Affiliate Marketing Podcast Declan Dunn

Part 2: AI and Affiliate Connections – How to Remain Authentic in Your Outreach

This week on the Affiliate Marketing Podcast, Lee-Ann continues the conversation with Declan Dunn on the topic of AI and Affiliate Connections and How to Remain Authentic in Your Outreach. Let’s join them both for Part Two and discover more about the future of affiliate marketing and how AI can be used by Affiliate Managers to accelerate performance…

If you missed Part One, you can catch up here.

Listen in here for all of the insights:

What is the future of affiliate marketing?

Lee-Ann asks Declan, as a Growth Marketer always looking to the future, what he believes is the future of affiliate marketing.

Declan replies. “We just moved affiliate marketing. The most wonderful part, in the early days, it was almost just coupon rewards. It’s actually one of the reasons I left the space for a little bit because it was just coupon rewards. And I was like, that’s so narrow-minded. And it was just the way the industry was, okay? I’m not saying they were being narrow-minded; functionally, performance-wise, that’s what it was. And people used to look at this and you wouldn’t get the respect of the big corporations because they say, ‘Oh, you’re some hustler coupon rewards person’, which I think that’s a false bias on the part of them. But it was a thing – ‘Oh, here’s the affiliate industry, little people who do coupons rewards’. 

Then we opened up to these content partners – influencers who bring a whole different approach to the game. And I see that not only growing, but I really see that affiliate marketing is starting to not be a separate budget within a company, but it needs to be part of an overall ad budget.”

“The most perfect form of advertising is affiliate”

Next, Declan delves into the relationship between influencers and the affiliate ecosystem: 

“So how can we actually get them? How can we use micro influencers? In other words, working within this world. And that’s what I mean by, bring it back to what a media buyer is. They put their bets on different tables. And that’s where the affiliate world has to say: how do we fit? Not as, ‘oh, let me teach you what the affiliate world is’. We’re performance marketers. And there’s this giant world. I started seeing these tens of millions and hundreds of millions. I’m not seeing those budgets, but I’m part of this bigger thing.

And those people are all driven by data that’s so different than what we’re seeing down here. And I see us going up, being more accountable, using the amazing data and AI that’s coming on to actually let us pinpoint and start thinking of ourselves not as affiliate marketers, but as true performance marketers. Because, Lee-Ann, leave it with this – the most perfect form of advertising is affiliate. Because when somebody clicks, they buy. That is the perfect form.”

Affiliate Managers in 2024

Lee-Ann asks Declan to complete the sentence: In 2024, I want to see Affiliate Managers…

Declan replies, “I would say I want to see Affiliate Managers upskill –  because to me, the industry has this knee-jerk reaction against AI, because you know what? It will replace you if you ignore it. It really will, but it can’t do what you do. It really can’t. And don’t be afraid of it. See where it can add 10 times anything you’re doing. And if it can’t, don’t bother. If you’re doing great, cool. If it’s not broke, don’t fix it. But the thing is, think about what you can do that will save you time, because time is the currency that we really deal with in the affiliate world. Good use of time will equal good use of money. It really will.”

Our thanks go to Declan for this in-depth look into AI and Affiliate Connections.  You can subscribe to Declan’s channel The AI Optimist, here

Listen to find out more about:

  • How to have faith in yourself – when your self-belief is high, so too are your achievements 
  • Allowing AI to challenge your thinking and to save you time 
  • How to navigate corporate structures

Key segments of this podcast on AI and Affiliate Connections and where you can tune in to go direct:

[3:50]: How to spot a good Affiliate Manager

[7:00]: There is no single decision-maker anymore 

[19:15]: Optimism surrounding AI and what the future holds 


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