Three Fifths of Marketing Students Graduate With No Knowledge Of Affiliate Strategies

Research has uncovered that as many as three fifths of recent marketing graduates polled have no memory of learning about the affiliate sector or performance-based marketing practices. Of these respondents, the majority blamed university lecturers/professors’ ‘lack of understanding’ on the subject as to why they weren’t educated during their course.

Marketing graduates are leaving university needing to do research and self-teach themselves on affiliate strategies and performance-based marketing, after receiving little-to-no education on the subject during undergraduate courses, according to a new British study.

The team at affiliate network affilinet commissioned the research to reveal how well British universities are preparing students considering a future career in the industry and their current knowledge of the subjects. 1,388 respondents, all of whom had graduated with at least a 2:2 degree in marketing from a British university since 2014, took part in the poll.

All graduates were initially asked “Looking back at your time at university, do you remember your lecturers/professors dedicating any modules to affiliate or performance-based marketing?” to which just 41% said ‘yes’. Of these individuals, the majority (67%) stated that the information taught relating to affiliate marketing was ‘outdated and unhelpful’.

Next, the respondents who didn’t remember any university teachings about affiliate or performance-based marketing were asked if they’d since self-taught themselves on the subject(s). More than half (52%) admitted that they’d needed to self-teach themselves because of their jobs/career path taken, with 22% learning through courses later on. The remaining 26% of marketing graduates confessed to researchers that they still had no knowledge of affiliate practices whatsoever.

All participants taking part in the research were then asked “Which of the below, if any, would you say is the main reason behind why some British marketing graduates leave university with limited (if any) knowledge of affiliate marketing?” with the breakdown revealed as follows:

  1. A lack of understanding of affiliate/performance-based marketing from university lecturers/professors – 38%
  2. Universities’ hesitance to change course modules/lesson plans to accommodate affiliate strategies – 22%
  3. The ever-changing/evolving nature of the affiliate sector – 18%
  4. Marketing degrees being too crammed with information already – 12%
  5. Testing affiliate/performance-based marketing knowledge on students is too hard to do – 10%

Senior Marketing Manager at affilinet, Sophie Parry-Billings, said the following:

“Whilst it’s true that the affiliate sector is still a relatively new and ever-changing industry, the fact that such a high number of British marketers are leaving university without even a basic grasp of what affiliate marketing is, is somewhat concerning. We need to work as an industry to ensure we are educating the next wave of graduates about the industry and the career opportunities it holds.”

Serena Masih

Serena Masih

Serena is responsible for affilinet’s marketing strategy in the UK and for raising brand awareness through events, PR and other marketing activities.
Serena Masih

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