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Why Australian Marketers Should Invest in Partnerships: Insights from the 2021 IAB Affiliate Marketing Australian Industry Review

Feb 19, 2021

APAC Marketing Director

There has never been a better time for marketers to be active in the affiliate and partnerships channel in Australia. And that was definitely evident when IAB Australia released it’s 2021 Australian Industry Review

Partnerize is excited to announce that we have become a member of the IAB Australia and its Affiliate Marketing Working Group. We’re looking forward to sharing industry learnings and helping shape the future of the Australian partnerships industry to show its true value as an acquisition channel for brands. 

Since the value of the channel was validated in the IAB’s third Australian Industry Review, we wanted to share some of the key findings that we believe are most important for the modern marketer in Australia.


Experience Levels Are Growing

One of the most interesting findings was seeing the level of expertise and time in affiliate marketing growing significantly. Australia has often been regarded as lower in its affiliate maturity, so it’s validating to see that 30% of people in the industry have 5+ years experience. Further, it’s reassuring to see this number growing from only 22% in 2019.


Approach to Partnership Management is Shifting

While your approach to partnership management should be unique to you, it’s encouraging to see that 71% of respondents are now managing their affiliate program in-house. Successful programs are often a result of strong partner relationships, so seeing more marketers managing those relationships themselves, or in-line with a strategic agency (20% of respondents) indicates significant channel progress.


Investment in the Channel is Increasing

If there was one statistic in the survey that really solidified the value of the partnership channel, it was the notable increase in investment. In 2020, 34% of Australian marketers spent more than $50,000 AUD per month on affiliate marketing. This is a strong investment, up from 28% in 2019. This investment was also seen when respondents were asked about changes in their spend in 2020, with an impressive 68% of marketers saying their budgets/spend in the channel had increased in 2020, versus 2019.


The Perception of Measurement is Evolving

While volume of sales remained as the most important success metric, it was encouraging to see a variety of other metrics growing in importance. Return on Investment (ROI) was deemed the second most important measure indicating marketers’ focus on profitability.


More Education Is Needed

Recent years have shown significant changes to tracking and the use of cookies and it was evident in the Industry Review that more education is certainly needed for affiliate marketers in Australia. 39% of respondents were still reliant on third-party cookies and one in four respondents didn’t actually know what tracking methods they were using. Alongside this, only 45% of Australian marketers were ready to track their partnerships without third-party cookies. This is something that will have a significant effect on the affiliate industry, so it’s critical to see further education in this area.

Overall, the results were resoundingly positive and reiterated the message that the partnership channel is one all marketers should be invested in. Whether you’re interested in entering the channel, or ready to invest more, reach out to the Partnerize Australia team at and we can guide you in the right direction.

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