Bigmouthmedia’s 2010 affiliate survey, which was targeted directly at affiliates themselves, revealed the channel is bullish on digital marketing techniques such as location-based marketing and video advertising.
While affiliates pushed ahead with both innovative techniques and mainstays of digital success such as SEO through true content offerings, a full 68% agreed that agencies failed to provide enough creative resources to support the campaign. Affiliates listed blog friendly banners, data feeds and videos among the shortfall of creative supplies. A further 76% of affiliates felt that they were better at digital marketing than the brands they worked with. The survey included responses from affiliates who used the channel as a hobby, making less than £100 a month, to full time affiliates, who earn several thousands of pounds each month.
“Affiliate marketing is always best when brands work with affiliates rather than against them”, said Andrew Girdwood, Media Innovations director at bigmouthmedia. “Our affiliate survey shows that affiliates are willing and very able to help push a brand’s digital marketing efforts forward, but this is sometimes thwarted by a lack of resources and sometimes understanding from agencies and merchants.”
Affiliate Window emerged as the sector’s network of choice, garnering close to half of the votes cast for a service widely regarded as reliable, trusted and easy to use. Low quality or fraudulent traffic casts a shadow over the industry however, with 72% believing that the issue remains a major problem. Other issues include the spectre of commission attribution, which 66% see as a threat to the industry, and a perceived lack of communication between brands and their affiliates.
Retail was revealed as the most popular affiliate vertical, cited by 46% of respondents to the survey as the vertical within which the majority of their business is done, with 24% quoting the travel sector as their industry of choice. Finance came in a distant third at 8%, with telecommunications and gaming affiliates bringing up the rear at 4% each. Interestingly however, opinion remains divided as to whether affiliates are more successful when they concentrate on just one niche or when they cover several, with a straight 50-50 split between the two.
Fiona Robertson, head of Affiliates and Performance at bigmouthmedia, added: “It’s particularly interesting that a clear majority of affiliates do not believe there are too many affiliate networks in the UK. This flies in the face of how many industry commentators see the situation, largely regarding the rash of recently launched affiliate networks, seen not to be offering anything new, as evidence that the market has long since reached saturation.”
Bigmouthmedia’s 2010 affiliates survey is available for download.