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IAB Forum: Affiliate Marketing Growth and Trends

The Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB) is a trade association that caters to digital and mobile advertisers. Providing resources, forums and events, the IAB fosters an environment in which digital marketing can thrive in the global market.

On Wednesday April 13 the CAKE team attended the IAB’s Affiliate Forum at its headquarters in London. The event brought together members of the industry to exchange ideas on the current and future landscape of digital marketing.

An insightful takeaway from the Forum related to the overall size of the affiliate channel, which resulted in more than £16.5bn in sales for advertisers. According to a PwC study with the IAB, the affiliate industry grew 8 percent last year, placing this prominent channel on the radar of every major brand.

Tips for Affiliate Networks

The speakers provided tips for attendees on how to make a successful affiliate network and covered the basic points below:

-Diversify your digital channels; don’t put all of your eggs into one basket as diversity ensures security by spreading the risk.

-Constant communication, but not an overwhelming amount with affiliates.

-Recruit, activate and optimize your affiliates.

-Understand the unpredictability. Always invest in the affiliate channel. Without investing there will no be return.

-Analyze and understand the data – monitor the biggest influencers’ behavioral and demographic data.

Attribution

The Forum also touched on the topic of attribution and how it is moving away from the traditional first- and last-touch approach to a more customized approach where affiliates are rewarded during all parts of the customer journey.

Social Media and Blogging

Today we are recognizing the importance of social media personalities, who have large followings and are often more influential than major brands when communicating via social media platforms. These influencers are now viewed as super-affiliates for major fashion brands in the luxury affiliate marketing space. This led many fashion brands, such as Net-a-Porter, to change the way they present themselves online to look more like a blog, as opposed to a traditional website. They also developed a content strategy that made their online content appeal to millennials.

Overall the Forum provided deeper insights into the daily activities of affiliates with a special emphasis on ecommerce and how social media influencers can be coined as super-affiliates. Our team had a great time at this event and we look forward to the next Affiliate Forum sponsored by the IAB.