By Peter Klein | SVP, Media Services
Editor’s note: The following post was originally published at CMO.com.
Long dismissed as a niche form of online marketing, performance marketing has become a multibillion-dollar force in the digital-media ecosystem. For CMOs, performance marketing, of which affiliate marketing comprises the largest share of revenue growth, is no longer a marketing strategy that can be ignored or delegated to junior-level marketing managers. It is now a driving force behind many brands’ online growth and customer-acquisition efforts. As such, it requires CMOs’ devout attention to properly use and scale in order to realize long-term customer-acquisition value.
The rise of affiliate marketing, and its growing influence with digital marketers, is no accident.
Affiliate marketing has existed for more than a decade. It helps advertisers achieve their ROI goals by using publishers (affiliates) to conduct their marketing efforts via multiple media channels on a pay-for-performance basis.
Affiliate marketing can be used for any vertical, brand, company, language, time frame, or demographic. Importantly, it is a useful testing ground for CMOs who desire online marketing channel options, instant gratification, speed, and a clear measurement of return on advertising spend (ROAS) or return on marketing (ROM) investment. In fact, many affiliate marketers are experts in industry metrics and traffic sources, and can help CMOs develop campaigns based on long-term brand and customer-acquisition. This is critical as the industry evolves into a larger mobile-consumer target.
But affiliate marketing’s benefits extend beyond lead generation. Affiliate marketing professionals and networks are at the forefront of innovative online marketing campaigns. The rise of social networking sites, such as Facebook, LinkedIn, and Pandora, were largely built on affiliate marketing ad spend revenues.
Every brand in the digital age needs a strong lead-generation component to its online marketing strategy. Affiliate marketing is CMOs’ answer to that need.
The benefits of affiliate marketing are more thoroughly explained in a new MediaWhiz insight paper from, “The CMO’s Guide to Affiliate Marketing.” It outlines critical steps CMOs should take to begin working with an affiliate; defines core terminology; and information on why it is critical for CMOs to invest some of their marketing spend in the affiliate marketing channel.