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This week has seen more development in the Performance Marketing sphere, with the launch of a new app with the purpose to aid Brick-and-Mortar retailers, and a new study which found three-quarters of businesses are planning to boost their market research budgets in 2021 in order to gain new customers.

Another launch aiming to improve the industry

Global Affiliate Network Awin recently announced the launch of their new Gold Standard for advertisers. This has been developed to identify advertisers that run a best-in-class affiliate programme, based on a defined set of criteria that advertisers need to adhere to in order to become accredited.

What is included in the criteria?

  • Accelerated Payments: The Advertiser programme must offer Accelerated Payments and be on Awin’s Green Payment Status. This means that approved commissions will be paid to publishers directly with their next payment.
  • Optimal Tracking: The advertiser must use Awin’s optimal tracking solution to protect against browser privacy restrictions.
  • Fair Commission Structure: The advertiser must award commissions for all legitimate, confirmed transactions. This means there should be no zero value commission groups, products, or customer categories.
  • Transparent De-duplication: The advertiser’s de-duping policy must follow to the Awin best practice guidelines and they must publish the details on their profile for full transparency.

How will the programme work?

Once advertisers adhere to the criteria, they will be eligible to apply for the Awin Gold Standard and be awarded with a badge that will signal their accreditation within the user interface. All Awin Gold standard advertisers will be clearly visible, giving publishers the transparency they need in order to work with their chosen affiliate programmes.

It will be interesting to see whether or not publishers continue to work with those without this accolade. It is expected that a programme like this will level the playing field and allow relationships to be built based on performance.

Why should advertisers get involved?

The criteria are designed to provide a positive experience for publishers, and to encourage advertisers to offer a complete affiliate programme for their partners.

As well as providing transparency to publishers, the Gold Standard is designed to encourage positive change within the industry, such as faster payments and robust tracking setups. Constructive changes such as these are essential in the industry, especially during these uncertain times.

Awin is aiming to provide transparency and protection for their publisher base, an important priority for 2021.

Why is the programme necessary?

In a post on LinkedIn, Kevin Edwards, Global Client Strategy Director at Awin said: “I’ve been disappointed for some time now that the momentum we had in the affiliate marketing industry about a decade ago to launch initiatives designed to raise all boats has all but vanished. Has everything improved so much that we don’t need them or do people not care anymore?

The aim is to increase payment speed, validations and transparency for publishers, ultimately resulting in less frustration and a more fluid experience all round.

It seems many people within the industry have been awaiting a programme such as the Gold Standard. It’s easy to envision this as a base of inspiration for others to follow, perhaps creating their own version and badges. The accreditations should hopefully act as an incentive for advertisers to improve their programmes over time.

Commenting on the news, Awin’s Client Service Director Dawn Quigg said: “This brand-new accreditation scheme really seeks to drive better quality standards across our advertiser programmes, and offer the transparency publishers so require across a number of important areas. We’re here to work with advertisers to make the necessary changes and give publishers more visibility on the things that matter.”

Despite only being in the first month of the year, it is clear from recent launches and recruits that 2021 is going to be anything but a quiet year for the industry.