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Growth in 2012 For Affiliate Marketing, But Knowledge Among Large Businesses Needs Addressing

Growth in 2012 For Affiliate Marketing, But Knowledge Among Large Businesses Needs Addressing


The survey, which was completed by advertisers who spend a proportion of their marketing budget within the Affiliate Marketing space, addressed the perceived value of affiliate marketing, how it is used in comparison to other marketing channels, future growth of the channel plus insight into the level of knowledge among CEO level regarding the discipline, judged by those who entered the survey.

Marketing Spend and Monthly Commission Payments to Affiliates.

Following a 77% increase in marketing spend within the affiliate channel during the course of 2011, a further 71% of those surveyed are expecting to see a further rise during 2012. The average monthly affiliate commissions saw 41% generating between £0-£10k per month, plus a hefty 19% were averaging over £100k in affiliate commissions.

Just over half of advertisers said they spend less than 10% of their overall online marketing spend on the affiliate channel, which is likely down to the size of the businesses that took part in the survey. A further quarter of respondents attributed over 20% over their overall spend to the affiliate channel, showing an encouraging sign that affiliates are playing a significant part in a brand’s marketing mix.

Knowledge of Affiliate Marketing at CEO Level

One of the main concerns following the result of the survey, which is incidentally something that the IAB have been working on over the course of this year, is the knowledge, awareness and perception of Affiliate Marketing in general and at ‘CEO level’ of businesses.

Rather alarmingly, 50% of respondents said knowledge of Affiliate Marketing at CEO level within the business they are working in was ‘little’ or ‘none at all’, which puts continuous emphasis on those working on affiliate strategies and online acquisitions to battle for budget whilst educating internally at the same time.

The Marketing Committee within the Affiliate Marketing Council made plans this year to conduct ‘learning lunches’ whereby members of the council can meet with senior business bods to discuss and educate Affiliate Marketing through the use of case studies. On the back of last week’s IAB AMC meeting we know this is still in the pipeline, and perhaps this is one of the areas that should be pushed in early 2012.

From the results in the above image, it is fairly obvious that the bigger the company turnover the less educated CEO’s are about Affiliate Marketing.

In terms of what this means for Affiliates, and how Affiliate Marketing as an industry can engage with larger businesses, we spoke to Council Chair Helen Southgate, who was encouraged by the survey results:

“I don’t think it necessarily means for affiliates anything specifically different from networks, agencies or advertisers. What the results essentially tell us is that the sector is performing well and confidence is high for the sector next year however there is significant opportunity for growth In a time when a lot of businesses are struggling it makes sense to invest in affiliate marketing as a lower risk channel so I think we should all be looking at new and innovative ways to do this and drive more investment into the sector, benefiting all stakeholders.”

“In terms of engaging with larger businesses I think the IAB and AMC need to do a better job of educating Advertisers about the sector and the opportunities, I don’t however think this is limited to the AMC, it should be a role that we all take on. I don’t think we blow our trumpet enough as a sector, we could learn a lot from the social, video and mobile sectors, which is essentially all part of affiliate marketing anyway!”

Other Survey Result Highlights

  • 59% of respondents worked with just one affiliate network to manage their programme
  • 51% of all respondents said that they de-dupe sales against the affiliate channel. Of those, 69% de-duped against 3 or less channels
  • 64% of respondents said that their strategy for the affiliate channel was predominantly in-house, with 21% using network strategists, and the remaining 15% using agencies.

Full Survey Results.

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Chris Johnson

Chris Johnson

Content Director for PerformanceIN. Based in Bristol & London.

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