There are specific reasons why merchants favor affiliate marketing – mainly because in most cases, it pays based on performance and as such doesn’t incur a marketing expense unless results are garnered. A notable example of a business that owes much of their success to affiliate marketing is Amazon.com.
However, affiliate marketing isn’t easily scalable, unlike display advertising.
Some merchants prefer to run their own, in-house affiliate programs using popular affiliate-related software while other choose to use 3rd-party services to track traffic and / or sales that are generated from affiliates. Merchants are able to choose from 2 types of affiliate management solutions: hosted services (also known as affiliate networks) or standalone software. Affiliate and publisher payouts are made either by the networks on behalf of the merchant, by the network itself, consolidated across all merchants where said publisher has earned commissions and has a relationship with or from the merchant directly.
To be successful, affiliate programs require significant work and maintenance. With the exception of some vertical markets, it’s rare for an affiliate program to generate considerable revenue with poor management or no management. Auto driving is the stuff that myths are made of.
There’s an ever-increasing number of Internet businesses, and a greater demand from people that are trusting technology enough to regularly do business online – all of which has led to further affiliate marketing maturation. Add to the equation an opportunity to generate considerable profit in this crowded marketplace that’s filled with quality competitors make it difficult for some merchants to be noticed. Being notice, though, is worth the extra effort as it can yield greater rewards.
I have a friend who has been working on an online site, LifeBac, that offers a program to help folks who have an alcohol problem. I like the site’s tag line: Moderate Your Drinking Without Abstinence or Shame. The LifeBac approach gives people all the tools to succeed starting with a new medicine for alcoholism called Baclofen which removes or strongly suppresses cravings for alcohol in 92% of people. LifeBac helps people who want to cut back their drinking take control before the slide into alcoholism. They are not a rehab or treatment clinic, but provide a collection of modern, science-based tools to empower people not only to avoid the downward spiral that excessive drinking inevitably leads to, but also to get their drinking under control. This site sounds like a winner, but the quandary that the owner faces is how to get the site’s message out and how to become more visible to WWW visitors? Being optimized for the organic search is important, but so is advertising.
With the advances in the internet marketing industry, there are more and more requirements that advertisers must meet in order to be successful, which is why some merchants have opted to outsource some of these required tasks. For such merchants, the solution is found in the alternate management options of new outsourced (affiliate) program management companies, also referred to as OPMs.
The Internet has given every small business the chance to market on a national scale if used properly. It can literally make or break a business according depending on several factors. It is true that some businesses can actually survive without marketing online but what happens when unhappy customers start to report their problems on the Internet? it leaves the business very vulnerable because many people go online to shop & compare before deciding where to spend their money. Any business wishing for long term success must keep this in mind & be proactive in this area but if they are it opens up a whole world of possibilities for them.
That is the way that we see things.