Brand Marketing

Rakuten Advertising's "Accelerate" Quickens Affiliate Marketing Growth And Fuels Market Expansion

Rakuten Advertising has introduced Accelerate, a fully-managed, affiliate marketing program led by experienced analysts leveraging unique data insights, competitive intelligence, custom campaign modeling and publisher matchmaking to optimize performance marketing spend with unprecedented speed. 

Unlike other affiliate programs, Accelerate assumes the financial risk of testing new publishers, meaning advertisers are guaranteed to only pay for performance. By tapping into the company's network of 150,000 publishers in North America, EMEA, APAC and LATAM, Accelerate makes it simple and profitable for brands to expand into new markets and drive incremental sales.

"Accelerate allows advertisers to enjoy the benefits of affiliate marketing in a way that only a network of our scale and experience can deliver," said Jeff Wender, Chief Revenue Officer, Rakuten Advertising. "By empowering our analysts and account teams to make strategic decisions about campaign investments, we can identify beneficial untapped publisher partnerships, establish optimized commission rates, and capitalize on even short-window opportunities to drive profits for advertisers. Accelerate has been well received by clients, and has exceeded our most optimistic expectations for performance and cost efficiency."

The solution offers:

  • Guaranteed performance-based costs: Brands pay exclusively for performance via a fixed percentage of revenue, while Rakuten Advertising takes on the risks of up-front publisher investments. This is a shift from the traditional affiliate model that includes tracking and service fees and publisher commissions.
  • First-party Data & Insights: Accelerate taps into Rakuten Advertising's unmatched data network, which spans its own first-party Rakuten data, its historic affiliate campaign and benchmarking data, and its leading consumer online shopping data and competitive market insight via Rakuten Intelligence.
  • Real-time analysis and optimization: All campaigns have a dedicated analyst who draws on data from Rakuten Advertising's expansive network to constantly improve performance by recommending new publishers, optimizing commission payments, identifying paid-placement opportunities and customizing offers and performance incentives.
  • Publisher matchmaking: Data-led AI matchmaking identifies the best partners from Rakuten Advertising's network of 150,000 global publishers to drive optimal growth for each campaign. With decisioning backed by historic network and market data, Rakuten's algorithm identifies profitable relationships that wouldn't be obvious via human matchmaking.
  • Fully managed program: Rakuten Advertising's highly experienced analysts and account teams manage every aspect of a campaign, from publisher recruitment and communication to IO execution and paid placement negotiations, allowing teams to jump on even short-window opportunities with a speed and agility not possible with traditional programs.

Accelerate can be tailored for brands with a range of goals – whether it's international expansion, launching a new business or product, enhancing an existing affiliate program or re-focusing in-house talent. By leveraging Rakuten Advertising's dynamic commissioning rules, Accelerate account teams reward publishers for delivering targeted brand goals, and personalize campaigns to align with consumer interests and publisher content to create a more positive ad experience.  

Accelerate has delivered notable results for brand partners, particularly for marketers who support emerging and direct-to-consumer brands. One example is Australian retailer Cotton On, which engaged Accelerate to expand its 10-year foothold in the United States, customizing the program to drive awareness, promote priority product lines, convert new customers and generate more sales.

We had reached the right moment to aggressively expand in the U.S. and sought a partnership that would deliver the experience and expertise we needed to reach and influence consumers in the market. That led us to Accelerate. Accelerate instantly gave us the strategic support, historical data and analytic expertise we needed to design an affiliate program that could effectively expand our U.S. business. As a result, our U.S. affiliate marketing sales have grown significantly year-over-year. Looking to the future, we're excited to continue the momentum we've created with Accelerate in the U.S. by launching U.K., South Africa and APAC Accelerate programs to further elevate our business globally."

Brendan Sweeney, General Manager of Ecommerce at Cotton On.

Wender added, "We're committed to helping brands capitalize on this period of economic recovery. Accelerate is a valuable addition to our suite of solutions that creates innovative, more customized ways for advertisers to interact with consumers, so they can scale quickly and recover their positions while reducing the risk of their digital advertising investment."

About Rakuten Advertising
Rakuten Advertising connects leading agencies, brands and publishers to active and engaged consumers around the world. With access to Rakuten's diverse media properties and audiences, combined with an award-winning performance network and proprietary consumer research, Rakuten Advertising creates the right conditions to reach new customers and sustain long-lasting loyalty. Its foundation of advanced technology, data and strategic services positions Rakuten Advertising to offer a differentiated suite of marketing and advertising solutions, while constantly pushing the industry forward. It is a division of Rakuten Group, Inc. one of the world's leading Internet service companies. The company is headquartered in San Mateo, CA, with offices throughout EMEA, APAC, LATAM and North America.

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