Today is Day 2 of Affiliate Summit East 2011. The ASE website calls it the premier affiliate marketing conference and few would argue that assertion. But few would also deny that the affiliate landscape has matured recognizing and acknowledging the need for cross-channel, agency-based program integration to drive results and profits for advertisers and publishers. Even though the ASE is unlikely to re-brand, signs of this shift in mentality are evident in the diverse panels and speaking engagements at the event. That’s the good news.
The not-so-good news is that the evolution of affiliate marketing isn’t well known outside the industry. For instance, public sentiment on the Nexus Affiliate Tax is only now beginning to slowly turn in favor of affiliate marketers. While that’s a step in the right direction, federal regulation remains a very real possibility, one that can hinder short-term and long-term profitability and growth. The bottom line is many people still have an adverse view of affiliate marketing.
They say good things come in threes. Over the three-day Affiliate Summit East 2011 conference, emerging platforms like social media and mobile will be addressed and broad and niche-based affiliate and SEO topic discussions will be held. The event is always fun and chock full of insightful learnings. But what happens after the conference is just as important as the conference itself. Affiliates must drive conversions; they should strive to change the minds of outsiders currently fearful of the marketplace and help them understand the ROI benefits of a cross-channel and integrated performance approach.