The Evolution of Affiliate Marketing

The idea of affiliate network marketing has now been around for at least twenty years, though it has only recently exploded in popularity. Because of the unique performance-based methods used by affiliate marketing, it’s been adopted by a number of large companies, including Amazon, Home Depot and Target retail stores, to name a few.

But the affiliate marketing landscape of today is far different than it was in the ‘90s and 2000s. Today’s online consumer is both savvy and well-trained; no longer can affiliates and advertisers use the same tried and hackneyed methods of online marketing. Today’s affiliate must present value and resourcefulness in order to be successful.

The typical affiliate marketing process is as follows: an affiliate signs up with an affiliate network, which has offers presented by advertisers. The affiliate network is essentially a third party connecting affiliates and advertisers. Affiliates can promote the advertisers’ products and services in exchange for a commission.

This cycle of e-commerce is mutually beneficial for all parties involved. Affiliates get commission payments, advertisers sell more products and services, and affiliate networks make a percentage based on sales and transactions between the two parties.

Exactly where affiliate marketing is headed, few can say. But trends that have arisen in the past years suggest that quality will continue to play a major role in the success and growth of performance marketing. Affiliates and advertisers who consistently offer value to their consumers will develop authoritative reputations that will only increase their success.

As affiliate marketing continues to evolve, it will be essential for affiliates, networks and advertisers to stay ahead of the curve. The expansion and increased accessibility of the Internet means there will be more international affiliate opportunities in the future, and this is sure to influence the evolution of affiliate marketing in the near future.