Strategy – Marketing Solutions Business

Taku Hasegawa Taku Hasegawa

Understanding Consumer Needs and Evolving Affiliate Marketing

Taku Hasegawa
In charge of Marketing Solutions Business
General Manager of Social Commerce Promotion Office

Toward Sustainable Ecosystems

The year 2023 saw a decline in the advertisement market due to limitations placed on advertising budgets, and enactment of the Regulations Relating to Stealth Marketing and other such legislation and measures led to major changes in operating environments for “Affiliate Marketing” pay-per-performance advertising. Regardless of the direct impacts legislative and regulatory changes have had on us, however, ValueCommerce actually views these as positives, because we always strive for clean media networks. Furthermore, 2023 saw consumer purchasing activities transition from established website-based media to social media.

We are a company who understands that changes occur constantly in outside environments which affect our operations. As an organization that supports marketing endeavors, we always strive for efficient delivery of accurate information no matter the circumstances in order to foster a society that offers a diverse, abundant array of choices to its members. This is our mission as a corporation; our task is to simply carry it out.

Through provision of the best possible information, which consumers require for their decision-making processes, via media operators as intermediaries and in a manner aimed at advertisers’ product-target customers, we strive to maximize the effects of marketing operations and thus achieve the end goal of product purchases. As a company, we strive to build an ecosystem that is sustainable from the perspectives of advertisers, media operators and consumers alike.

Strengthening Social Commerce Business

As we strive for the sustainable ecosystem described above, we are aware that the affiliate advertising market has reached maturity, which is why we are experimenting with new approaches.

The first of these is adapting to diversification in advertiser types. We have been involved in performance marketing business for various types of advertisers over the years, and among some advertiser types, we have observed extreme concentrations in certain, limited categories. Moving forward, we hope to proactively offer our support for advertisers who exhibit potential in a wider variety of ways and areas.

Our second approach is improvements in information quality. Following enactment of the Regulations Relating to Stealth Marketing, it is increasingly important that advertisers and media operators attain a full understanding of legal regulations. Boosting the strictness of our screening and inspection standards, bolstering patrol efforts, and other such changes are our responsibilities as a leader in the affiliate marketing field, and we plan to make every possible effort to ensure safe and reliable information provision.

Finally, our third new approach is strengthening of social commerce business. Among young consumers in particular, we have observed shifts toward social media usage in purchase-related information gathering activities. In this regard, we understand the necessity of collaborating with social media influencers while strengthening social media marketing. That’s why, in January 2024, we established the Social Commerce Promotion Office.

Affiliate marketing entails pay-per-performance remuneration, which relies on a cost-per-action (CPA) model. In the influencer marketing field, payments center on multiple frameworks such as monthly payments and incorporation of fixed costs. Therefore, we collaborate with industry members to create frameworks that are easy for influencers to incorporate into their operations, and thus strive to further vitalize social commerce. Working with such a diverse array of new formats is a new type of challenge for ValueCommerce, but we have confidence that our past experiences will help us achieve success.

New Influencer Services to Expand Social Commerce Business

As our first stage of social commerce business expansion, we released our new “VLINK” service for influencers in March 2024. We have initially designed VLINK to provide a content summary page for each influencer that brings together in one place all of their social media activities, while also providing an online store for products promoted by said influencer. In the future, we plan to expand VLINK services and functions further.

Communicating influencer activities across a wide range of social media platforms to followers will lead to increased purchases of influencer-promoted products, which will ultimately benefit influencers, e-commerce business operators and consumers alike.

In addition to existing social media, it is likely that things which people do not currently perceive as “media” will become a part of that category. Through content creation achieved using AI and other resources, we intend to discover such new types of media and rethink the ways in which we view and approach media in general.

Consumer purchasing activities are not static and unchanging; they evolve constantly over time. ValueCommerce will precisely identify and follow these changes, employ a diverse array of response measures, and continue taking on new challenges in order to lead the affiliate marketing industry to greater prosperity.

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