Finance and spending
min read

Performance marketing | Using affiliate marketing as a resilient revenue driver during a cost-of-living crisis

Written by
Izzy Hall
Published on
January 11, 2023
Last updated
January 22, 2024

What this article covers

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It’s no secret that we’re facing economic uncertainty and a possible recession as we enter 2023. And with that in mind, marketers need to be more savvy than ever before about how they spend their money. 

Affiliate marketing has proven itself to be the ideal foundation for turbulent times, be that extraordinary (we’re looking at you, COVID-19) or economic (and you, cost-of-living crisis), but how exactly does affiliate marketing deliver advertising that outperforms during times of economic uncertainty, and why is this strategy the ideal tool for resilience?

How affiliate marketing can help you to meet your commerical goals

Affiliate marketing is a resilient revenue driver, helping advertisers to meet commercial goals across all sectors, whatever the external conditions. Much like every other form of marketing over the past few unpredictable years, affiliate marketing has adapted over time, and now helps brands to build real, authentic trust with consumers before sales are made.

This is particularly true within the context of the rising cost-of-living - our research revealed that 80% of young people plan to cut down on non-essential spending this year, meaning they’ll be saving their pennies for the brands they know, love and trust.

Asian young woman going out from home

Ultimately, affiliate marketing helps to build brand awareness and drive conversions. Once Gen Z knows and understands your brand on an intimate level, you’ve gained their trust, meaning they’ll be with you for life (regardless of external conditions!). Commercial goals? Tick!

How can you remain empathetic to the issues and concerns of your Gen Z consumers?

Affiliate marketing can help advertisers to meet their commercial objectives whilst also remaining empathetic to the issues and concerns of their audiences, and this is absolutely crucial when it comes to building strong brand-consumer relationships. Gen Z wants the brands they love to align with their cultural values and understand what’s impacting them, and first party data gathered by publishers such as Student Beans can help with providing these insights.

For example, when it comes to the cost-of-living crisis, publishers can help brands to gain insights and understand how to adapt and provide shoppers with the best products for the best prices during this uncertain and sensitive time. Whether it’s by offering exclusive discounts and deals or a reliable and accessible service, publishers like can help you to become the name that young people turn to time and time again.

Choosing the right products to promote and understanding the environment that brands’ consumers are living in forms the basis of all strong affiliate marketing strategies. Having a strong brand identity, promoting products you believe in and creating authentic content will ensure you remain empathetic to the issues and concerns of consumers.

Cropped shot of a diverse group of female friends using a cellphone while sightseeing in the city

Customer loyalty, publishers and brand positioning

Consumer loyalty towards publishers can deliver benefits to advertisers within brand positioning, as well as around themes such as purpose and sustainability. So what can we offer here at Pion?

  • On average, our brand partners have been able to increase student conversions by 3.5 times and repeat purchases of 21%, with 17% AOV gains 
  • Position yourself where it matters most, whether that’s using carousels, social extensions, newsletters, push notifications or via our carefully curated Gen Z database 
  • We aren’t your average publisher - not only do we drive engagement, create a buzz and reach Gen Z via their native platforms, but we also offer end-to-end solutions, have award-winning tech and keep our finger on the pulse

So there you have it - the importance of affiliate marketing and how it can be used to continually drive revenue amongst Gen Z during the cost-of-living crisis. It’s a strategy that can help you meet your commercial goals regardless of sector and will guarantee success regardless of external conditions, provided you stay true to your values and really focus on understanding your consumer base.

Discover more about how we can equip your brand with end-to-end solutions in order to better attract, engage and retain student customers here.

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