More Reports Are Bullish on Online Marketing

June 27th, 2012

Online marketing doesn’t lack for fans these days, but two new reports give us some very encouraging numbers to go with all the enthusiasm.

The first came earlier this month from the Internet Advertising Bureau, which said Internet advertising revenues for the first quarter set a new record at $8.4 billion. That was up $1.1 billion — or 15 percent – from the same quarter a year earlier.

“The year-over-year growth between Q1 2011 and Q1 2012 sets quite a milestone,” said David Silverman, a partner at PwC U.S. “Moreover, a 15-percent increase over the comparable period in 2011 is a solid affirmation the Internet is delivering on its promise to attract consumers and the advertising dollars that follow.”

Also this month, Forrester Research, the global research and advisory firm, completed a study on the impact of affiliate marketing. “Affiliate Marketing: The Direct and Indirect Value that Affiliates Deliver to Advertisers” explores how affiliate marketers are meeting the needs of shoppers and retailers online. A summary of the findings was announced by Rakuten LinkShare, which commissioned the study. It said:

  • Spending on affiliate marketing is increasing and will keep pace with other areas of digital spending through 2016
  • The affiliate channel produces new-to-file customers and generates incremental customer acquisition
  • The affiliate channel attracts consumers who spend more than the average online shopper and are profitable for advertisers
  • Affiliate marketing helps trigger brand reconsideration and often closes the sale for online shoppers
  • Promotions in the affiliate channel have a positive impact on an advertiser’s brand reputation and loyalty.

The best news? Forrester forecasts U.S. affiliate marketing spending will grow to $4.5 billion annually by 2016, increasing by nearly 17 percent a year.

How are we going to maintain that kind of momentum? By continuing to offer a return on advertisers’ investment is the easy answer. But it’s more than that.

We have to continue to commit ourselves to long-term relationships that emphasize ongoing campaigns over making a fast buck. We have to surround ourselves with reputable people who care as much as we do about protecting brands. And we need people who believe in the power of relevant content, focused marketing and treating consumers with the respect they deserve.

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