After a three-year hiatus, DealMaker APAC returned to the stage at Four Seasons Sydney on Thursday, 1st September 2022. The event brought together nearly 300 of the best and brightest advertisers, publishers and agencies for an exciting day of insights, innovation and networking opportunities, making it the biggest DealMaker APAC yet.

A big thank you to our Platinum sponsor, Afterpay, for bringing this event to life and hydrating our guests with fresh coconuts throughout the day.

DealMaker APAC was buzzing with energy. We began the day by welcoming a member of the Metropolitan Local Aboriginal Land Council, Craig Madden, to the stage to conduct a “Welcome to Country” speech to acknowledge the traditional owners of Gadigal land.

Rakuten Advertising’s SVP of APAC, Stuart McLennan, greeted a full house of guests and invited our CRO, Jeffry Wender, and MD of International, Rakhee Jogia, to kick off the event. They explained how brands and partners are poised for a year where affiliate marketing will demonstrate its full capabilities and outperform in times of economic uncertainty.

Commencing our content sessions, Stuart took the stage with ShopBack Australia’s arguably famous Angus Muffet, and Princess Polly’s affiliate expert Crystal Simile. The trio discussed the human side of affiliate marketing: how to effectively bring word-of-mouth strategy online, what brands can do to cut through the digital noise and, most importantly, how the affiliate industry is built on trust and partnerships.

During the session, Crystal commented, “I stay in this industry because of the people. Publishers and networks become extensions of your team as we all strive towards the same goal. Our affiliate program wouldn’t be where it is today without the people behind it.”

The next session featured a series of mini presentations by our publisher partners. Jade McDade from News Corp, Iris Huynh from Klarna, Kate Wareham from UNiDAYS, Alex Short from PerformID and Michael Elschenbroich from stylink took the audience through the customer journey. Each publisher explained how affiliate plays a role in the entire sales funnel, from the point of inspiration to the point of purchase and beyond. Learn more about each publisher on stage in The Affiliate Funnel: From Prospects to Purchase.

The focus was on content commerce and how it can drive brand awareness as well as advocacy. Content has immensely evolved in recent years. Now, advertisers can leverage content publishers in their affiliate program in more ways than ever before. As Michael simply puts it, “If content is King, then targeted content is King Kong. Influencers build their own communities and can create content that shows customers how to style and use your product more efficiently or integrate it with other products for a better experience. We know the influencers find ways advertisers never thought of, so we have to let them be creative!”  

We capped off the last content session of the day with an all-advertiser panel featuring industry experts from across the region: Cristel Gonzales from City Beach, Jeff Flanagan from Microsoft, Michelle Rando from Mosaic Brands and Sally Wilson from Bonds. The panellists touched on strategies for the upcoming peak shopping season and how affiliate remains a resilient channel even with the ever-changing consumer confidence.

Throughout DealMaker, attendees were able to meet and connect with each other in our dedicated DealSpace area, Huddle Networking rooms and Roundtable sessions. This year, a record number of over 300 meetings were held during the day.

The event concluded with our Golden Link Awards, APAC ceremony. The awards celebrate the most innovative and exceptional affiliate campaigns, teams and companies across our affiliate network. Members of the Rakuten Advertising team presented each of our coveted awards. Congratulations again to all the winners this year.

After the awards, our attendees continued to party the night away at Bar Mille in the heart of Sydney. Our DJ spun classic hits from the 90’s and 00’s and the dance floor was packed as soon as the party started.

We owe the success of this event to our amazing sponsors: Afterpay, Avid Collective, Cashrewards, Cheddar, Honey by PayPal, Linkby, Luxury Panda, Pedestrian.tv, PerformID, Pokitpal, ShopBack, Skimlinks, Student Beans, stylink and Zip. We thank you again for your continued support.

If you would like to relive the experience or learn more about DealMaker APAC, view our photo gallery and watch the video below:

Our sister event, DealMaker Canada is also taking place on over in Toronto on Thursday, 13th October. Registration is now open.

Thank you to all advertisers, publishers and agencies for making this event the biggest DealMaker APAC to date. See you again next year.