Despite existing for over two decades, affiliate marketing has never been recognized or prioritized in comparison to its counterparts in search, social and programmatic display. The transactional, and largely last-click nature of the channel, long perpetuated discount-driven behaviors of brands and consumers alike, fueling the channel’s somewhat inconsequential reputation.
And while improvements in attribution technology have enabled greater diversification of partner types, including a greater role from content partners and creators, there is still considerably more work ahead. In fact, recent research from the Performance Marketing Association indicates that affiliate marketing investment hit $9.1B in 2021, representing a 47% increase in spend growth since 2018 but despite this growth, it still only contributed to 2.79% of all digital spend in the U.S.
For those who champion the channel’s efficiency and efficacy in delivering profitable growth, this is simply not acceptable–and it certainly won’t propel the channel to where it needs (and deserves) to be. And while mixed marketer perceptions regarding the channel have contributed to the reluctance in channel adoption, there are other serious factors at play including the ability for publishers and creators to confidently manage page yield, and have data-driven evidence that increasing the available inventory for this channel will not degrade revenue or user experience. Solving for both marketer and partner needs is the only way for the channel to truly elevate and be widely recognized and embraced for all its value, major actions–and responsibilities–must be taken by those who have the power and wherewithal to do just that.
Register to secure your in-person spot and join accomplished digital marketing leader and acclaimed Professor of Marketing, Greg Coleman, as he moderates a panel of industry executives and CEOs including Sarah Carhart, Former AVP Digital, L’Oreal, Matt Gilbert of Partnerize, Mike Jaconi of Button and David Perpich of the New York Times/The Athletic for a candid discussion on what needs to happen to increase profile, credibility, distribution, and budgets for the partner channel.