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Affiliate Industry Shows Signs Of Maturity, The UK Affiliate Census Reports.

Affiliate Industry Shows Signs Of Maturity, The UK Affiliate Census Reports.

In association with Econsultancy and thanks to sponsors Commission Junction and Argos, this year's UK Affiliate Census was launched on Wednesday last week, just after the a4uexpo London session where myself, Linus Gregoriadis (Econsultancy), Florian Gramshammer (Commission Junction), Andrew Firmin (Argos) and Angela Greenwood (Found) presented and discussed the key points from last year's session.

Increasing Evolution & Professionalism of Affiliate Marketing

With just under half of affiliates working full-time in the industry in 2011 (up 12% from 2009's census) the professionalism of the industry can be partly attributed to those who have been working within it for 10 years (15%)

Evolution of Affiliate Marketing

“As one of the most dynamic digital channels, our industry continues to evolve at a pace; responding to market need and technical innovation. The fact that almost a fifth of affiliates have worked in the sector for 10 years or more reflects a dedication and energy to drive this constant evolution and commercial delivery onwards.” - Tina Judic, Managing Director, Found

Content Remains King

With the continous evolution of the industry through diversification of affiliate marketing across other channels (mobile, social, display and so on) content still remains the key for Affiliates, with 58% of respondants regarding it as their most important affiliate category.

Content is King within Affiliate Marketing

“Regardless of the growing popularity of mobile, social, and retargeting, it is good to see that content is still king; and the two most popular promotional methods are content-related (both self-made and user-generated content). As an affiliate program management agency we see much of the same - most loyal and targeted customers come through content affiliates.” - Geno Prussakov, founder and CEO of AM Navigator

Preference on Last Click Wins increases compared to 2009.

Considering the recent upsurge in new attribution technology solutions and increasing noise around value-add, one area of the census which I was surprised at was the increase in the choice of 'Last Click Ahould Always Win', which has risen 9% to 43% of total respondants.

As Affiliate Marketing crosses more boundaries and becomes implemented within mobile, retargeting and the like, I was surprised to see an increase in the 'last click' choice and expected a higher percentage on the 'Commission Split Based On Analysis Of Contribution' than stated (5% increase on 2009).

Last Click Wins Still

“There are some really interesting and perhaps surprising points here regarding the age-old last click and attribution debate. It shows 43% of respondents saying they felt last click should always win. But perhaps more surprisingly, 14% said that they felt first session cookie should apply, perhaps signifying that affiliates feel that they are adding value as an awareness driver as well as an acquisition driver.

“38% of respondents replied that they felt some kind of commission split should be put in place. I think this shows there are still a lot of unanswered questions in terms of affiliate attribution and many people have different views, meaning that one commission attribution structure is unlikely to fulfil all needs and I can see it moving to an industry where attribution rules and commissions will vary across sectors and advertisers.” - Helen Southgate, Chair of the IAB Affiliate Marketing Council / Senior Online Marketing Manager at BSkyB

Download the 2011 UK Affiliate Census

Affiliates: If you took part in the initial survey you can download the report for free. Check your e-mail for a message from Econsultancy detailing information on how to download the report.

Econsultancy Members: Download the report for free.

Not sure? View a sample of the report here.

The A4u European Landscape Report is also available, free to A4u members. Download now.

Chris Johnson

Chris Johnson

Content Director for PerformanceIN. Based in Bristol & London.

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