By Peter Klein | SVP, Media Services
Editor’s note: The following post was originally published in MediaPost.
Marketers love to create new terms to explain their work. From “brand advocacy” to CPA, CPM, CPE and the myriad of acronyms that fill the digital marketing landscape, we’ll turn almost any new business practice into a marketable term.
What, then, to call the phenomenon of once beloved — or, at least, begrudgingly tolerated — affiliates being shunned by the very industry that fervently embraced them? As the performance marketing industry matures, and as brands seek more sophisticated and legitimate agencies and affiliates to manage their online marketing campaigns, are we entering a period of “Online Darwinism”?
I believe that is exactly what is occurring in performance marketing.
With apologies to Charles Darwin and his Theory of Evolution, my embrace of the Online Darwinism Theory, a concept I developed after watching so many affiliates drop like flies in recent months, encapsulates my views of the evolution of digital media and the revolution in digital media providers.
This theory reasons that reputable and ethical affiliate marketers will survive while unscrupulous ones will go the way of the dodo. There will be more business for great companies that evolve wisely based on clear, measurable objectives that meet clients’ digital-media challenges. Media pricing will become more realistic as delusional “get-rich-quick” companies continue to exit. All of which leads to more accurate and strategic planning for advertisers who have marketing dollars to spend.
Dramatic changes have occurred over the last decade in the digital media and online marketing industries. From email and display advertising, the focus shifted to search and pop-ups; co-reg, incent and paid search got their due focus, and now, everyone’s mind (and marketing spend) is on social media. Encircling these changes was the evolution of smartphones, followed by the rise of the tablet.
The Digital Age forced marketers to slowly evolve to find people wherever they consume media. Increasingly, this has been within digital mediums and decreasingly via print, radio, TV and other offline channels.
Life has become a giant skip button. Marketers must engage the consumer precisely in the moment and at the right spot. (more…)