“Media buying is one of the most interesting and evolving buying types” – Vikash Singh
Vikash Singh, Business Head of Yellow Mars Media, joins the latest series of affiliate interviews on Affiliate Grand Slam
Vikash Singh speaks about Yellow Mars Media, a 10-year-old digital agency. They strive for 100% client satisfaction and retention through clearly communicated and achievable campaign objectives. He also gives valuable insights about media buying – follow his story below.
When and why did you start considering affiliate marketing business as a career?
We have been in the digital business for more than 10 years and from the very beginning we started our affiliate business.
As affiliate marketing is a performance-based marketing strategy, it reduces the money wasted on advertisement allocation. It is a widely known truth that marketing is all about increasing ROI for prospective customers, and affiliate marketing is no exception. It reduces the risk of bad ROI since the amount of money you spend is less. It is scalable to whatever size you want, with unlimited income potential if you are promoting products in the best markets.
Here are the few tips I would like to mention for successful affiliate strategy:
- Choose handful of good products
- Use Several Traffic Sources to Promote Products
- Market Research Demand of The Product
- Stay Current with New Methods and Techniques
- Choose the Right Merchant
How did Yellow Mars Media take off?
We are a 10-year-old Digital Agency based out of Singapore, with offices in New Delhi, Bali, and Dubai. We are a full-service performance marketing agency that brings together passion, talent, and a highly experienced and creative team. At Yellow Mars Media, we strive for 100% client satisfaction and retention through clearly communicated and achievable campaign objectives.
Our clients include some of the largest advertisers globally like Amazon, Lazada, Shopee, Disney, Myntra, Flipkart, Mashreq bank, Booking.com, Remitly, Viu, Blibli, Airbnb, DBS, etc. We deliver on various business models – CPI, CPR, CPT, and CPA across various formats mobile, desktop, video, push, etc.
Apart from the performance campaign, we do have clients on the Mobile VAS campaigns from leading brands like Gameloft, Playing, Nazara, etc.
Tell us a bit more about your business model, concept, and culture.
Yellow Mars Media is a performance marketing agency which does provide user acquisition solutions to brands that are in need of increasing their loyal user base, but also enables the brands to have better performance results and help them derive better ROI’s.
The company is known for its open work culture where everyone has equal say. There is a lot that I as an individual have learned from the company in terms of unity and oneness. People have clear goals and thoughtful approach towards evolving as an entity together.
What is media buying?
In layman’s terms, it is the art of bidding right for an ad-space of the Apt marketing channel, in the optimal time for the desired target audience. Nowadays, media buying is one of the most interesting and evolving buying types!
In-house vs agency media buying. What can you tell us about this?
It is evident that nowadays there is a huge drift in marketing strategy. People who used to rely on agency based media buying processes have now cornered themselves a bit towards in-house media buying. This has both pros and cons. On the one hand, in-house inventories allow absolute transparency in terms of decisions, costs, best knowledge of ones’ own product, etc. On the other hand, in-house might lack the right amount of experience that an agency might have in terms of deriving results for similar type of campaigns since agencies have a lot of spying tools to understand the best results for a vertical and they can easily get on to better results in terms of ROI’s when compared to the internal media buying, where testing may be a task of couple of months and results may end up being in negative.
What is the media buying process?
Its broadly divided into 3 stages and their deeper understanding: pre-launch, campaign launch, and reflections from its learnings.
- The pre-launch includes: understanding of target audiences, decide as to what marketing channel can be used to reach out to them, negotiating on cost, and planning the execution.
- The campaign launch includes: campaign learning stage, optimisation, and trying on ideas.
- Post launch: analysing what worked, collecting insights, plotting, and re-planning.
What are the differences between media buying and media planning?
Media buying is a process used in paid marketing efforts. The goal is to identify and purchase ad space on channels that are relevant to the target audience at the optimal time, for the least amount of money.
Media planning is generally outsourced and entails sourcing and selecting optimal media platforms for a client’s brand or product to use. The goal of media planning is to determine the best combination of media to achieve the client’s objectives.
What media buying tactics are required to connect with the ideal audiences?
The goal of media buying is to place your ads in front of your ideal audiences at the right time, place, and context for them to be seen and acted upon. Tactics vary but can include the following:
- Social media ads
- Digital display advertising (demographic and behavioral)
- TV & over-the-top (OTT) placements in streaming services like Hulu and Netflix
- Outdoor billboards/out-of-home ads/geospatial targeting
- Radio and digital audio (e.g., Pandora, Spotify, I Heart, podcasts, etc.)
- Strategic partnerships
Targeted media buying can help bring scale with good quality conversions for customers across multiple verticals. Can you tell us more about it?
Media buying is essentially about delivering the right message to the right people at the right time. The five steps of the targeted media buying are as follows:
- Identify target audiences through comprehensive market research.
- Understand your audiences’ interests.
- Find your audiences when they are most receptive to your messages.
- Deliver creative that motivates them to take action.
- Test and retest your ad placements and creative to uncover what is working and what is not. Refine and improve.
By which KPIs do you measure your success?
Personal growth along with overall company growth.
Can you explain briefly what, in your view, is affiliate marketing?
A marketing arrangement by which an online retailer pays commission to an external website for traffic or sales generated from its referrals.
Affiliate marketing is the process by which an affiliate earns a commission for marketing another person’s or company’s products. The affiliate simply searches for a product they enjoy, then promotes that product and earns a piece of the profit from each sale they make.
How can affiliate marketing help someone’s business?
It offers a flexible approach as well as a cost-effective method to promote your brand and generate new leads.
These are few advantages using affiliate marketing:
- Pay only for results
- Can be more cost effective
- Affiliates may be better at creating copy and reaching segments
- You know your cost per acquisition
- You almost never lose money
Do you implement any form of AI? What are the AI benefits?
Yes, our attribution platform has AI functionality and this benefits in:
- Smart Decision Making
- Research and Data Analysis
- Solving Complex Problems
- Managing Repetitive Tasks
Can AI replace marketers? How can they work simultaneously?
AI will certainly change the way marketers work. Enhanced conversational AI will require marketers to think differently about their customer touch points to ensure that they are digitally aware so they can participate in the AI conversation.
Humans and AI actively enhance each other’s complementary strengths: the leadership, teamwork, creativity, and social skills and the speed, scalability, and quantitative capabilities of the latter.
Is social media activity an important part of affiliate marketing?
Of course, social media plays a vital role in connecting targeted audience these days. We have humongous user base across social media channels and affiliate marketers are making best use of this.
What are the advantages and the disadvantages of this type of marketing?
In its simplest form, with affiliate marketing we only pay out when a sale is made, while also offering flexibility to pay publishers for influencing sales. This ensures marketing is cost effective and low risk. Paying for performance rather than for clicks ensures affiliate marketing is a low-risk form of marketing.
- Affiliate marketing requires a lot of self-discipline
- It takes a while to get established
- There is lot of competitions
- We may run in to bad affiliate partnership
- Identifying what product should promote can be daunting
- We have no control over pricing or commissions
Affiliate marketing is one of the most in-demand skills. Why in your view?
In my view affiliate marketing stands out as one of the vital marketing strategies. Such skills are capable in problem solving and decision making, creativity, technical, data analysis, and peoples skills.
How can affiliate marketing improve?
If we follow below process, we can improve our affiliate marketing efforts:
- Create solid content
- Track your success
- Know your products
- Engage your visitors
- Concentrate on one niche in the beginning
- Choose the right products
- Always be testing and improving
How does technology play a part in your day-to-day?
Technology plays major role in our day-to-day activities it helps us in analyse, track, optimise, and scale campaigns, which helps in automation, fraud analysis, better decision making, and much more.
Can you foresee any growth for the affiliate marketing industry? Why and by how much?
Affiliate marketing has become increasingly more important over the past few years. Internet penetrations play a big role in that over 4.4 billion people use their phone to access the internet and the number continues to grow. Brands and publishers focus more and more attention on mobile content and mobile ads.
Currently, 81% of brands participate in affiliate marketing to some degree. Today it fuels approximately 15% to 20% of total online sales. Here are seven ways we expect it to change and grow in the future:
- Influencers will be more important
- Voice searches will increase
- Increased need for mobile-friendly content
- Ecommerce retailers will expand their affiliate marketing programs
- Push traffic may slow down
- Affiliate marketing programs will get an increased share of marketing dollars
- More affiliate marketing agencies will be created
Have you ever been to SiGMA? SiGMA Europe, Africa, Asia, or Americas – which of these four expo shows would you likely book on your diary for 2021, COVID-19 permitting? Are you going to attend SiGMA Affiliate Grand Slam Expo in Dubai?
Surely, we are going to attend SiGMA Affiliate Grand Slam Expo in Dubai! As for the other events, we are planning to attend SiGMA Europe if the situation gets better!
About AGS Dubai
The 3-day Affiliate Grand Slam event kicks off in one of the UAE’s most progressive emirates on the 24th of May, 2021 with a series of networking and registration events – before a content-rich conference and buzzing expo floor take over the city’s luxurious Intercontinental Dubai Festival City hotel on the 25th and 26th of May. The unique event is geared towards bringing together thousands of like-minded delegates, such as content marketers, lead generation specialists, media buyers, affiliates, SEO gurus, and influencers for an immersive conference experience. Visit our website to register your interest or for more information.