Malaysian Media Awards Winners Showcase

2022 | |

Building the Partnership Economy

Advertiser: -
Brand: -
Creative Agency: -
Credits: Hari Kishan Yellanki - Regional Affiliate Director, NEO, Mindshare Group

Affiliate marketing evolved from being a referral concept to a full-fledged partnership economy, especially over the past couple of years where pay-for-performance channels saw an exponential growth with brands being more conscious with their wallets. Hari is not a new name in the affiliate space in Malaysia and SEA. His network spans across APAC amongst the affiliates. He helped launched global affiliate programs for Fortune 100 brands of the world and set up the agency affiliate business unit in KualaLumpur with a goal to elevate the affiliate marketing sector in Malaysia.  Affiliate marketing, it’s potential configurations, the consumer focus and the lynchpin of trust has changed drastically over the past couple of years where Hari believes that anyone can be an affiliate partner when the trade is right. Owing to the 1-1 relationship in affiliate marketing as opposed to tools and softwares with other markeing channels, his strategy of investing time and effort into educating advertisers, affiliate partners, networks, SaaS platforms, non-traditional affiliates and agencies has extensively helped the agency double it’s revenues, increase performance for the clients and demand amongst the affiliates for advertisers under the agency.

What’s Special about You & Key Achievements
Hari identified a major gap in agency services and deliverables. Almost no agency in Malaysia had an end-to-end affiliate marketing service that does it right. Brands used to work with one or two affiliate networks  and call it a day. With his experience in launching global affiliate programs, Hari opened a full-stack affiliate marketing hub within the agency group to serve 3 main purposes: ▶ To educate the agency on the importance and potential of 15-20% in incremental revenue and performance to their clients ▶ To educate the clients on the ‘right way’ to do affiliate marketing ▶ To build an affiliate partner empire by educating people on how to promote the best brands the best way. Hari’s partners in networks, loyalty, cashbacks, rewards, content, influencers etc now span over 3,000 in Malaysia in just over a year with more than 30,000+ partners in APAC. Hari also launched two new affiliate business models in Malaysia that is new in SEA. These new models contribute to over 50% in affiliate revenues to the agency. 1. Launching and managing affiliate programs on Lazada/Shopee for brands and pulling them to the top amidst 15,000+ stores that are running affiliate programs on these marketplaces in Malaysia alone. 2. Redefining the way lead generation affiliate campaigns are done by eliminating need for middlemen and SaaS platforms reducing the cost per leads by more than 50%. Hari expanded his affiliate expert team in KualaLumpur which now rolls out communication to 1000’s of affiliate partners in Malaysia informing about brands to promote, campaign information, training material etc. His teams draw on real world examples with their experience in launching affiliate programs for celebrated brands like Apple, Adidas, L’Oreal, Unilever etc to apply to Malaysian market specific brands. Brands like Fonterra, RHB, Huggies and universities in Malaysia successfully tried and tested affiliate marketing for their campaigns. Hari also combined multiple affiliate networks and agency influencer platforms to create a behemoth social commerce marketing channel set to launch in Q3’22, likely paving way for another affiliate business service offered by the agency.

Leadership Skills
Hari leads the agencys’ affiliate marketing division for Malaysia and built the business unit and team from scratch to service any region in APAC right from KualaLumpur. This has ensured very high speeds in client service and perfect control of costs, with the added advantage of pooling client budgets and agency revenues into the Malaysian economy. Hari’s leadership entails holding the entire affiliate unit P&L for Malaysia, being responsible as a mentor for the affiliate sector, and ensuring clients do affiliate programs that are truly world class with highly skilled experts. While Hari chose the agencys’ affiliate hub to be based out of KualaLumpur, he also set up nuclear affiliate teams in Singapore, Japan and China delivering truly localized affiliate knowledge to the brands, agency and affiliates. His leadership in managing teams all over APAC physically and virtually even before Covid made it mainstream, has been commended as often depicted in 360 reviews from all parties involved. Having lived and worked in various continents of the world, Hari’s intercultural communication and emotional intelligence sets him as a fit leader to make a positive change in affiliate industry not just in Malaysia but for the diverse regions in SEA. With his extensive experience in performance marketing and a clear-cut vision on his industry, it is no surprise that Hari is often involved in top level decisions that shape the future of the agency and its services.