By Peter Klein | SVP, Media Services
Editor’s note: The following post was originally published in MediaPost.
Long considered the ugly stepchild of digital marketing, affiliate marketing has grown to become one of the leading drivers of brands’ online marketing success. It accounts for more than $21 billion in online advertising revenues in 2011, according to the IAB.
For CMOs seeking ways to guarantee ROI without sacrificing brand affinity or customer value, affiliate marketing is a channel worth considering. It helps them achieve their ROI goals by utilizing publishers to conduct their marketing efforts via multiple media channels on a pay-for-performance basis.
Affiliate marketing’s success for brands is realized when three key parties — advertisers, publishers and affiliate networks — all work toward the same goal: acquiring customers.
The advertiser is the product or service; the publisher, commonly referred to as an “affiliate,” is paid for marketing the products or services. In between the two is the affiliate network, which acts as the media planner, tracking system, creative assistant, compliance monitor, optimization engine and bank. In this structure, the advertiser pays only on performance and does not risk any media spend.
The affiliate marketing channel, therefore, helps generate significant value for CMOs since scale is unlimited. Paying for performance is a strong benefit, but there are several others to consider: (more…)