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Affiliate Marketing in the Netherlands

[caption id="attachment_16261" align="aligncenter" width="700"]Karte_Regional_Weltkarte Source: ©dzain – Fotolia[/caption]

1, 5 years ago we already showed you some aspects of the affiliate market in the Netherlands. In such a long time many things can happen and has happen. Therefore we want to take the chance to share some new exciting insights with you. The Netherlands still belong to the countries whose percentage of the internet usage in Europe is occasionally the highest, namely at 95%. Only Luxembourg with 98%, Denmark with 97% and Finland with 97% are above the Netherlands. Therefore it’s not a big surprise that the online marketing has the highest increase in the whole marketing mix. According to the IAB report on Online Ad Spend, display advertising and mobile are the biggest winner. Both online marketing disciplines generated in the first half of the year 2014 an impressive growth. Display advertising has even captured a market share of 42% and is now on the same level as search advertising. After the process of growth stagnated in 2013, affiliate marketing is now benefiting from the now again expanding online market. Reasons for the standstill were the cookie law, lack of advertiser entrants, heavy competition and duplication, says Jochem Vroom, Co-founder & Managing Director at Imbull. For this article we interviewed two well-known players in Netherland’s affiliate market. Lars Kloezeman, International Account Director at TradeTracker and Jochem Vroom, Co-founder & Managing Director of Imbull. [caption id="attachment_16264" align="aligncenter" width="1024"]affiliate_performance Source: IAB report on Online Ad Spend 2013, Deloitte analysis[/caption]

»     What are the most successful publisher models in the Netherlands? Lars: The most successful publisher models are content, voucher, cashback and e-mail partners. An interesting fact is that in comparison to other markets the amount of content publishers in the Netherlands is very high. [caption id="attachment_16269" align="aligncenter" width="1024"]publisher_models Source: IAB report on Online Ad Spend 2013, Deloitte analysis[/caption]

»     Jochem, you own several websites in the Netherlands and in Germany. What are the differences between the Dutch and German advertisers? Jochem: In my opinion the method of payment differs between Germany and the Netherlands. In the Netherlands, 90% of the shops use “iDEAL”, because without it, it is impossible to compete on the market. Another difference is the general “size” and the strength of competitors. However this isn’t such a great difference as you might expect within affiliate marketing. In the Netherlands there are 2,000 merchants within affiliate marketing while our estimate of active German merchants is just over 3,500. Apart from these things the market is quite similar, most of all because many advertisers who are successful in the Netherlands expand to Germany and vice versa. It is usually the first market advertisers try out if they want to expand in Europe. »     Do advertisers in the Netherlands have a looser attitude towards voucher codes than in Germany? Jochem: In both, Germany and the Netherlands, we see that the amount of advertisers using voucher codes is still growing slowly (there is more growth than decline), but the advertisers are becoming more selective with whom they want to work together (fewer voucher publishers per merchant). There will always be pressure on the market regarding added value within this branch, if you are only relying on SEO and you are running a “one-man-team” it’s a tough market to be in. In general it’s important for a market to have merchants who are willing to invest in growth, and since the economy is doing better in both countries, we expect a lot of good news on this. These days you simply can’t gain market share in a fast way without using coupons effectively. »     In Germany display advertising and affiliate marketing are linked more closely. Is this also the case in the Netherlands? Do you see any potential? Lars: Of course there is a huge potential. It depends though on the willingness of advertisers to switch to other payout models (e.g. Hybrid models like CPA and a small CPM). As an affiliate network we can offer millions of impressions on a daily basis, so there are plenty of options to benefit from the possibilities our affiliates have. »     Jochem, what are the typical payout models and which one do you prefer? Jochem: In our branch Cost-Per-Action (CPA) is the most common practice. In some cases direct deals are made between advertisers and publishers, but 95% is CPA commission based. Pay-Per-Click (PPC) campaigns are also still very common in a lot of branches, such as the price-comparing websites or on the larger fashion websites who are able to sell the advertisers' products to the clients. In the Netherlands some media agencies still negotiate some deals based on Cost-Per-Mille (CPM). The post view tracking isn’t used as much in The Netherlands as in Germany within affiliate networks. I don’t prefer a specific pay-out model because I do believe in the fact that publishers need to go beyond being an affiliate and become a true performance marketer, so the pay-out model should be whatever makes the partnership work best for both the advertiser and publisher in that specific case. »     Are there specific guidelines or limitations in the Netherlands? Jochem: In the Netherlands there are several working groups set up by IAB to set guidelines for online advertising. We have helped to set up the guidelines for the affiliate couponing sector in the Netherlands. Toolbars are forbidden in the Netherlands. Good for us, as they are no good to neither the advertisers nor the consumers. No one wants to work with those guys. »     Lars, what are the latest technologies at TradeTracker? Lars: The latest technology is our AdMonitor and the Super Fast Payments system which allows us to pay publishers within 1 day after a transaction has been approved by the advertiser. Beside of that we have some really big things coming up, about which I can’t say too much at the moment. »     What do you think are the trends for 2015? Lars: I think some major changes are the changing reward models, a bigger impact of other types of publishers (basket abandonment, e-mail remarketing etc.), mobile solutions and more investments from advertisers. »     Do you have any tips for advertisers to be successful in the Netherlands? Jochem: The most important thing in the Netherlands is to make sure customers can use iDEAL as a payment method if you are going to target the Dutch online (retail) market. It is the most favored method of payment in the Netherlands. Also don’t consider the market as ‘easy’ - the market is already crowded with web shops. If you want to launch in the Netherlands be sure to invest heavily in it. Don’t expect it to grow without investments. Closing the article we want to thank Lars and Jochem for their time and great support. If you are interested in any further information, don’t hesitate to contact us. The German version of this article is available here. Authors: Martina Berei & Valerie Konaschkov