As we mentioned in yesterday’s post, with 2012 fast approaching we’re all starting to set our New Year’s resolutions for the industry. Predicting what’s in store for online marketers over the next year is a tricky game; while some things are unlikely to change, the dynamic nature of the industry means that there will undoubtedly be a few surprises along the way that no one could have anticipated. Despite this, making educated guesses about where the most growth is going to come from and where budgets will be best spent is a fundamental part of an Marketing Manager’s job.
Today, the IAB’s Affiliate Marketing Council have released research into advertisers’ opinions of the affiliate marketing sector and it’s good news for the affiliate channel with results showing that the market is set to enjoy significant growth in 2012.
The IAB talked to 140 brands to evaluate the affiliate marketing channel and any issues that the new year may bring. The stats are great: 77% said that marketing spend for affiliates had grown and 71% expected it to continue to grow in 2012.
However, the news does come with a shocking statistic as well. Half of respondents said that knowledge of affiliate marketing at CEO level was ‘little’ or ‘none at all’. With affiliate programmes now accounting for around 15-20% of over-all sales for some of our key clients, it is worrying to hear that affiliates may not be getting the recognition they deserve at board level. True, our channel moves at break-neck speed and the sheer volume of promotional methods that come under our umbrella can be baffling to the outsider, but the industry has evolved dramatically over the past five years and it is a shame that the professionalism and influence of our channel is not on the radar for key decision makers. My hope is that Digital Britain and Race online 2012 will make some CEOs, who currently have their head stuck in the sand when it comes to the complex online world, stand up and listen. One of our objectives for 2012 is to encourage brands to push for affiliate marketing to become fully integrated with more traditional marketing channels, especially as the industry continues to grow in the face of an increasingly gloomy economic outlook.