The holidays are over and the festive cheer is winding down, replaced with positive outlooks and aspirations for the upcoming year.

Here we are, January 2021 - a blank slate, a fresh start. Forward-looking, because let’s face it, 2020 is in the rearview mirror and it deserves to be left there.

2020 forced performance marketers to think outside the box.

The pandemic came in like a wrecking ball, destroying certain verticals, leaving some relatively unscathed. If you were working in travel or sports...our condolences. If you’re an ecommerce/dating/sweeps publisher, you’re laughing. Either way, if you’re a true marketer, you adapted and pivoted your strategy accordingly.

Industry-wide, it’s around this time that networks and experts start publishing their predictions and guesstimates for the new year. For us, PropellerAds’ annual report on Affiliate Marketing Trends & Predictions is always a must-read. This year’s report is no different.

This year’s report is all the more significant given the gestures everywhere vaguely circumstances. Topics included the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on affiliate marketing and industry trends for 2021. With 2020 being the trainwreck that it was, we’re more interested in reading about everyone’s predictions.

Bart, our business development lead, even contributed some of his own on behalf of Gotzha:

  • eCommerce, leadgen, and other whitehat verticals will continue to grow since platforms like Facebook and Google are cracking down on accounts running blackhat accounts.

  • We’ve seen nutra advertisers crossing over into sweeps and eCommerce, and vice versa, suggesting that advertisers are open to experimenting with different products while sharing the same infrastructure

A little something-something that wasn’t included in the PropellerAds report…

We asked Denis, one of our Account Managers, to give his predictions and thoughts on the publishing side. Here’s what he had to say:

“I'm thrilled to see what 2021 brings us. Our data-driven analytics combined with our partners’ resourcefulness will rock this year and mark the beginning of new, efficient marketing strategies for a number of our clients and partners.

We started seeing our partners adopt some new and also very innovative approaches to doing digital marketing. Data is no longer simply being transferred via click to a single advertiser. In fact, it is being actively recorded and stored for future use on other campaigns with SMS, email & push notifications emerging as primary, tailor-targeted marketing channels. It requires a little more planning and resourcefulness, but the rewards are worth it: the same audience you think is only interested in dating vertical can be successfully served gambling ads. Same goes for sweepstake vertical, which can be scaled into nutra.

Push, SMS, email data retention and reuse, development of GooglePlay apps with further promotion of offers via webview, creative usage of chatbots marketing – these are all the possibilities discovered by our partners in the course of last year.”

We’re not surprised with the booms certain verticals experienced last year.

Take eCommerce for example… with the pandemic shuttling brick and mortar stores, people were forced to do the bulk of their shopping online during PEAK buying periods (i.e. Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Christmas, Singles Day). According to Salesforce, global online sales hit a new record with $270 billion, up 36 percent compared to 2019.

When people realize the convenience afforded to them by eCommerce and the fact that the pandemic ain’t going anywhere…

...this number will only go up.

“Don’t try to time the market”

There’s a saying in finance. No, it’s not “stonks only go up”. I’m thinking about “don’t try to time the market”, which can be applied in affiliate marketing. You’ll get your butt kicked trying to time things perfectly. Here’s our advice: pay attention and communicate with your AM. Pay attention to revival trends. Notice which verticals are slowly dying due to low demand. Take note of what’s succeeding, what isn’t, and always be ready to pivot.