Opportunities and challenges for young people in affiliate marketing

(VOVWORLD) - Affiliate marketing is a revenue-sharing marketing method in which a third-party affiliate, such as a blogger or YouTuber, advertises a business’s goods or services to help them meet sales or marketing goals. Affiliate marketing is strongly developing around the world and attracting a large number of young people, especially Gen Z who is known for fast access to technology. In this week’s Digital Life, we talked with Dung Bui, General Manager of INTERSPACE Vietnam, the owner of ACCESSTRADE, a leading affiliate marketing platform in Vietnam, to learn more about affiliate marketing in Vietnam and why more and more Vietnamese young people want to participate in the field.
Opportunities and challenges for young people in affiliate marketing - ảnh 1Dung Bui at The Future of Fintech held on March 29, 2023 by ACCESSTRADE and AppsFlyer. (Photo credit: ACCESSTRADE VIETNAM)
Bao Tram: Thanks, Dung Bui, for joining VOV24/7’s Digital Life today.

Dung Bui: Good afternoon, everyone! Hello, Tram. I’d like to thank you for inviting me today.

Bao Tram:  First of all, tell us briefly about ACCESSTRADE and your role in affiliate marketing.

Dung Bui: ACCESSTRADE is actually an affiliate platform, a joint product of MOG Vietnam and INTERSPACE Japan, launched in Vietnam in 2015. So far, we’ve been operating for 8 years. We provide effective marketing and revenue growth solutions in multiple fields, such as E-commerce, F&B, Banking and Finance, Mobile App development and so on.

At ACCESSTRADE, young people are about 60% of all our publishers. Gen Z accounts for more than 23%. That’s 15% more than the same period in 2022. And it’s forecast to increase about 18% per year for the next 2 years.

We are helping young people easily create content with their own experience, then use that content to help brands sell their products via social campaigns. If we can create a win-win situation, which means brands can sell their products and our KOLs, KOCs, or influencers can earn money and the fans can be well-informed before they make the decision to buy any product, that’s what we’re aiming for.

Bao Tram: What types of affiliate marketing are popular in Vietnam?

Dung Bui: The types of affiliate marketing will depend on the demands of the market, which means from brand demands and the types of traffic that partners can provide.

Some of the popular types of affiliate marketing today are CPS (cost per sale) for the e-commerce industry and for mobile apps people get used to CPI (cost per install or CPR (cost per registration), and for the banking and finance industry partners CPL (cost per lead) and CPQL (cost per qualified lead), and the latest is CPP (cost per promotion).

We have been implementing very successfully the CPP type with some of our brands, especially for F&B ones. We strongly believe that CPP will be successful in 2023 because O2O (Online-To-Offline) demand is not only requested by the e-commerce firms, but also F&B enterprises. The type began to explode after the success of huge campaigns. For example, we delivered the model for Highlands Coffee in late 2022 to early 2023.

Bao Tram: Affiliate marketing is popular among the younger generation as you said earlier that about 60% of all your publishers are young people. What factors are responsible for this?

Dung Bui: For the popularity of affiliate marketing at the moment, we found out that it happens because of the following factors:

The first one is that digital transformation has become more and more essential to brands and enterprises because their current channels of ads have become much more expensive than before. Because of that the ROI (the return on investment) for each campaign has become lower. Therefore, they need to find a better, more effective way to promote their campaigns and their products. That’s the reason they use affiliate marketing – because it pays per action. That means it’s only when the action is successful that they pay the money. The ROI of affiliate marketing is much better.

Meanwhile, customer behavior is changing a lot, especially with Gen Z becoming the main customers for many brands. Reaching those customers is not as easy as before. In the past, by watching TV, reading newspapers, and seeing billboards outside, we learned about the brands. But there are so many touch points now because the Internet is growing and the younger generation has many ways to search or get the brand image or the brand information. To touch all of the touch points is very expensive. Brands need to find an expert who knows how to advise them. The most important thing, according to data from the most recent study, is that a user tends to believe an expert’s opinion or their friends’ opinions when they make the decision to try a new product. Therefore, the content with real value, less advertising UGC (User Generated Content) will play an enormous role.

The third factor is that social media platforms are helping young people reach a large number of fans and followers in a very short time. For example, the success of the TikTok platform, which reached 1 billion active users in just a few years demonstrated that the concept "From Zero to Hero" is no longer just a fairy tale. However, when they reach a large number of fans, how can they provide more value to the fans or how can they can earn money from that kind of traffic is the question. So, affiliate marketing in general, and platforms like ACCESSTRADE in particular, is a new access channel, a new tool for them.

Bao Tram: So young people are the driver of the ongoing strong development of affiliate marketing, aren’t they?

Dung Bui: At the moment, with 2 million publishers in our network covering 80% of the market, ACCESSTRADE is contributing 10-15% of total revenue and volume of goods sold to the online market. We feel the great change of affiliate marketing. Young people undoubtedly are the core of the development of ACCESSTRADE so far, because they are creative and passionate and love to explore the process with new methods. These elements are what the market in general or affiliate marketing will need.

Bao Tram: What are the biggest advantages and disadvantages for young people to participate in affiliate marketing?

Dung Bui: Because affiliate marketing’s potential is unlimited, we have a lot of brands which have a lot of promotion, types of campaigns for all kinds of publishers from the newbies to the very experienced ones. They can find the most suitable campaigns for them.

Second, there are no barriers to enter. If they invest in the content seriously, they’ll reach the result soon.

Third, as young people, they have lots of advantages using new channels such as affiliate marketing.

The biggest disadvantage of young people participating in affiliate marketing right now is that they must learn quickly to adapt to the requirements of affiliate marketing. But we can help them overcome this difficulty. ACCESSTRADE has an academy which can help them learn everything from the beginning. Whether they are newbies or experienced publishers, they can find a suitable course to start their career.

A second disadvantage is that it’s not easy to succeed in affiliate marketing. It takes time to discover the way to success in AM. Therefore, they need lots of patience, which they usually lack.

Bao Tram: As the first company in this field in Vietnam, do you have any advice for young people who want to join affiliate marketing?

Dung Bui: We have four pieces of advice for Gen Zers who want to join AM. First, research affiliate marketing for yourself. The most effective way is to join a group of experienced people, where you can get helpful information. But please be aware that there are many fake groups, so check very carefully and follow people with real experience.

Second, once you're engaged, choose campaigns that fit the content or the channel you have built or want to build. For example, if you have a beauty website or a beauty blog, don’t choose a banking and finance campaign.

Third, upgrade yourself constantly by learning from experienced people and successful cases.

Finally, remember: perseverance, perseverance, and perseverance, because AM takes time to reach success.

Bao Tram: Thank you for taking the time to share with us some interesting information about affiliate marketing in Vietnam and your advice for Gen Zers who wants to get into this field. Once again, thank you for giving us this interview!

Dung Bui: Thank you!