We have collected opinions from some of the leading experts and practitioners on affiliate marketing trends to look out for in 2013, which we hope will provide you with some insight for your 2013 affiliate marketing activities.

Affiliate Marketing Trends 2013

Kevin Edwards Affiliate WindowKevin Edwards, Strategy Director, Affiliate Window
quoteThe performance channel is poised to secure an ever increasing share of retailers’ online marketing budgets in 2013. The industry has always been a hothouse for new technologies and with the emergence of mobile, so affiliates will be able to capitalise on the growth in new opportunities. Crucially online marketers can now tap into revenue that is spent in-store and the online to offline piece will become a key focus for many retailers. Affiliates are already showing innovation in this space and expect this trend to continue to develop. Advertisers will choose to run dedicated mobile focused affiliate campaigns for the first time.

Data will be at the heart of many retailers’ campaigns as they seek to optimise mature campaigns. Rather than just volume we’ll see many advertisers focusing on the value their affiliates add through longer term customer quality metrics.

Affiliates will also continue to develop their companies into recognizable brands developing much closer ‘affinity’ style relationships with the advertisers they promote leading to hybrid payment models beyond traditional CPA commercials.

Scott Allan, Senior Vice President of Global Marketing, Rakuten LinkShareScott - headshot small
Consumer behaviour is leading the e-commerce revolution and many retailers can barely keep up.

Having a clear view of “conversion” or the path to purchase and understanding which channels are influencing sales the most is the holy grail of analytics and attribution. But once a retailer has that transparency then what? The challenge for marketing leaders in 2013 and beyond is to build cross channel teams that are highly analytical, collaborative, and nimble in their approach to trying new campaigns and implementing new technology driven solutions that can apply insights from big data.

In 2013 we will continue to see retailers breaking down the marketing silos in order to create nimble, cross-channel marketing teams that harness big-data solutions which leverage insights from every channel including email, search, affiliate and retargeting.

Dan Cohen_smallDan Cohen, Market Unit Leader, Tradedoubler
quoteMobile performance marketing will become mainstream – With the surge in smartphone and tablet ownership set to continue and consumers’ passion for apps undiminished, 2013 will see mobile performance marketing really take off. Mobile price comparison sites, location-based voucher and discount codes that can be redeemed in-store and our newest initiative – the ability to bring performance marketing to the lucrative app marketplace – are just some of the mobile opportunities that all marketers should be integrating into their campaigns.

Personalisation will be even more important – The rise in personalised advertising has been a top trend in marketing in 2012 and will continue into 2013. More and more brands are using performance marketing to allow them to carefully select target audiences for tailored ads and offers and to analyse conversions and actions to improve service. Those brands that don’t adopt this will be left behind.

Max Jennings, Co-founder, VoucherCodes.co.ukMax Jennings
While the performance marketing industry is in rude health, the sector remains highly competitive meaning differentiation will be an important theme next year. Sites that can successfully make the transition from a step in the purchase cycle, to fully formed brands will be in a strong position to own the space over the next 12 months.

Developing robust multi-channel retail strategies is also going to be a priority for affiliate publishers throughout 2013. As consumers continue to embrace new ways of shopping, British retailers are coming under enormous pressure to reach out to new audiences via a range of new channels, meaning affiliate publishers have a fantastic opportunity to take the lead in this exciting new area.

We can expect to see significant developments around mobile tracking over the next 12 months. Traffic to ecommerce sites from smartphones and tablets continues to grow at a phenomenal rate, yet the technology required to track sales across mobile channels has not kept pace. We’ll see the emergence of smart new solutions to support traditional affiliate tracking models as mobile becomes an increasingly important channel for British retailers.

Stephen_smallStephen Kerin, Managing Director, Webgains UK
quoteEcommerce is here to stay, which means affiliate marketing is only going to become more relevant to those selling online. The mobile channel will continue to grow and indeed there are a number of affiliates who are optimising this with a range of mobile-specific activity. This is also the case for social media which offers the advantage of being able to leverage consumers’ own connections to further extend the reach of campaigns. With the ever increasing use of mobile devices as well as changes to the law surrounding cookie usage, tracking will face challenges. Choosing a network with the cutting-edge technology to ensure their tracking is future-proof will help attract the high quality affiliate partners needed for a successful program.

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Sandeep Vadgama

Sandeep Vadgama


Editor at Fourth Source and Tech Enthusiast!