How big a deal is affiliate marketing?

When I kicked off the research for Forrester's 5 -year Interactive Marketing Forecast this past August, I had originally intended to also include affiliate marketing in the projections.  I got a great run down on current trends in the space from Steve Denton at Linkshare and John Ardis and Dave Osmon from Commission Junction.  However, in the end I ended up cutting affiliate out of the overall sizing for two reasons:

1) It overlapped with channels I was already sizing.  For many marketers affiliate spending includes a portion of their search marketing budget.

2) It is often funded as a channel effort, rather than as a media buy.  I also learned that for many marketers, affiliate marketing is actually a sales or distribution channel, rather than a medium where they can place ads. This made it not an accurate piece for me to include in the report, which I intended to match as closely as possible to the interactive channels that actually make up firms' interactive marketing budgets.

However, I continue to get a lot of inquiries about affiliate marketing.  So, it seems a relevant area to address through some dedicated research.  The inquiries I get are often around how to set up an affiliate network, what pricing to expect from vendors, how to manage affiliate marketing alongside other CPC or CPA-types of marketing (like search or behaviorally-targeted ads).  But I'd love you to help me gauge the interest in this area.What are the primary questions you are asking about affiliate marketing?  Is it a hot or cold area for your company?  I'm crafting my final Q1 research agenda and would like to think about how/whether to include affiliate marketing as a doc topic.  Many thanks!

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Comments

re: How big a deal is affiliate marketing?

Affiliate Marketing is a very interesting topic to tackle since it is where most people in the internet dwell to earn their dollar, right?Hope to hear a word from you and a feedback regarding affiliate marketing..Richard

re: How big a deal is affiliate marketing?

The line between branding/ exposure campaigns and affiliate marketing will get more and more blurred in the future. Innovative approaches to affiliate marketing enable publisher and advertisers first to use affiliate programs in markets where it was hardly possible so far (before you buy a house you usually want to walk through and therefore make an appointment offline) - so that means tracking of leads across different media, and secondly you will be able to ad conversion elements to branding campaigns and use more channels than just the CPC/CPA basis used these days -www.VoxHero.com seems to be a company who does exactly that and it might be interesting to watch what they come up with.

re: How big a deal is affiliate marketing?

I remember back in 1999 or so when you guys deigned to cover affiliate marketing for a dedicated report.I don't recall too much after that point, so in 2003, I began publishing annual reports on affiliate marketing at AffStat.com.So feel free to continue ignoring the space. I don't want you to cut into my sales.

re: How big a deal is affiliate marketing?

I have an internet based business that initially started off as a good Idea, but there just wasnt enough traffic coming through. Through some research ive been looking up on James Braush who is an internet marketing guru and a lot of his Ideas seem promising. Has anyone had any experience with any of his strategies/products?

re: How big a deal is affiliate marketing?

I just want to add one thing in this conversation that internet marketing is the thing by which you can make money online while sitting at your home and its reallity fact and its my personal experience while at that time when i was kicked from my job i start doing blogging and then i came across jeff paul which is an internet mrketing guru and make alot of help to me to setup a new business and see now i am well settled.