I was surprised to read a recent article on Travolution by online recruitment specialist Puregenie, in which boss Ian Brooks expressed the view that affiliate marketing jobs appear to be in terminal decline.
In my view we have not seen the effects of what he is talking about and if anything the industry seems to be growing in size and importance, despite the tough economic climate. affilinet have grown headcount in all teams in the UK and also our other markets in 2010 and 2011, with plans for the same in 2012. Our overall businesses are growing and the number of clients and publishers are the highest we’ve seen them in 5 years in the UK market.
Mr Brooks’ also said on the topic of affiliate marketing that it was “once seen as a means of acquiring ‘free’ traffic” and that now “companies are more brand-conscious and are investing in new channels.” Interestingly, the former is not a description I would attach to the industry today- or at any point in its existence. Affiliate marketing has never been about ‘free traffic’. The focus is much more on generating ROI & Sales. Indeed affiliate marketing is at its most sophisticated stage yet and can no longer can it be defined as a channel on its own. Affiliate marketing covers all digital channels (including social and mobile!) on a CPA metric.
I think these comments do not highlight the limitations of affiliate marketing as intended, but fail to grasp its basic functions and capabilities and in turn draw attention to a whole other issue. There seems to be a distinct need for education and support is needed from digital recruitment agencies in order to accurately exploit job opportunity within the sector. Until this occurs, the real value that affiliate marketing activity can bring to businesses will continue to be obscured by such common misconceptions.
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