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Dynamic Strategies and Strong Relationships: A Look into Marks & Spencer’s Commerce Content Strategy

We’re delighted that we got the chance to sit down with Rich Stoker, Affiliate Partnerships Manager UK & IE at Marks & Spencer to talk through their affiliate marketing strategy and commerce content partnership with Skimlinks.

Skimlinks was delighted to sit down with Marks & Spencer to talk about their success with affiliate marketing.

Could you tell us a bit of background about you and your role at Marks & Spencer? 

I’ve worked in affiliates for 8-9 years. Previously worked at a Flower & Gifting brand learning the ropes about affiliates, coming from an apprenticeship. I joined M&S as Affiliate Manager a year ago.

Where does affiliate marketing fit into your ecommerce strategy?

This is very much an area the company wants to explore, with an increasing ROAS as a key indicator.

How has your affiliate strategy evolved in recent years?

We have begun working across all bases for affiliates, so providing budget for Incentive, Content and Influencers. As part of M&S’ reshaping for growth strategy, we adopted a first right price approach. With fewer promotions and discounts, we had to align our affiliates strategy accordingly.

How does Marks & Spencer work with Skimlinks? 

We work with Skimlinks by implementing incentivised rates with a range of publishers including Condé Nast, Hearst UK and Reach PLC. We’re currently trying to build out a more strategic approach that enables all business units at M&S to be promoted, whilst supporting ongoing campaigns and launches and Skimlinks helps with this.

How has Skimlinks helped Marks & Spencer with the editorial content strategy?

They have helped massively by putting us in a position where we are in front of and in contact with high ranking publications.

You’ve been able to build great relationships with publishers through Skimlinks, what value has that brought? 

Increased articles across a broad range of publications. This has also led to a constant stream of traffic/revenue from Skimlinks which is great to see.

The E-commerce landscape and consumer behaviour have changed post-pandemic, how do you see this will evolve and affect your business? Are there any trends you are excited about this year?

With cost of living taking effect, we have noticed customer taking more consideration before purchasing so I believe this will mean we will have to be more competitive with dynamic marketing strategies to ensure this is taken into account. We are excited to tackle this problem and come out on the other side successful.

What are your plans for 2023? Are there specific areas you’re focusing on?

We are specifically focusing on conversion rate with Skimlinks. Due to increases in traffic being generated (which is great), we need to harness that correctly so it’s a massive task to try increase conversion across all publications

Any advice for publishers who would like to work with you?

We appreciate transparency and also like to collaborate to ensure goals and KPI’s are reached. Flexibility is key. Also to ensure we get the right coverage, a strong sense of the M&S brand is important to ensure content aligns to the brand’s ethos and image.

What do you love most about Skimlinks? 

The flexibility with rates and ease of getting articles live that we have seen leading to increased traffic and revenue.

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