The official theme for Earth Day 2022 is Invest in Our Planet, with a call for an All In approach from businesses, governments and citizens. Like many, we at Rakuten Advertising are working to do our bit. Last year, we launched the Rakuten Advertising Forest and, to date, have planted over 18,200 trees on behalf of our partners. Our forest covers more than 18 hectares across Nepal, France, Australia, and Brazil and has offset more than 660 tonnes of CO2 emissions.

There is always more that we can be doing. For true change to take effect, there is a need to act boldly, innovate broadly and implement equitably. We’re working with our business leaders to understand how we can institute further change within our business. These conversations also extend beyond Rakuten Advertising. More than ever before, our clients and publisher partners are working with us to identify strategies that can support and drive their sustainability and social purpose messages.

The official Earth Day site also calls out the need for a Partnership for the Planet, with everyone accounted for, and everyone accountable. Through partnerships, advertisers and publishers can share their brand purpose messages and effect change in our world.

Aligning Affiliate Strategies with Brand Purpose

Traditionally seen as a conversion driving channel, affiliate marketing has evolved to one that aligns with and supports business objectives and KPIs, including social purpose and sustainability. Dynamic Commissioning, which enables brands to pay different commissions based on KPIs, is a tried and tested method for delivering on these strategies. Typically used to support new customer acquisition campaigns or promote a specific product, advertisers who want to effect change use Dynamic Commissioning to help tell their sustainable story.

Additionally, publishers are creating innovative ways to support purpose-based marketing. Some publishers are reducing the barriers of entry for BIPOC brands via reduced fees and creating special categories and promotional opportunities. Others create ‘give back campaigns’ with trees planted for every sale they drive or allow consumers to donate their cashback to charity or social causes.

Partnerships Based on Shared Values 

Shared goals and values are key to any successful partnership, a sentiment that is even more important when delivering purpose-led messages.

Both advertisers and publishers want to avoid greenwashing and working with partners who appear to be doing so. Authenticity is critical, and it is no longer enough only to use a pride flag within campaigns. Publishers and advertisers alike want to work with partners that support their social and environmental causes with action.

Publishers boast the unique position of tapping into their audiences for insight into the brands they most want to purchase from. By listening to their audience, publishers can better understand which brands most align with their values and create deeper, more authentic partnerships.

Partnerships for the Planet  

Across our global network, we’re seeing an increase in publishers joining Rakuten Advertising committed to social and environmental purposes. Refreshingly, it isn’t only new publisher partners that are instigating change. Many traditional publishers are also incorporating purpose into their offering. Whether planting a tree for every sale they drive on key promotional dates or creating unique opportunities to support black- or female-owned businesses during Black History Month or International Women’s Day.

Examples of affiliate partners who are driving change within our industry include:

  • Cashrewards is a Pledge 1% company, meaning one percent of the company’s equity and one percent of cashback rewards are donated to the Starlight Children’s Foundation
  • GiveGet connects brands and charities, and rewards donors with savings at some of Australia’s biggest retailers
  • Her Black Book donates $10,000 to various female charities each year

There are many more publishers on our network who are leading change across Asia-Pacific. Find out how you can support Partnerships for the Planet, reach out to your Rakuten Advertising account representative or visit rakutenadvertising.com.