Key Insights and Trends in Affiliate Marketing

Global digital marketing company bigmouthmedia has announced the results of its annual affiliate marketing survey. Titled ‘Exploring Online Affiliate Marketing Trends’, the survey of UK based affiliates took in the views and opinions of a number of affiliate marketers to reveal insights on how this market is performing and indicates key technology and operational trends on where it is going.

In particular the survey analyses and identifies key insights in to the relationships between affiliate marketers and agencies, the impact of Google (as an affiliate) and Google’s Panda algorithm, how affiliate networks have fared over the past 12 months, threats and opportunities and trends in taking a multi-sector approach with an ever increasing digital toolkit – especially social media.

Fiona Robertson, head of performance marketing at bigmouthmedia said: “The affiliate market in many ways is the bedrock of e-commerce. Our survey is an important tool for listening to the space and making it aware of the trends and opportunities.

Fiona, who is speaking at this year’s A4U Expo in London [http://www.a4uexpo.com/london/speaker/fiona-robertson ], added: “What is really interesting is how affiliates have continued to adapt over the last year to embrace new areas such as mobile and location based opportunity and ever growing techniques such as social media. The overall picture is a vibrant UK affiliate industry which continues to innovate and grow.”

Key insights include:

  • Google: 71.5% of respondents believe that Google has designs on becoming the largest affiliate compared to 56% in 2010. 31.4% of respondents have seen Google Panda as having an impact on their business.
  • Affiliate networks: Digital Window remains the most popular network, followed by Tradedoubler and Commission Junction, with 57.97% of survey respondents picking it as their first choice in 2011.
  • Commission attribution: 50.8% believe that modelling threatens the affiliate industry. This figure is up from 34% in 2010 showing a significant increase and evidence of genuine concern within the affiliate community.
  • Channels: 32.6% of respondents see opportunities in mobile marketing. Video advertising is still seen as an opportunity by 13.3% of respondents (down from 15.2% in 2010). The biggest growth is in location-based marketing which has leapt up 12.4% to 40.7% since 2010.
  • The digital mix: SEO and content marketing remain the most popular at 63.2% but social media has leapt from zero in 2010 to 27.2% in 2011. Moreover, affiliates are increasingly adopting a blended approach with 40% opting for combining two or three different methods to reach their audiences and 28% using four or more.

Andrew Girdwood, Media Innovations Director at bigmouthmedia said; “Marketers can learn a lot from affiliates. They’re often quicker to test and learn than large brands or clumsy ‘build first, think about the media later’ agencies. This report reveals a whole bunch of interesting insights from those digital natives who feast or fast based on their marketing successes.”

Interested parties can download the full executive summary and results here: http://www.bigmouthmedia.com/downloads/files/LBi_bigmouthmedia_AffiliateSurveyReport2011.pdf [PDF].

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