From more partnerships to better partnerships
Circles.Life is a major telco and mobile retailer in Southeast Asia,
a competitive market in a competitive region. The brand’s target customers are not only young and digital-savvy, they are also experienced online shoppers who spend a lot of time browsing, researching, and reading reviews before making a purchase.
Content partnerships with publishers had proven to be an effective way to reach and influence Circles.Life’saudience, but the company didn’t have the internal resources to scale the channel efficiently. It was also struggling with attribution and measurement, and wasn’t clear which partners brought in the most value and which were underperforming.
Circles.Life launched in 2016 as Asia’s first fully digital telco with a mission to give back power to the consumer.
Through its unique digital products and no-contract, data-focused mobile plans, Circles.Life aims to revolutionize the digital services industry through a customer-centric user journey.
About Lodestar Marketing
Lodestar Marketing is Southeast Asia’s only specialized affiliate and partnerships management agency.
The Lodestar team educates advertisers about the affiliate and partnerships channel and helps them build successful partnerships to drive sales.
With the goal of expanding its partnerships program to reach and influence more consumers, Circles.Lifeadded impact.com as its partnership management platform in early 2021.
Automation made all the difference for the brand, but it soon discovered that greater reach could only get them so far without the right optimization strategy. Many competitor networks worked with the same affiliates it did, so simply adding these partners didn’t necessarily offer a competitive edge.
What Circles.Life needed was a way to get more from partners than its competitors did.
To help them leverage impact.com technology to optimize partnerships and drive incremental sales, it brought in the Lodestar Marketing agency for added channel expertise and a new strategic perspective.
Audit, engage, and optimize
Lodestar Marketing’s first step was to run a full audit of Circles.Life’s program. The team examined performance trends, analyzed results by partner, and assessed potential recruitment opportunities. They also looked at Circles.Life’s commission structure to understand how the telco was incentivizing its publisher partners and where efficiencies could be found.
The impact.com team provided support with a recruitment gap analysis, and the platform made it easy to customize, save, and schedule reports. The dashboard was not only intuitive and easy for Lodestar to use, it also made it easy to communicate with potential partners and provide current ones with important information such as performance snapshots or updated creatives.
The audit process identified that Circles.Life’s commission structure was based on unrealistic monthly targets. The rewards were simply not achievable for most publishers and, as a result, were actually demotivating to partners. Lodestar Marketing therefore proposed a flatter, more incremental structure that would put incentives within reach of more partners and encourage higher performance. The audit also uncovered low-performing partners that could be engaged with in order to optimize their performance.
Using impact.com tools enabled Circles.Life to better understand its buyer journey and which partners were influencers or closers within it. With that data, it could help each partner maximize earnings, using creative payment strategies to incentivize the right kinds of activities.
Program growth with higher quality partners
By updating its commission structure, optimizing low-performing partners, and connecting to new sub-networks of partners through the impact.com platform, Circles.Life achieved the following results:
- 46% reduction in total cost per sale, from S$68 in Q2 to S$37 in Q3 (including all associated fees)
- 238% QoQ increase in conversion rate
- 8% MoM traffic increase during Q3
- 327% QoQ increase in orders