GPWA Times Magazine - Issue 50 - August 2021

online. The change came fast out of necessity so we could continue to do good business together while not being able to network and meet at live events. I’ve been watching these trends for a while now and also examining why some programs launch and fail and some launch and succeed as if by some stroke of luck. I’ve been looking at why that happens and what the reasons could be behind two casinos with the same products delivering such a different response. I’ve noticed that the real differences seem to boil down to how the program markets itself to its affiliate partners. It’s why I have been looking deeper into Affinity Marketing and how emotion based selling affects the success of a new affiliate program launch. If you look at some of our industry’s well-known brands — such as PaddyPower and Gala Bingo — they have one thing in com- mon. Their marketing and messaging makes you feel something, whether it’s joy, laughter or amusement. By associating this feeling to their brand, they engage customers, and keeping them engaged becomes easier, too. Now think about that in the context of affiliate programs. ave you ever wondered why some programs or brands are more memorable to you than others? Have you ever wondered why you prefer one brand over another, even though the product or service it provides is so similar? That preference you have for a particular brand or program is called Brand Affinity and it’s actually been highly curated through a series of messages, images and responses that the brand’s communications and marketing evoke. If you’ve never heard of Brand or Affinity Marketing before, there’s plenty of literature about it online, but my favorite definitionwas quot- ed by Ben Arndt, founder of DUNK Basketball, who said, “[Brand Affinity is] an excellent foundation for building a solid customer base and genuinely costs little, apart frompersonal effort from staff.” It’s not about loyalty. It’s about building affinity to your brand based on values, feelings and actions versus just offering com- petitive pricing and attractive promotions. The COVID-19 pandemic expedited the way we rely on digital marketing and howwe engage our customers and affiliate partners AffiliateINSIDER’s Lee-Ann Johnstone breaks down the concept of Affinity Marketing and how this emerging, emotion-based strategy can help turn your site’s visitors into brand loyalists By Lee-Ann Johnstone Illustrations by Happy Art/Shutterstock and pikepicture/Shutterstock Affinity Introducing Marketing G P W A t i m e s . o r g 26