Impacts Marcus Ericson (Country Manager, Sweden) speaks to The Digital Voice | The digital voice | Open Mic
Impact Sweden’s Marcus Ericson talks to The Digital Voice about the escalating growth in the Swedish market for advertisers and the emergence and emergence of partnerships. Marcus is an online marketing veteran with approximately 15 years of experience, having worked with a number of companies to help engage and activate customers in a rapidly changing technical landscape. He will support a growing list of Swedish customers including iDeal of Sweden, Mapiful and Starstable.
Congratulations. You have recently joined Impact and opened offices in Sweden. How’s it going?
Everything is going very well. Establishing itself in Stockholm, shortly afterwards followed by Copenhagen, shows that the Nordic region is an important growth region for Impact. In Sweden, affiliate marketing is established and mature, but there is a growing appetite for new solutions that can change and improve how companies manage and develop their affiliate strategy. This makes it the perfect time for us to open our office here.
You mentioned that there is an appetite for change. What is driving this?
Eventually, affiliate marketing becomes increasingly complex. Yes, the established affiliate methods – centered on the classic affiliate network model – have served companies well. But as advertising and marketing develop, these traditional methods must also be adapted.
Today, affiliate marketing encompasses many different types of affiliates that go beyond traditional affiliates, including influencers, brand-to-brand partnerships, and media partners. Each group offers different target groups, has different needs, requires different outreach approaches and different forms of compensation.
Scaling programs involves recruiting new partners. But finding the right ones, taking them on board and getting them started quickly is becoming increasingly difficult. Adding each new partner takes time and operational resources, with contracts to review, payments to set up and workflows to manage, all increasing the pressure on a company. And for Swedish brands, the size of the local market means that expansion into new territories is crucial for growth. This entails additional complexity around handling multiple currencies.
Building a modern affiliate and partnership program means tackling all of these challenges – and more – and successfully managing everything requires a new approach.
So, what does this new approach look like?
First, there is a need to shift the focus away from thinking “affiliate” and focusing on partnerships. Yes, affiliate marketing is important. But that is just one element among the many types of modern digital partnerships that exist. And it is these new partnerships that are crucial. Recommendations, peer reviews, ratings, word of mouth – these are what are crucial to building trust, authenticity and influencing buying decisions today, more than traditional advertising methods. It is the power of these partnerships that drives brand value and revenue.
Second, and not surprisingly, technology and automation are fundamental to success. Building and managing a partnership program tailored to today’s purposes requires a platform that supports a wide range of activates. It must enable companies to find and recruit new partners, develop contracts, establish multi-currency payments and easily manage these partner relationships. It must also track, measure and attribute performance, identify areas for improvement and pursue more informed decision-making. What is important is that it simplifies and speeds up the management of a very complex partner ecosystem to create more potential customers and qualified opportunities.
And what are the benefits of adopting such an approach?
It’s about control, money and efficiency. Brands can wrestle back control over the entire process – control that traditional networks would have had. They can have a much tougher grip on their business, have greater insights and control over their margins.
For too long, there has been a sifted approach to affiliate marketing. The result? Fragmentation, inefficiency and inconsistencies. This has cost companies revenue and growth opportunities.
What Impact is doing is removing the limitations associated with the current approach. We enable brands to unite and control all aspects of their affiliate program on one platform so they can scale up their business and revenue much faster.
By tackling inefficiency and introducing automation, operations and processes are streamlined, decision-making is improved and expenses are better distributed, which speeds up the revenue-generating partner programs for a brand’s affiliate channel.
So, what are the opportunities for your market?
The opportunities are significant. Swedish companies have always been innovators and fast adopters of digital technology, so they are very receptive to what we bring to market. The size of the market here means that brands think more globally when it comes to building companies, so they are always looking for opportunities to innovate. We allow brands to develop their affiliate channel faster and easier and realize their potential faster. It is an exciting time to add more Swedish companies to technology that supports their business growth.