Taking the pulse of the US affiliate industry

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The power of the affiliate channel has been unveiled in a landmark piece of research showing that US advertisers are spending more than $6bn on activity. 

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In an affiliate first, the Performance Marketing Association (PMA), in conjunction with PwC, has released a survey revealing that brands are increasingly turning to performance marketing to hit sales targets and drive new customers. 

Gathering data from eight affiliate networks - including Awin - alongside modeled numbers from other businesses in the affiliate space, the PMA has published a series of compelling insights that strengthen the channel’s rightful place at the heart of many brands’ e-commerce and acquisition strategies. As a sponsor and contributor of data to the study, Awin has been a long-time advocate of moves by the US industry and the PMA to create a definitive number that captures the breadth and depth of the affiliate channel. Awin has also committed to supporting the report in future years as well as supplying additional insights that help explain the evolving affiliate landscape. 

In addition to the survey revealing the $6bn figure that represents the money brands are spending on publisher commissions and network fees, the study also released return on investment numbers that show entertainment and travel come out top. Furthermore, retail accounts for half of all affiliate spend, and with an average ROI of 12:1.  

Despite the well-documented struggles of brick and mortar department stores, affiliate marketing is helping to strengthen their online efforts and represents the largest chunk of the retail category, with clothing and accessories a close second. The affiliate channel also offers a healthy and diverse mix of publishers who are driving sales for brands.  

Tricia Meyer, PMA Executive Director, commented, “The value of affiliate marketing comes from both our size and ability to adapt to changing markets. The results of the study show we can drive revenue across various verticals and through diverse publisher types.”  

At this past Affiliate Summit East, Awin's Rob Davinson sat down with Tricia to chat on the origins of the study and the challenges involved in bringing it to market, as well as how the numbers help cement the channels position in advertisers’ digital marketing strategies.  Listen to the audio from their session below. 

To receive a copy of the survey, click here.  

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