Last month, Shawn Collins posted on his blog the infographic from cheifmartec.com you see to the right outlining all the major players in the Marketing Technology Landscape. This infograph lists 947 different companies, ranging from Oracle, Constant Contact, Tapjoy, IBM, to CITRIX, vimeo, MARCHEX and more. These compaies cross disciplines such as Email Marketing, Customer Experience, Loyalty and Gamification, Display Advertising, Social Media Marketing, Search and many other online marketing segments.
But as Shawn pointed out, affiliate marketing is no where to be found. Out of 947 companies and 41 different categories, affiliate marketing was left out. Where’s the love? Many journalists and large advertisers have always viewed affiliate marketing as an after thought or as something less valuable than the other channels they operate in.
As an ol’ vet in the space (I started in performance marketing in 1998) I can remember some very unique issues this channel has had (cookie stuffing, bad toolbars, cookie overwriting, paid search fraud and more) that has led the greater ecommerce industry to view the affiliate channel in less than a positive look. In an omni channel environment, affiliate marketing is a vital piece and needs to be considered along with all other channels.
How do we change this perception together? I think it comes down to a few things:
Data driven affiliate management: We have been working with our clients to create and execute strategies based on cross channel data, attribution, new customer acquisition and individual partner profitability. You are also seeing the networks move in this direction as well with CJ, Rakuten and ShareASale release new and amazing technology to get at higher profitability. Our very own workflow management and reporting SaaS solution brings in data from multiple channels to evaluate performance. Better data allows for better insight and each time we are able to get to this level, it shows the vitality and importance of this channel.
Transparency: Publishers, agencies, networks and advertisers need to share more omni channel data.
Performance Marketing Association: This is the single association that brings together all players in our space and is constantly working towards better data, better representation within the greater ecosystem and better insight into the value of this channel. I have the pleasure of sitting on the Insight and Measurement committee, and I can’t tell you how important it is to support this organization with your membership and time. Join the PMA today!
Thank you Shawn for posting this infograph. I think it is very indicative of how the greater e-commerce space thinks of our channel and demonstrates just how much more work we have to do.
What do you think?