that happen. I think just more of it, really. Hopefully that will continue.
James Little [00:29:01]:
New brands will emerge. Funding in this channel isn’t going away and will only continue and it’s responsible for 15% to 20% of sales and that will hopefully continue to grow.
Marshall Nyman [00:29:12]:
Yeah, I agree. I think the future is bright. Brands are trying to lean into the channel more. I think it was a channel people waited for. Now you see brands getting started right away. Affiliate marketing has been around forever, really. People have always been recommending and referring and having partnerships with brands and companies even before the digital space. So, yeah, I don’t see anything changing with the affiliate marketing.
Marshall Nyman [00:29:39]:
It’s only going to continue to grow. So really appreciate all the insight. A big thank you to James from Top Cashback for joining the podcast this week. Really great insights, appreciate it. What’s the best way for listeners to connect with you?
James Little [00:29:52]:
Yeah, via LinkedIn is probably the easiest way. Or, like, say, follow my instagram at belly of barbecue. As always, if anyone wants to work with Top Cashback, feel free to reach out to me. I can introduce them anywhere over the world, really, to the best kind of contact at Top Cashback to help them drive my sales for their business.
Marshall Nyman [00:30:11]:
Awesome. Well, again, thank you to James. And if you’re looking to get set up with Top Cash back, definitely reach out. Thank you for the time. I’m Marshall nyman. I am the host of the Performance Marketing Spotlight signing off. Thank you for joining us and give a like or follow if you’ve enjoyed this content. Have a great one.
James Little [00:30:28]:
Thank you. Bye.