Affiliate networks have existed for as long as internet advertising, and the basic model was a good one: find website publishers with real estate to spare and give them a space to meet up with advertisers who have products and services to sell. Publishers would get a cut of the sale and advertisers were able to boost their revenue. It’s not a unique idea; businesses have been using referrals as long as businesses have been around. Aside from the obvious online component, what makes affiliate marketing different from old-school referrals is the pursuit to track and pay those who have made the referral using accurate and reliable technologies.
Yet all these years later, affiliate marketing has reached a crossroads. Brands can no longer ignore it or their competitors will occupy that space and potentially gain too much traction. But legacy networks are stumbling, failing to innovate and provide brands with the services that meet their needs rather than the needs of the networks. Too often, they create pricing models that are in their own best interests rather than considering models that meet the client’s needs while making recommendations to brands to optimize their advertising in ways that would benefit them, the network. So, is there an ideal affiliate marketing model?
Download our Rise & Fall of Affiliate Networks eBook to learn more.