Affiliate marketing is still reliant on heavily manual business processes, placing limitations on its ability to achieve scale and to improve personalisation and contextualisation. But, says JJ Eastwood, managing director at Rakuten Marketing in Australia,  “It’s time for disruptive technology to upend the traditional way of doing affiliate marketing, and to further boost its projected growth in the way programmatic did for display.”

In a recent interview Eastwood told Which-50, “In terms of affiliate, one of our core business focuses this year is to bring advancement and innovation to our affiliate channels – making partnerships, offers and product selection more automated and optimised for conversion.

Rakuten Marketing is a digital advertising business positioned at the intersection of e-commerce and adtech whose services span affiliate marketing, programmatic display, paid social and search, and say they are well placed to help brands seamlessly expand into new markets.

“We have the luxury of leveraging a lot of the technical and data assets of our sister companies within the Rakuten family, which allows us to provide a service that is meaningful to both our customers and their customers as well,” Eastwood said.

He claimed these data assets differentiate Rakuten Marketing in the market for display and affiliate services in several ways.

“In regards to display, the [we have the] ability to gain insights from Rakuten’s data pool of global memberships, which we can use to profile important audience segments for our e-commerce clients. These highly tailored segments are used to make ad targeting more informed and personalised.

Rakuten Marketing has substantial experience in the local market working with leading e-commerce players, including the largest online retailers in the Asia-Pacific region, he said.

Eastwood himself has worked both in e-commerce and ad tech with stints at the local eBay and RocketFuel operations.

During his time as general manager at eBay, Eastwood created one of Australia’s largest private programmatic advertising market place and launched a self-serve advertising platform for direct advertisers and eBay merchants. At Rocketfuel he launched the local business and grew it to a multi-million revenue operation in just over two years.

He told Which-50  that engaging an adtech vendor is all about the outcome. “Advertising is about finding and influencing people who buy things online,” he said.

“All the investments we make are towards better understanding advertising that influences and delights consumers, and continually improving consumers experiences through the data and insights we gain.”

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