Thought Leadership

Take a Digital Lesson From the Genius of Tupperware Parties: Affiliate Marketing

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September 4, 2018
Take a Digital Lesson From the Genius of Tupperware Parties: Affiliate Marketing
By Bryan Adler

Collaboration is the future of business, as we’ve seen in many items we use today, such as iTunes or Amazon. Business people come together to use their joint marketing power to benefit everyone. Affiliate marketing is one way that smaller organizations can expand their reach and get more bang for their marketing buck. Customers added through affiliate marketing also spend more per order, spend more per year, and place a greater number of orders, according to Conversant.

Affiliate marketing has existed for decades, but really has taken off with the proliferation of the world wide web. Back in the 1980s, while some thought Tupperware parties and hosting Mary Kay events were for bored housewives, these women were really developing a marketing and distribution system based on collaboration and relationships – two of the most prominent buzzwords in business today. Here’s how it works: A Tupperware rep would ask a friend to host a party to sell products to their friends, and the host would receive discounts based upon the sales at the party. During the party, in addition to the actual sales, the rep would receive leads for more people to host more parties, and so on.

The parties featured games and small prizes of Tupperware items, getting everyone feeling competitive and excited about the products as the rep explained how they could make the women’s lives easier. (Value-based selling sound familiar to those contemporary salespeople out there?) The party attendees enjoyed themselves, while the rep got them talking about their problems to which Tupperware had solutions. Tupperware understood how to activate at the point of excitement!

Though some consider the digital world far removed from Tupperware parties, and even humanness at times, it is an ideal setting to grab consumers’ attention and get them to act. When we humanize technology, as I wrote about in my recent blog, Use Technology to Humanize the Digital Experience, we can create a personal experience online. Consider Amazon again. Its user interface is simple and consistent, whether on the web or in the app. Amazon will also remind you when you’re about out of dog food or track what purchases you’ve made in the past to help you get through your shopping quicker and easier. And when you put something in your cart or move to purchase, it will let you know of any accessories you might need to go with your purchase, such as an Otter Box for your new iPhone that you’re so excited about.

Grabbing consumers attention where, when and how they want to be reached is precisely what activation at the point of excitement is all about. Applying affiliate marketing, which can help financial institutions their reach exponentially more consumers for fewer dollars (some attribute 20% of revenue to affiliate marketing programs), in the online world exponentially expands your potential growth trajectory and will help your bank or credit union weave its way into the hearts and minds of consumers like 1980s Tupperware parties made their way through your neighborhood.

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