Ever wondered how the industry veterans think this year will roll forward? We went ahead and asked some of the top Affiliate industry voices to share their thoughts and predictions for Affiliate and Performance Marketing in 2024. Read on to take note of what will be hot and happening in Affiliate Marketing this year. Many thanks to all of you who contributed your thoughts, ideas and suggestions for our community to benefit from….
“Small publishers and niche influencers will begin popping into the top 10 affiliates, even for large brands, if the affiliate program is a value adding one (touch points are top funnel). Google is surfacing expertise and experience through search in formats like video, forums, social posts, and content over traditional publishers. Partners with end of sale touch points may become less predominant as Google has launched deals and sales, and Bing has begun expanding theirs. These can compete directly with deal and discount publishers.”
Adam Riemer is an award winning digital marketing strategist, keynote speaker, affiliate manager, and growth consultant with more than 20+ years of experience. His agency creates and executes integrated and growth marketing strategies based on data points and ROI. From top funnel affiliate marketing to SEO, email, and conversion optimisation, he helps brands of all sizes grow and scale.
Don’t miss Adam’s MasterClass at AMPLIFY 2024
“I really think that AI will be the biggest thing to change not just the affiliate marketing industry – but near enough everything; ChatGTP only just turned a year old, but is already changing the way people work. In terms of the affiliate space, this could do all kinds of things; from helping affiliate managers make better decisions via AI based reporting to having a complete new breed of publishers with sites powered by AI technology.”
James Little is the Group Commercial Director at TopCashback, where he sits on the leadership team for the UK and US businesses. He has a wealth of experience in the affiliate space, having worked in the industry for almost 20 years. He speaks at many events around the world and also runs Brighton based AffiliateHuddle.
” The convergence of influencer and affiliate will normalise “Performance PR” and the use of ChatGPT and Google Bard to create unique and expedited content that can be SEO optimised, increasing brand and product exposure at scale” are two of the key trends Sarah commented on. In addition she added “The continued crack-down on compliance and fraud as technologies advance and partners will get more tech savvy. Personally, I’m very excited to see how the industry and those within it will advance this year. We are an innovative, progressive group and brands will continue to lean into us in the year to come.”
Sarah Bundy is the Founder and CEO of All Inclusive Marketing, a globally recognised affiliate management, strategy and consultation agency that delivers innovative, experience-driven results. She is a Top 40 Under 40, Top 100 Fastest Growing Companies in Canada, and Top 100 Female Entrepreneurs in Canada recipient, as well as a sought-after keynote speaker and author.
“Two issues that SHOULD be trending are – 1) ensuring you and your partners have the technical aspects of affiliate tracking implemented properly and 2) adding on-site conversion optimisation tech into brand sites. We must stop thinking that our work ends at the click. Many partner and brand sites are riddled with tracking issues that are complicated by GDPR bars and improperly implemented tags. The losses are in the $Billions. And too many programs lose further $Billions because they must send traffic to brand websites that don’t convert for crap. Performance tech is available to solve both issues. Get it!”
Jim Nichols is a 25-year veteran of digital and affiliate marketing, and has served roles for brands, agencies, publishers and networks. His passions are evangelising for the industry among people who misunderstand it and making affiliate part of integrated brand planning. He runs a consultancy focused on challenger brand go-to-market strategy and execution.
“In 2024, affiliate marketing will shape the acquisition landscape and drive enhanced effectiveness for all businesses. Brands will move beyond traditional collaborations, adopting an integrated approach to partnerships. With brands working with affiliate partners – co-creating content or supporting the creation of various sales assets – the program moves from being just an acquisition channel to being valuable across the entire organisation. Leaning into your data will be crucial in the success of the strategy, not only in the short term but also for long-term effective partnerships.”
Nancy is HubSpot’s Head of Affiliate Marketing, driving the program’s strategic vision and championing its growth. She focuses on delivering an exceptional experience for affiliate partners through a world-class program and team. Nancy’s specialty is in launching, growing, and diversifying affiliate and referral programs, ensuring success for partners. Her secret lies in emphasiing analytics, trend recognition, and fostering strong, transparent partnerships within the HubSpot program and beyond.
“In 2024, AI will continue to influence the development of affiliate marketing in the evaluation, planning and execution of campaigns on both the advertiser and publisher sides. The developments of the last 12 months will continue and we will certainly see some surprises. In terms of partnerships, I see a focus on the upper funnel, as well as developments in advertorials, content commerce and brand partnerships, as there is an opportunity to acquire new buyers in a more targeted way and also generate additional revenue from existing customers.”
Alexander has been working in affiliate management since 2007. Over the past 14 years, he has worked as an affiliate manager on behalf of merchants and agencies, managing and developing a wide range of affiliate programmes from small webshops to hotel chains. Alexander has also been a speaker at the Affiliate Conference, Tactixx and the Affiliate Summit Europe in recent years.
“One of the biggest trends of 2024 will be conversations about the end of the traditional customer “funnel” and the overlapping roles that different publishers play in it. Influencers promote coupons. Coupon sites act as influences. Technology publishers come in after the “last click” that was traditionally the coupon publisher. Furthermore, retailers need to define where the value lies for them within this complex ecosystem and how to reward it effectively. Sophisticated tracking will be crucial for them to do this, allowing them to accurately attribute value and reward diverse players in the customer journey.”
Tricia Meyer is an attorney and affiliate marketer. She is the founder and owner of Helping Moms Connect and Sunshine Rewards as well as the current Executive Director of the Performance Marketing Association.
“The areas of focus broadly mirror the roadmap for The APMA. First and foremost I want to see a laser focus on tracking. This is a broad ambition covering many aspects such as adoption of best-in-class tracking, app tracking, consent banners and privacy, but we have the ability to shape the narrative. I also want to see us championing new business models entering the channel such as open banking. This should focus more external attention on us. I would also love to see payment times improve and better customer service delivered more consistently for all publishers and brands.”
Kevin is the founder and director of the UK’s trade association for the affiliate and performance marketing industry. A veteran of the channel, he has worked both publisher and network side. With a keen interest in self-regulation, standards and promotion of the channel to a wide audience, he recently published the 2024 APMA roadmap with ambitious plans for a series of initiatives aimed at elevating and advocating for the affiliate industry.
“The two trends that I believe will dominate 2024 are AI and personalisation. I believe most people don’t fully grasp AI and it should be a daily tool. When I say personalisation, I’m talking about podcasting, video, streaming, words alone don’t see and people buy from people.”
John Wright is the CEO & Co-founder of StatsDrone. He is the head data scientist of the company embarking on a journey into AI.
Zach had a few points to add to this conversation. “We’ll see more automation with regards to tracking platforms to help Marketers scale with volume of affiliates, payments and more. Marketers will be placing more value on User Identifies to cross sell and promote more upsells. There will be a decline in email as a channel given Google’s new rulings on spam detection and a rise in Rumble as an emerging channel of You Tube and TikTok.”
Zach has over two decades of affiliate marketing experience, mainly working for US start ups with their own technology, seeking a launch point into Europe and currently works for affiliate tracking solution – Everflow.
“Card-linking is rapidly gaining traction, experiencing a remarkable 500% year-on-year growth at LUX. This momentum is largely driven by its highly engaging, cookie-less approach, appealing to both consumers and challenger banks. As more financial institutions adopt card-linking, it’s becoming a significant trend in customer engagement strategies.”
James Courtney, CEO and Co-Founder of LUX Rewards, launched his venture at just 21 years-old whilst studying full-time at university. LUX, a renowned card-linked offers provider, collaborates with giants like Mastercard and British Airways, extending cashback offers to over 35 million payment cards in the UK and US. With a successful fundraising record exceeding £3.5 million, including multiple crowdfunding campaigns, James was recently celebrated as EntreConf’s Young Entrepreneur of the Year 2023.
“Know who you are working with! Partnerships are more important than ever in the regulatory landscape we are in today. Do your due diligence and keep an eye on what partners are doing on your behalf. With the new FCC ruling this is more important than ever and regulators ARE watching!”
Gayla brings two decades of expertise to advise clients across multiple industries in challenges related to compliance, regulations, brand management, lead generation and data analytics. Her affiliate management background gives her compliance monitoring clients insights into lead generation activities and a unique approach to solving marketing issues. For over a decade she has been leading innovation and developing new technology to support highly regulated industries. Dedicated to the growth of her client’s industries, she provides compliance expertise, self-regulation programs, and training for their employees and partners.
“As a response to changing market conditions, the affiliate marketing industry is moving towards more strategic, diverse, and technologically advanced practices. We are seeing more advertisers leveraging the affiliate channel to drive long-term brand awareness instead of using affiliate partnerships solely as a source of tactical customer acquisition. This shift indicates a broader recognition of the value affiliates bring to the table, not just in terms of immediate sales but also in building brand equity and loyalty over time. The rapid advancements in artificial intelligence will change how affiliates operate. Thanks to automation more affiliates are able to produce and share accurate exposure forecasts with brands, without the need for extensive resources. Those who embed transparent campaign estimations into their proposals will significantly boost the number of partnerships and earnings.”
Alona Malinovska is Managing Director at Webgains, leading UK affiliate network. Being part of the Webgains leadership team for over five years, Alona is specialised in leading best-in-class teams, nurturing innovative, creative culture, forming the direction of affiliate programs, and helping brands drive incremental and sustainable growth via performance channels. She frequently writes and speaks about affiliate marketing trends, strategic recommendations, and channel best practices.
Catch-up with Alona on the Affiliate Marketing Podcast…
“Google’s Chrome’s deprecation of third-party cookies in 2024 will place more accountability on advertisers to work with networks to ensure best in class tracking solutions are persistent throughout the customer journey. The demise of the third-party cookie has made first-party data increasingly valuable, and I expect more brands, across a multitude of verticals, both ecommerce and non-ecommerce, to invest heavily in lead generation campaigns through cost per lead. Marketing channel owners increasingly recognise that affiliate marketing can amplify other marketing channels to drive effective and measurable outcomes across the customer journey.”
Linda has been in the industry for over 18 years. As Senior Vice President of CJ UK & Ireland, Linda is responsible for the management and growth of the UK & Ireland business for CJ.
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