Every year during Pride, I like to take a moment to reflect on myself, my life, and more importantly, the moments in the past year when I hid the fact that I am gay or otherwise shrunk myself for the sake of others. Once I’ve reflected, I then commit to ensuring those moments become more and more infrequent over the next year. 

It isn’t easy, but it’s necessary. Pride isn’t a one-day thing. We’re not queer for just one day or month; instead, we live our truth 365 days a year. This means that every day we decide how authentic and open we’re going to be in any given situation. It can be difficult, but the more authentic we are, the more our community can flourish. 

By showing up as our true selves, we become teachers in life. We teach others that it’s okay for them to be themselves, and we educate them about our community. 

Now, the idea that as queer people, we also must educate our peers can be exhausting. It can be, but “being the teacher” can be as simple as living authentically and leading by example. (A quick example of one thing I do is add my pronouns to my email signature or Zoom name, regardless of the situation I’m in. For me, it’s an easy and quick way to normalize the use of pronouns in my workplace.) 

And by showing up as your authentic self, you not only encourage, but create a space for, others to let their light shine bright, even if just to you. In the workplace, especially a new workplace, where people aren’t sure how they can show up, it makes a world of difference. 

It’s crucial, though, for everyone to define what it means to “be the teacher” for themselves. This allows us to set boundaries on what we can or cannot take on, while, as a community, recognizing that it’s our responsibility to come together and support each other in carrying the charge of education when possible. 

However, teaching requires engagement with a willing audience, and the first step to learning is an openness to acquire new information. 

In the beginning, you might feel like you’re failing, but that’s okay. It’s okay to fail because every person has experienced failure at some point. (And as a queer community, we must give those learning the grace to fail, because they won’t grow without it.)  

And as Brené Brown once said, we must “lean into the discomfort of the work” when addressing difficult situations. And it holds true here because opening yourself up to learning can be hard and uncomfortable. But it’s necessary.

We all have the opportunity to learn something new every day, and it could be challenging to confront preconceived notions you may not even know you have. But, in the end, it can go a long way toward creating a world where everyone feels welcomed, safe, and able to be their most authentic selves.  

Building lasting customer relationships is essential for businesses and brands looking to thrive in today’s competitive market. However, building these relationships isn’t an easy task and requires a well-defined, thoughtful strategy. And one of the most effective strategies for building lasting customer relationships–and ultimately, customer lifetime value, is through partnerships. But how do we accomplish this? Read on to learn what we mean by customer lifetime value and discover six simple yet effective strategies to build on it.

How do you define Customer Lifetime Value?

The short answer: Customer lifetime value (CLTV) is the total amount of revenue a customer is expected to generate for a business over the course of their relationship. In partnership marketing, CLTV represents the revenue generated by a customer that comes through a partner’s link over the lifetime of their engagement with the brand or business. This metric is important because it allows you to calculate the true return on investment (ROI) for your partner marketing efforts.

“While affiliate, and the broader partnership channel are often prized for the ability to produce higher ROAS, that’s a decidedly short-term view to consider and this short-term view needs to be complemented by a long-term view like CLTV to drive the intended or desired outcomes. And this long-term view mandates use of a sophisticated partnership automation software provider that can offer cross-channel insights necessary for maximum transparency and program optimization.”Maura Smith, CMO, Partnerize

Creating CLTV is a critical goal for any business looking to maximize the return on investment (ROI) of its marketing efforts. One of the most effective ways to achieve this is by taking a thoughtful approach to the types of partnerships you establish and manage over time.

To aid your efforts to achieve CLTV, let’s take a look at six solid strategies for building CLTV in the partnership channel. Investing in these strategies sooner rather than later can build lasting customer relationships that lead to increased revenue and profitability over the long term and that’s good news for everyone.

1. Identify the right affiliate partners: To build CLTV, it’s important to work with partners that align directly with your brand values and goals. Look for partners that have a similar audience and complementary products or services. This can help ensure that the customers acquired through the partnership are more likely to be interested in your products or services and more likely to become long-term customers. 

Examine your existing partnerships that are effective in generating CLTV. They likely have attributes that play a role in generating the outcome you desire, and therefore, those attributes should be thoughtfully considered as part of your partner recruitment strategy. The partnerships you establish today, will either be successful in generating long term value, like CLTV, or not. By selecting the right partners, brands can increase the likelihood of attracting customers with high CLTV, who are likely to return for repeat purchases.

Remember, equally important to aligning to your brand’s values is working with a diverse partner composition to ensure your partners are driving value for your brand at varying stages of the funnel.

2. Provide high-quality products or services: Building CLTV through partnerships starts with providing high-quality products or services that meet the needs and expectations of your customers (and your partner’s audience). By delivering a great customer experience, you can build trust and credibility with customers and increase the likelihood of repeat purchases, giving your partners a better foundation as they promote and recommend your brand. 

Furthermore, CLTV can help businesses identify which products or services are most profitable in their partnerships. By analyzing the CLTV of customers who purchase different products or services through partner links, brands can determine which offerings are generating the most long-term value. This information can then be used to optimize the program by focusing on promoting the most profitable products or services, or even developing new offerings that are likely to generate even greater CLTV.

3. Offer incentives for repeat purchases: One way to encourage your customers to make repeat purchases is to offer incentives such as discounts, loyalty programs, or rewards for referrals. These incentives can help your partnerships drive increased customer loyalty and encourage customers to continue doing business with you over the long term (hello, lifetime value!).

4. Communicate regularly with your customers: Regular communication with customers and your partners is key to building CLTV. This can include sending newsletters, promotional emails, or other relevant content that keeps customers and partners engaged and informed about your products or services. Partnerships can help keep your brand front and center with your target audience and customers, increasing the likelihood of repeat purchases and referrals.

5. Provide exceptional customer service: Just like your product offering, exceptional customer service is essential for building CLTV through your partnerships. By providing prompt and helpful responses to customer inquiries or concerns, you can build trust and loyalty with customers and increase the likelihood of repeat business.

6. Measure and optimize: To build CLTV through your partnerships, it’s important to continually measure and optimize your marketing efforts. This can involve tracking metrics such as customer acquisition costs, customer retention rates, and revenue generated from the partnership channel. By analyzing this data, you can identify areas for improvement and make data-driven decisions to optimize your partnerships and your marketing efforts. Remember: Your provider should have sophisticated technology that enables granular tracking across any data point.  

Additionally, brands can increase their CLTV by de-siloing the partnership marketing channel and looking at the bigger picture of how consumers interact with their brand across channels. Instead of seeing partnerships (or affiliate marketing) as a standalone channel, businesses should consider how it fits into the broader, complex customer journey. This can involve analyzing data from multiple touchpoints, such as social media, email marketing, and website traffic, to gain a more comprehensive understanding of customer behavior. Generally, the idea is to review the partnership channel side- by -side with other channels to understand the impact when the touchpoint is present versus when it’s not. AOVs may be higher, and purchase consideration time may be shorter, however, this analysis cannot be completed without a holistic view of your entire digital marketing channels. And like having a provider that can offer cross-channel insights is critical to success, having a software provider with integrations into BI and analytics tools to help break down the barriers is also imperative. 

By breaking down silos and taking a more holistic view of their marketing efforts, brands can identify the most effective partnerships and marketing strategies for driving customer loyalty and increasing CLTV. This can lead to a more sustainable and profitable partnership marketing program that generates long-term value for both the brand and its partners. Overall, by embracing a proactive and collaborative approach to partnerships, brands can create greater CTLV and establish stronger relationships with their partners.

“With cross-channel insights and conscious media spend you can discover the most effective strategies for building sustainable and profitable partnership programs that create lasting value for you, your consumers, and your partners.”Kim Riedell, SVP, Partnerships & Affiliate Outcomes

Bottomline: CLTV is a crucial metric in partnership marketing and understanding the long-term value of the customers brought in by your partners, can help inform smarter decisions about how much to invest in the channel, who to partner with, and which products or services to promote. All this will ultimately lead to greater profitability and more sustainable partnerships.

For more on partnership marketing strategies, read Picking the Perfect Affiliate Opportunity

The evolution of retail media networks is accelerating, fast. As these networks grow in number, scale, and diversity of offering, the opportunities for brands are growing right alongside. But so are the challenges to creating ROI-maximizing retail media network (RMN) strategies. In the latest article in The Drum, Zach Weinberg, VP of e-commerce at Matterkind, sets out the key considerations for successfully navigating the RMN ecosystem. Read the full article here.

To read more about how commerce, affiliate and other performance solutions are providing clients with +30% growth, visit our Outcome Navigator page.

Performance marketing has quickly become the darling of the digital marketing world. Of all the available channels, lead generation campaigns are among the most important, effective implements in the marketer’s toolbox, but they’re also the most potentially complex – and misunderstood. In the latest article in The Drum, Matterkind’s VP of lead generation strategy, Wendy Herzberg, lays out a four-point customer-centric blueprint for ensuring lead gen success.

Read more about lead generation in our blog article, 3 Ways You Could Be Growing Your Business Through Marketing.

Matterkind’s IMPACT group hosted an event last week to hear the testimony of a 90-year-old Holocaust survivor, Ms. Toby Levy. I had the honor and privilege to introduce Ms. Levy before she spoke.

Ms. Levy described her childhood during the Holocaust. After the Nazis invaded Poland, she went into hiding with her family from 1942 to 1944. She knew that if they were discovered, they would most likely be sent to death camps and murdered, simply for being born Jewish. Ms. Levy also told her story a few years ago at a virtual forum, and one thing she said really struck me: After they emerged from hiding at the end of the war, her father hoped there were other survivors, but there was the possibility they were the only Jews left alive in Poland.  “Someone has to survive because the world needs to know what happened,” he said, “Maybe it’s us.” 

The world still needs to know what happened. Because the hatred and ignorance that fueled this genocide against the Jews still exists.  And, so, we—all of us–have work to do. We must not be indifferent–indifferent to Ms. Levy’s story, indifferent to the history of the Holocaust, or indifferent to the antisemitism that currently occurs in society. Auschwitz survivor and Nobel laureate Elie Wiesel said, “[T]he opposite of love is not hate but indifference.”

The sheer scale of the Holocaust is so great, it is easy to be indifferent. 6 million Jews were murdered by the time it ended in 1945: an unfathomable number. Complete villages and communities were systematically wiped out across Eastern Europe. Nearly 2 out of every 3 European Jews were killed, including 1 million children. Think about this: if you held a moment of silence for every victim of the Holocaust, you would be silent for 11.5 years. Elie Wiesel also once tried to explain how indescribable it was to witness a horrific scene where children were burned alive. “Words,” he said, “they die on my lips.” 

We read about the Holocaust as history, but, as Ms. Levy’s presence at the event reminds us, it wasn’t so long ago. It occurred within my own parents’ lifetime. Antisemitism has been called the world’s oldest hatred, and it is remarkably persistent. The Tree of Life Synagogue shooting in Pittsburgh, where 11 Jews were gunned down and 6 were wounded as they attended weekly Sabbath services on a Saturday morning, was the deadliest attack on Jews in US history. And it occurred in October 2018, less than five years ago. And just over the past year, the number of antisemitic incidents in the US increased by more than 35%, according to the Anti-Defamation League. Even the gunman of the Allen, Texas shooting on May 6th of this year was an avowed Neo-Nazi.

The refrain I heard regarding the Holocaust, while growing up within my Jewish community, was to “Never Forget.” It sometimes felt so passive, so inadequate to me. How can simply remembering the stories of what happened possibly be enough? There must be a way to be more active, to help keep the memory of those who were lost, alive. And yet: there is. 

One simply cannot just “remember”, one must “bear witness.” To quote Barack Obama after he visited the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial in Israel: “May we remember those who perished, not only as victims, but also as individuals who hoped and loved and dreamed like us, and who have become symbols of the human spirit.” Absolutely, we should. Yet we must also hear the stories of the ones who, through sheer will and determination, not only survived the unimaginable, but thrived. Their lives counteract the hatred that tried to destroy them, and their strength manifests the power of the human spirit – that essential thing we all share, regardless of who we are, what we believe, and how we were born.

I have tried to bear witness in my own life. Growing up, our neighbor across the street was a man who survived Auschwitz with a tattooed number on his arm, and who was able to go on to live a beautiful life with a successful business, surrounded by loving friends and family. I remember sitting with him outside on a beautiful sunny spring day, where he turned to my family and said, matter-of-factly, that that day marked the anniversary of his liberation from the camp. He survived, he thrived. He did all the things that make life worth living. He’s still with us at 95 years old, he still bears witness. So must I.  So must you. The world still needs to know what happened. We still have work to do. 

So I ask you: Listen to Toby’s story, read the books, watch the films, and educate yourselves about what occurred. Remember: we are the last generation to hear these first-hand accounts from the people who lived through the Holocaust, survived, and transcended it. We are the ones who can ensure a future where this truly cannot, and will not, happen again. 

As Ms. Levy once said: “I need all of you to remember me and be my witness.”

What can be more powerful and meaningful than bearing witness to her testimony and sharing her story? The world still needs to know what happened, so that the world may, in reality, never ever forget.  

Watch Ms. Levy share her story here: