Is affiliate marketing really still relevant? Aren't brands focusing more on the network of influencers? Is it worth investing in your own affiliate program?
At an event in 1997, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos is said to have talked to a lady who offered him to promote books on her website in exchange for commission. This idea seems to have been the birth of affiliate marketing, as more and more website owners started marketing Amazon products on their websites. Since then, a wide variety of affiliate networks have emerged, bringing advertisers and publishers together on their platforms.
But what is the value of affiliate marketing today? How do the pandemic and other current events influence its development? And what future expectations dominate the affiliate business? We evaluated an article in Website Boosting magazine and compared it with our own experience:
A survey of 1,100 affiliate marketeers revealed that "Affiliate marketing will continue to be one of the growth drivers in the online marketing mix in 2022."
1. The current times of crisis with pandemic and war require a manageable cost risk in marketing. It is precisely the performance-based remuneration of publishers, such as pay-per-click, pay-per-lead and pay-per-sale, that makes affiliate networks and thus affiliate programs attractive for companies. The cost-per-click is precisely determined by the advertisers through the compensation model.
2. The Covid pandemic led to a shift from offline to online purchases, which in turn has a positive impact on affiliate marketing revenues. As early as 2021, 40% of advertisers increased their affiliate spend. On average, 10-30% of marketing spend is already attributable to affiliate marketing, and the trend is rising.
3. The current high rate of inflation is also causing uncertainty in the affiliate network, but the consumer climate is still robust, private individuals are consuming almost without restriction. However, this can change quickly due to monetary and interest rate policies and thus higher prices.
4. The topics of data protection and tracking will also concern the affiliate business in 2022. According to a court decision, consent to data collection must be obtained from the user by means of a double opt-in procedure. This means additional effort and costs for implementation, which has a negative impact on sales. In the long term, server-to-server tracking is seen as a model for the future.
5. It is expected that the development of PIMS (Personal Information Management Systems) will replace the need to click away all cookie banners in the future. Until then, however, the focus will be on consent optimization, i.e. the goal of ensuring that as many users as possible accept the cookie banners.
6. The topics on the customer journey and also cross-device tracking continue to be underrepresented, which indicates that decisions in performance marketing are still too little data-driven.
7. New publisher models and technology partners act as growth drivers in the affiliate marketing network. Content publishers, product tests & bestseller lists, cash back/bonus affiliates and voucher/deal sites continue to be the most popular. 34% of advertisers see affiliate influencers on social media channels as growth drivers.
8. Als Problem des Affiliate Marketings werden intransparente Vergütungsstrategien der Partnerprogramme und Tracking Probleme der Affiliate-Links genannt. Die Umstellung auf hybride Provisionsmodelle der Partnerprogramme sorgt hier für mehr Fairness im Affiliate Business.
9. As in many industries, the shortage of skilled workers is the brake on growth in the affiliate marketing system. It is now more than ever in the hands of companies and affiliate partners to create correspondingly attractive conditions in order to permanently retain their employees and thus also their know-how in successful affiliate marketing.
10. The aspect of sustainability is playing an increasingly important role in purchasing decisions. 71% of all consumers believe that companies must assume environmental responsibility and therefore pay attention to this aspect when buying suitable products..
The pandemic has accelerated the shift to digital shopping by 5 years and the demand for digital products is also increasing. In the past two years and also in the coming years, this has led to increasing consumer demand in e-commerce and steadily growing sales in affiliate marketing. For website operators as well as marketers of their own products via online stores, the topic is therefore definitely very worthwhile. Whether it has to be an own affiliate program or rather the participation in one of the numerous service providers has to be decided individually. However, suitable CRM software is indispensable for building long-term customer relationships via the network.