Affiliate marketing is dead… to people who can’t figure it out, consultants desperate for business, journalists with an elementary understanding of the space, and bloggers trying to create linkbait.
But the claim floats around each year anyhow.
Some guy named Aristotle theorized about the death of affiliate marketing long ago. Ok, it was actually a writer named Rick Aristotle Munarriz at Motley Fool four years ago. Same difference.
A few years back, John Lemp, CEO/Founder of IntegraClick, purchased the domain AffiliateMarketingIsDead.com, yet as the industry thrives, the domain remains a placeholder.
I’m guilty of stoking the flames, too, as I wrote an article last year called “Affiliate Marketing Is Dead” for eMarketing & Commerce magazine. But I was employing the complicated literary device known as the head fake.
Anyhow, I have a pretty vivid indicator of the health and growth of affiliate marketing, and that’s the attendee numbers year to year at Affiliate Summit West.
Back in 2005, when we first held an Affiliate Summit in Las Vegas, we has a modest 550 attendees. That number has grown each year, and we are expecting 4,000 people at Affiliate Summit West 2010, based on past registration patterns.
That will be the biggest of all 14 Affiliate Summits to date.
Oh well, at least the Chicken Little thing isn’t unique to affiliate marketing. Earlier this week, Robert Scoble wrote about how the sky is falling for SEO.