In the livery industry, consumers and businesses are becoming more and more globalized, but there are ways that smaller, local businesses can tap into the expanding market. By utilizing affiliates, fleets can create marketing partnerships with other businesses to help sell their products and services. Joining an affiliate network can be an effective way for a business to branch out into new markets and increase sales with few costs.
What is an Affiliate Network?
An affiliate network is group of associated companies that offer complimentary or compatible products or services and often pass leads to one another. In the transportation industry, there are different degrees of affiliate work. Some companies only do inbound or outbound work while others do both. Networks can be comprised of a few local businesses or can be large, expansive networks made up of local and international affiliates. International affiliate networks have become increasingly popular as international travel, especially amongst corporate clients, has become more prevalent.
Choose Affiliate Networks Strategically
It is important that fleets work with reputable businesses, since the affiliate network is a reflection of their business. Customer reviews and the reputation of the network should be vetted before joining. Companies should be strategic when partnering with others that may be vying for the same market. Smaller fleets, may want to partner with bigger companies or have a larger affiliate network to handle overflow during peak periods and pick-up more business during slower periods.
With an increase in international business relationships and universal access to travel, fleets can tap into new markets and grow their business around the world. Global business travel spending is forecasted to increase 5-6% per year over the next few years. Fleets can take advantage of corporate travel revenue by doing their homework on travel patterns, types of businesses and events flowing in and out of their service area, and joining a well-connected global network.
Where to Find Affiliates
Building a solid network may take time and effort, however there are many ways to find affiliates. Start by reaching out to personal contacts. It is easier to form stronger partnerships if there’s an existing connection.
Social media has made it easy to connect with other businesses around the world through online groups and networks. Industry influencers and bloggers are great affiliates and resources because they already have a dedicated, engaged following that reaches the target market. They can be reached through their social media platforms or email.
There are conferences and webinars for virtually every niche market with entrepreneurs eager to find ways to scale their business. Traditional publications, industry magazines, and books are also resources to find affiliates.
Using technology to connect and expand the network is crucial. Most livery businesses have some type of reservation software in place but when working with affiliates, these systems can’t communicate with each other. By using software with synchronized technology, connecting affiliate fleets is a seamless process. Dashride Connect is the only on-demand global affiliate network. This platform-agnostic tool efficiently connects customers to network providers anywhere in the world. Affiliates can also use the portal to exchange trips regardless of what dispatching software they use. This allows fleets to give their customers access to the global affiliate network through their own brand, enabling them to retain their customers instead of losing them to an affiliate.
Market Your Affiliate Network
An affiliate network is valuable to consumers. The network can provide them with more options, better rates, and saves them time. This value should be communicated through marketing efforts. Fleets should take advantage of their network’s social media reach and online presence. Online affiliate marketing can be a good way to reach a wider market and drive website traffic. For each affiliate they establish, they can let their customers know their brand is available in a new market. The more sites that link to their pages, the more opportunities they’ll have to convert those users into paid customers.
For newer businesses, having a good relationship with established affiliates can further the reputation of their brand and products. Marketing will also attract other reputable businesses into the network. Even with a sizable network, there are always opportunities for growth.
With growing competition, changing technology and consumers wanting cheaper, faster services, networks are expanding to meet these demands. Affiliate networks allow fleets to lower their operating expenses and tap into larger markets to compete. And by introducing their products and services through trusted referrals, they can branch out into new markets and attract prospects they might not have otherwise reached. To learn more about Dashirde Connect or joining an affiliate network contact us today!