2013 brought a number of interesting twists and turns for the affiliate marketing industry. We experienced the abrupt shutdown of the Google Affiliate Network, some tough new questions to answer about disclosure, and even a public denigration of the entire industry as a "scam".
On the flipside, there were significant steps towards industry progress. More people started to rethink attribution, including Affiliate Window in their whitepaper and RhinoFish on Acceleration Partners' blog. We also saw some ground re-gained in the affiliate Nexus Tax struggle, with the Illinois Supreme Court ruling that such a law was unconstitutional.
What Does 2014 Hold for Affiliate Marketing?
We're excited as we look ahead to what the industry can accomplish in 2014. Important values such as transparency and accountability are becoming a great emphasis across the world of affiliate marketing. This was apparent to us during Affiliate Summit at the Pinnacle Awards, with accolades going to some outstanding individuals and companies who exhibit integrity and dedication to the industry's advancement. We at BrandVerity are honored to be recognized among them.
To collect some industry focal points for 2014, we caught up with several of our fellow Pinnacle Award recipients. We asked each to respond to the question "What do you want to see the industry accomplish in 2014?" We appreciate their answers, and once again would like to extend our congratulations to all the Pinnacle Award winners!
Perspectives from Pinnacle Award Recipients
"I want a greater awareness of ethics, standards and practices among affiliate program managers. We need to protect the interests of the merchants and the affiliates, while delivering as many new profitable customers as possible." -Greg Hoffman, Greg Hoffman Consulting
"I would like to see the affiliate industry bridge the gap with bloggers and other content generators in 2014. I think that this will require the networks to develop tools that meet the content generators where they are comfortable—in their WordPress or other CMS dashboards, and using other tools that make it easy for content generators to quickly and easily share affiliate links to specific products or pages to their blogs or to social media followers." -Wade Tonkin, Fanatics
"I'd like to see more transparency. For all networks, sub-affiliates and tools to provide an easy-to-use interface for program managers to see exactly who and how they are promoting said merchant’s offers. That would help with identifying unethical folks and better rewarding value add partners.
It would also be great to have a positive resolution to the “advertising tax” issue so any affiliate partner can work with any merchant." -Kush Abdulloev, VMInnovations
By and large, their responses reinforce our optimism in the industry's outlook for 2014. There are a number of hurdles to overcome, of course. But overall we see the industry converging on transparency, an improved public image, and a clearer value add.
Here's to a Great 2014!
We're incredibly honored to be chosen as the Service of the Year for the second year running. From everyone on the BrandVerity team, thanks for your support!