Affiliate marketing will drive in the region of £3 billion worth of sales in 2007.
38% of merchants believe that ‘the affiliate marketing channel is becoming more mainstream and professional’.
Just over half of respondents say that ‘it’s changing but there is still some way to go’.
Move to ‘Affiliate 2.0’
Progress made … Source: Duncan Jennings, eConversions Professional affiliate individuals and companies with dedicated resources Part time affiliates Desktop Widgets & RSS Google AdSense Email Offer Newsletters CPM Banners Cash back and reward sites with long term user bases Free Stuff Sites Closed groups of approved affiliates providing complimentary PPC with performance targets and accountability. Emphasis and rewards on long tail Unauthorised PPC activity High quality sites utilising user-generated content and comparison engines Spam SEO sites Affiliate 2.0 Affiliate 1.0 >>>>>
Four out of five UK merchants (81%) wish they could get more out of this channel compared to 16% who declare themselves satisfied with their returns.
Only 19% of respondents say that the range of affiliate marketing segments - such as affinity sites, email affiliates, price comparison sites, content sites and search affiliates - are fully understood and optimised.
Very hard for merchants to get perfect overview of where sales are coming from – can be hard to de-dupe sales.
Different layers of technology.
Multi-channel business models.
Voice of the merchants … “ A few super affiliates with a drop in volume and standard to the next group .” “ There are too many search affiliates. I wish an affiliate network could actively move away from this model. ” “ Fraud is a major issue. Takes a lot of our resource that could be better used optimising our activity.” “ Counter-bidding on paid search can be a real obstacle with some affiliates .”
Voice of the affiliate … “ I find that deep links often do not work and just take the customer to the home page. A good selection of deep links with good photos of products are essential. Customers are put off by having to search for products.” The biggest reason for affiliates not promoting merchants after making the effort to sign up for programs is because of insufficient quality & quantity of links .
Affiliate marketing bottom line and USP has always been purely about performance-based marketing.
There is also a branding benefit by being on good affiliate websites.
This has ramifications for the costing models.
Voice of the agencies … “ The distinct lack of actual experience and understanding [is a barrier]. It would be good to see some kind of accreditation for affiliate managers that was recognised in the industry.” “ As soon as empathy, understanding and real communication from all sides come into play then we will see the real growth happen in this industry ”. “ There is a bit of a challenge with educating merchants on the added value of affiliate marketing. Some are convinced they would get the sale anyway as a portion of affiliate sales are from returning customers .”