Last week our team traveled to sunny Santa Barbara to attend CJ’s annual conference, CJU. We knew we were in for a treat – from the attendee list full of familiar faces (long unseen!) to the idyllic beachside setting – but we didn’t anticipate how nice it would be to reunite in-person with our valued affiliate network and brand partners after a two year hiatus. Below are the key takeaways and themes we heard throughout the event.
There has been a ton of change in the industry over the last two years, but one thing that stands out most for us is our strategic partnership with affiliate network CJ, which was formally announced back in 2021. In that time, we have helped more than 20 brands integrate app into their affiliate programs, optimizing their customers’ path to purchase and bolstering mobile performance from the channel. In fact, TurboTax even won a CJ Excellence Award for best cross-channel strategy after a successful first tax season with Button’s PostTap solution enabled to unlock previously untapped mobile app conversions within the affiliate channel!
Mobile strategies took a front seat at CJU
Throughout the conference, we heard from multiple partners that their mobile strategy was evolving. More and more brands are recognizing the data gap that plagues their programs when they aren’t able to associate sales from their app to their affiliate traffic. Ultimately, publishers aren’t the only ones to lose out when those orders aren’t tracked – brands equally start to miss out on bigger budgets if they can’t point to the additional revenue and efficiency they are driving for their company’s bottom line.
CJ also reported that mobile traffic has equaled or surpassed desktop traffic across the network over the past few years, and that’s a trend that's only expected to scale. With that in mind, CJ invited us to join them on stage in their session, “Optimizing the Mobile Experience in Affiliate,” to share how our technology works together to unlock new revenue and drive stronger LTV customer relationships.
3 key themes that echoed across CJU content & conversations
But mobile wasn’t the only hot topic at the event. Innovation and collaboration were key themes across the conference this year, and it left us thinking about affiliate in a new light. We heard three major takeaways:
- Amplify your message. Affiliate marketing is often considered in a silo, but other marketing teams could learn from our successes. From awareness and consideration, to conversion and retention, affiliate plays a crucial role in fostering brand loyalty at every stage of the customer lifecycle. Affiliate marketers should take the opportunity to emphasize this unique value proposition to internal counterparts when devising a holistic marketing strategy.
- Prepare not just for holiday, but for a shift in consumer spending habits. Since CJU is always at the tail end of Q3, attendees are often focused on finalizing their holiday strategies– but this year’s shopping trends may look atypical. Marketers are anticipating an early peak, or even a possible slowdown in consumer spending, given the current state of the economy. Brands, as a result, are being more thoughtful with their investments, and are leaning on partnerships and products that are proven to drive ROI positive results.
- Consider new affiliate formats. Finding new traffic sources is always top of mind for affiliate marketers, but the way in which we have long defined what an “affiliate” publisher should look like is starting to take new shape. New partners, platforms, and even universes made an appearance at the conference: from TikTok to the Metaverse, brands and publishers are starting to see how affiliate could encompass so much more in the not-so-distant future.
All in all, another successful CJU in the books! We’re looking forward to seeing what the next year will bring for the industry at large, and already can’t wait for our next trip out to California. In the meantime, our beachside flyover at CJU says it best…
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