This week in our Meet the Member series, we speak to Gaurav Arora, the Global Partnership Director at Skimlinks, a Taboola company. He talks to us about Skimlinks, why they’ve joined The APMA and what trends he thinks will be important in 2024.


Tell us a little bit about Skimlinks
Skimlinks, a Taboola company, is the world’s largest commerce content monetisation platform and powers publisher strategies across the globe. The platform is a one stop solution providing the technology and the data to start, grow and successfully scale content commerce across desktop, tablet and mobile. Skimlinks connects 60,000 publishers to 48,500 merchants around the world, generating $6m of sales every day. We are supported by 100% trusted privacy frameworks certified by EDAA and IAB with complete GDPR compliance. We’ve been helping publishers achieve affiliate marketing scale for over a decade and continue to deliver new tools to help support them in their journey.


What do you feel you bring to the affiliate mix?
Content has always been a key driver within the affiliate mix, being leveraged by advertisers across all industries and verticals to achieve their KPIs. We connect the leading publishers and content owners globally to merchants to help them engage and acquire users using a variety of formats including deals, reviews, comparison websites and evergreen content. In addition to this, Skimlinks’ seamless integration with over 50 international Affiliate networks provides transparency and optimization tools to advertisers and network teams to scale campaigns and grow affiliate revenue. We have real expertise in helping publishers and advertisers alike scale affiliate marketing as a meaningful revenue stream. Working with both larger and smaller brands, we continue to deliver great results across diverse markets.


When you speak to your clients, what is their general feeling towards the affiliate and partner marketing channels?
Feeling and confidence in the channel has come a long way with the channel getting the respect it has worked very hard over the years to claim. Senior stakeholders show a lot more trust in the channel’s ability to deliver not just sales, but a variety of objectives such as increasing order value, moving inventory, incremental sales and repeat purchase. There’s still work to be done to increase affiliate budgets but the industry has made huge progress which is echoed by most clients. Affiliate marketing has huge potential and partners that can have a long-term vision really stand to benefit from it.


What could The APMA be doing to help build closer relationships with them and secure bigger budgets?
With editorial partners we sit at the convergence of various teams at publishers – affiliate, but also PR, SEO and more. From our perspective affiliates can drive value outside of the affiliate team silo and across publisher businesses, given the right support and attention. If the APMA can help to boost the work to bring PR and affiliate teams together especially, it will open more opportunities for both publishers and brands.


Why did you want to become a member of The APMA?
We feel the industry can really do with a collective voice to elevate our standards and hold everyone more accountable within the affiliate space. The APMA promises to do just that by raising some very important topics and getting a lot of influential figures across our industry to collaborate and work together to tackle these. Given the huge leap forward in ecommerce in the past few years, the opportunity for affiliate has never been greater and having a body dedicated to advancing its cause is a welcome development.


Are there any specific APMA projects that you want Skimlinks to be part of?
The “Full Funnel” initiative is very important to us. Our publishers can touch any stage of the marketing funnel, so we’d be keen to contribute in sharing data around this and working to further demonstrate the value driven by our editorial partners. In addition we’ve been looking at industry training and certification for a long time, so we’d love to help contribute our expertise to help upskill the industry and raise standards too.


What is the number one topic you think the industry should be tackling in 2024?
Tracking and attribution is everyone’s top priority right now. With Google sunsetting 3rd party cookies, the adoption of server to server will organically go up in 2024, which will eventually lead to more accurate attribution. But more education around the value different publisher types add to user journeys and the role we all have to play in using these data points to advocate for a more fair commission structure is key.


What other trends are you anticipating will be front of mind?
Social commerce will be an interesting one to watch out for in 2024. Advertisers are increasingly testing the waters with Micro and Nano influencers to weave social commerce within their affiliate programme working towards common KPIs.


Thanks to Gaurav, if you want to find out more about Skimlinks, please visit their APMA profile.