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IAB's new handbook signals growth of affiliate marketing

Affiliate marketing gains popularity in the digital marketing stakes

The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) Australia has released an industry handbook on affiliate marketing in a bid to better educate the market on this growing digital marketing technique.

The handbook is the first piece of work to come out of the association’s Affiliate Marketing Working Group, established in July, and outlines the mechanisms of affiliate marketing, different types of affiliates, key players and how to utilise technologies.

Affiliate marketing is a form of performance marketing that rewards third-parties for each visitor or customers they bring to a brand’s ecommerce offering.

In a statement, the working group said it plans to follow up its handbook by examining the local affiliate market to determine its size and revenue within the digital advertising and marketing space. Authors included Rakuten Marketing’s Anthony Capano, Cash Rewards’ Chris Carner, and MediaCom’s Isabell Schneider.

According to research undertaken by IAB UK in partnership with PricewaterhouseCoopers, affiliate marketing produced 16.5 billion pounds in sales in 2015, or about 10 per cent of all UK retail ecommerce. The report also stated affiliate marketing generated a 14:1 return on investment.

“I know from my time overseas as a marketer just how valuable affiliate marketing is,” said IAB CEO, Vijay Solanki. “I think we can expect a similar story will soon be told here in Australia as the industry grows in financial importance and reputation.”

David Jones digital marketer, Claudia Dwyer, who was quoted by the IAB in response to the handbook’s launch, said affiliate marketing was an integral part of the department store’s digital channel mix and that it directly drove and influenced customers to purchase on its website.

“We’ve established a solution around our strict brand guidelines, working with transparency across the breadth of our partners, while also streamlining process,” she said. “Affiliates are not only bringing sales to David Jones, they are bringing new valuable customers.

“As affiliate partners and strong top of the of the funnel, influencers continue to grow in Australia, we can also see the opportunity for David Jones to grow with them.”

In a sign of the growing popularity of affiliate marketing, Rakuten Marketing, one of several organisations working in the performance marketing space, posted a 61 per cent rise in revenue for the year for the year to June 2016, with 57 new advertisers joining its affiliate network over that time.

Other brands that have embraced affiliate marketing as a key component of their digital advertising strategy include wealth management company, Yellow Brick Road, and online retailer, AppliancesOnline.

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