This is my first post for SMG so please bear with me if I don’t follow the usual rules of blog posting. I’m sure I’ll pick it up along the way. My posts are primarily going to be about my observations working in the affiliate marketing space. One of my biggest pet peeves as you’ll soon find out are those folks who criticize the affiliate industry and who have truly never really taken the time to do their research to learn how the industry works, or put the time and effort required into making a successful program.
I’ve read a lot of posts recently which state the affiliate industry is dying or on the decline. (How the Affiliate Marketing Industry Killed Itself.) I find this quite fascinating and can only assume these folks are not looking at the same year over year results I am. The preliminary 4th quarter data I have seen so far indicate the affiliate industry is actually on the increase. Early revenue numbers indicate the 4th quarter of 2007 was stronger than ever. In most cases, merchants reporting double digit revenue increases over last year. With results like this I think I would disagree that the industry in a decline.
Steve Denton, President of LinkShare addressed the same topic in recent interview with Revenews titled “LinkShare 2008 Preview - Part 1 of the Revenews 2008 Affiliate Network Preview Series”. When Steve was asked about the annual proclamation of the affiliate industry's demise? His reply was: "It's simply not true." Every year someone is posting something that announces the death of affiliate marketing. You remember when a certain large search engine was going to kill affiliate marketing because they changed their business model? Many people said when they changed their model it was going to kill affiliate marketing, but it didn't. Again, when all the adware and spyware issues first surfaced several years ago others predicted that was going to kill affiliate marketing. But it didn't. As an industry I think everyone works hard to resolve the issues that exist. I think we continue to demonstrate it is a proven, valuable channel."
I think Steve summed it up best when he said “ Year in and year out this channel continues to deliver. Affiliate marketing is a robust channel that can't be ignored, especially as part of a multi-channel strategy."