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Not all Doom and Gloom - Affiliate Investment Grows

A report was released yesterday from the IAB with some great news for the affiliate industry - investment from brands in their affiliate programmes has seen a remarkable uplift of 45% according to a recent survey. Personally, I had expected the recession to have the opposite effect and whilst that might be true in some sectors (where commission levels continue to be cut), this survey has determined that's not the overall trend.
The survey shows that merchants on average have invested 45% extra in their affiliate programs, and affiliate programs represented more than 31% of their overall digital marketing budgets in 2012. Apply that to the millions (if not billions) of transactions that the affiliate marketing industry delivers each year and you start talking about some pretty sizeable figures.

You can see the full details in this Powerpoint presentation though to save you the hard work I've picked out my favourite statistics.

115 advertiser and merchant companies were surveyed through the means of a 5-10 minute survey during September October 2012.

100% of advertisers surveyed expected their online revenues to grow in 2013. That's a promising outlook!

72% of those surveyed expect affiliate commission payments to rise in the next 12 months and a massive 61% are planning to increase their affiliate marketing spend during the next 12 months. 12% expected their commission payments to decrease whilst 17% expected more or less the same. It'll be interesting to see how that money is spent (I wonder whether commission rates will be cut, redistributed or maintained).

49% of principle revenues are from cashback and voucher code affiliates. I knew they represented a large proportion of the market but I find it interesting that combined they account for around half of affiliate marketing revenues. Content affiliates represent a healthy 18%, PPC affiliates represent 11%, metasearch or price comparison affiliates represent 15% whilst re-targeting, loyalty and "other" affiliates represent the remaining 7%.

The number of merchants paying monthly commission payments over 31,000 (that's 372,000 per year or more) has risen by 21% between 2011 to 2012. Advertisers paying out more than 100K per month (1.2million a year or more) have increased by 16% in the same period!

90% of merchants work with content affiliates. 81% work with cashback sites. 75% work with voucher code affiliates. 67% work with loyalty affiliates. 51% work with metasearch or price comparison affiliates. 43% work with PPC publishers. Just over a third surveyed (35%) work with re-targeting companies.

52% of merchants surveyed use a single exclusive affiliate network. Just over a quarter (26%) run of a dual network basis. 21% of merchants run their affiliate programs on three or more networks.

Overall the consensus seems positive. You can interpret survey results to suit whatever point you are trying to make but the tone of these results shows a promising mood. Hopefully we might start seeing some commission increase emails, more incentives being offered or at the very least, less "we're cutting your commission rate but this is good news for you (somehow)" style emails.

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