Commission-Focused Affiliates Overlook New Tech, Tactics

November 16, 2009

This article is included in these additional categories:

Analytics, Automated & MarTech | B2B | Brand Metrics | Digital | Media & Entertainment | Retail & E-Commerce

While marketing affiliates remain focused on increasing revenues and joining programs that offer the highest commissions, many are still marketing half-heartedly and are overlooking or unaware of new technologies and online ad strategies that could bring them more success, according to a report based on a survey by AffiliateBenchmarks.

The survey, which set out to assess the state of the affiliate industry and of its key contributors, revealed a significant disparity between available tactics and usage among the affiliate community. It also uncovered opportunities, especially in the performance-based advertising and measurement areas, that it said can bring about both immediate and long-term improvement.

For example, top three factors in selecting an affiliate are commission amount (69%), the product being sold (53.8%), and the brand (33%). These results are consistent with last year’s study findings.

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Despite these priorities, many affiliates are missing the chance to accurately measure their website performance, collect data on their audiences and use more ad tactics such as pay-per-click (PPC) search, video widgets and flash ads to promote their sites. Nearly four in 10 (38.5%)? do not read any blogs for up-to-date information and helpful tips, nearly half (46.9%) do not collect data on their websites’ audiences, and 14.4% of those did not even know where this information comes from.

Additional study findings:

  • Nearly half (49%) of survey respondents joined the industry in the past two years.
  • More than half consider affiliate advertising to be a part-time job or hobby to make supplemental income.
  • Nearly half report that less than 5% or none of their links generated a sale in the month before completing the survey.
  • Although there is a clear correlation between the reported number of keywords purchased and the reported monthly revenue of the affiliate, only 36% of survey respondents utilize PPC search.

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  • The use of flash ads and video widgets performed excellent or well for those who claimed to employ these tactics, however, the large majority of survey respondents did not leverage these formats.

“The affiliate industry is growing and evolving rapidly, and it is essential for new affiliates joining the game to quickly come up to speed on the latest trends and strategies if they want to compete in this lively marketplace,” said Peter Figueredo, CEO of NETexponent, AffiliateBenchmarks’ parent company.

About the survey and report: The survey received 3,500 responses. The report contains information for the entire online marking ecosystem, including advertisers, publishers, affiliate networks, managers and consultants.

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