April 3, 2018

The Dangers of Generalizing an Entire Industry

Recently this Bloomberg article was published and perhaps you’ve seen it. I’m not looking to just point attention to an unflattering piece about our industry, because this industry has nothing to hide. It has its good (white hat) partners, and its bad (black hat) partners, just like most marketplaces out there. This piece, however, I feel compelled to discuss, as it illuminates a side of affiliate marketing that reputable agencies and networks want to avoid. It’s important to address blatant generalities for what they are – how the tactics and partners discussed are just one part of a proven industry, that, when done right, is an integral component for brands looking to meet and exceed their goals effectively (without spammy practices). This type of article frustrates me because, as I read it, I immediately put myself in the shoes of a brand that hadn’t considered affiliate marketing and may now become a “non-customer” of the space and weary of the whole industry.

PerformanceIN wrote this article in response and briefly covered the primary issue with the Bloomberg piece: “The affiliate marketing model is blanket-referenced as just one black-hat side to a wider, broader and legitimate marketing discipline.” While buying Facebook ads to hawk questionable products does exist in the industry, at its core, affiliate marketing is about trusted partnerships. In essence, websites promoting offers (or “affiliates”) want to work with merchants to promote their products and services, and in return they get a commission for the value they drive for those merchants (typically sales or leads). Because these affiliates have audiences and untapped consumers that the merchants want to reach, this provides a win for all parties involved. The affiliate gets paid, the merchant gets more new customers or sales, and the customer makes a purchase or completes an action that benefits them. Additionally, the affiliate invests in the marketing campaign upfront, and the merchant only pays on the desired actions once they have already happened … the beauty of performance marketing!  This is how it should look when working with respected and experienced professionals in the space.

Around 80% of brands are utilizing the affiliate channel for incremental revenue and use it as an important part of their marketing mix. These include well-known and trusted Fortune 500 brands. Furthermore, eMarketer has predicted affiliate marketing spend will hit $6.8 billion in 2020. There’s no question that affiliate marketing is an effective way to increase ROAS and reach new customers while increasing brand awareness in a meaningful way.

What PartnerCentric Promises:

PartnerCentric exists to build meaningful relationships beyond borders. We are an agency comprised of industry veterans and we’ve seen it all from the beginning. We provide a unified and experienced account team who work together to deliver strategic solutions and get results. Every member on the account knows what is happening with a program and can offer support and insights in order to present unique solutions based on their individual expertise. We are 100% focused on your affiliate program’s success and will keep you informed at every step of the process.

Protection and Compliance – At PartnerCentric, we have a dedicated in-house compliance team that works proactively to ensure our clients’ brands are protected and affiliates are above board with all practices. We have a unique advantage by being network-agnostic because we work across 17 different affiliate tracking solutions (networks and platforms) and many different verticals.This has allowed us to develop and implement industry best practices for compliance, and gain the know-how to employ them across a variety of scenarios. Because of this, we are able to use both manpower and technology to defend our clients from the constantly evolving tactics used by dishonorable affiliates. We can’t remove all fraudulent affiliates from the internet but we can (and do!) proactively protect your program from them.

Expertise – We have some of the most tenured account managers in the space with an average of 10 years of industry experience. They have seen it all and know how to navigate the waters of affiliate marketing. They understand what your brand needs to reach its goals and know what it takes to get you there.

Honesty – We are network-agnostic and have cultivated over 65,000 meaningful relationships in the space. You will always get our honest strategic support that is based on your unique goals, not anyone else’s.

Being the best partner no matter what – Affiliate marketing can be confusing but our team is here for you every step of the way! We promise to offer transparency and guidance at every turn and you can rest assured knowing that your program and, most importantly, your brand is in good hands.

At the end of the day it’s all about trust and results. That’s what we are here to offer.

Have questions? Get in touch!

Back to Blog