Every once so often, somebody comes along to declare that affiliate marketing is dead. The latest instance comes to us from Rick Aristotle Munarriz in an article on The Motley Fool.
The article begins with the question, “…if websites everywhere are taking to contextual ad blocks, doesn’t logic suggest that graphic banner ads and affiliate marketing are being pushed off the page?”
I had to recheck the date on this article. Yes, it was just published on May 19, 2005. Either the author has very antiquated notions of affiliate marketing, or not much of an understanding at all.
The idea that content sites are the end all and be all of affiliate marketing may have been true, say in 1997, but that’s simply not the case in modern times.
Mr. Munarriz, and pundits of the past don’t get the fact that affiliates are content sites, PLUS coupon sites, rebate sites, PPC arbitrage players, rewards/loyalty sites, comparison shopping sites, solo emailers, sites using web services, newsletter emailers, data-feed sites, blogs, etc.
The article cites Amazon as a model program in affiliate marketing, and states that their affiliate program is “likely to suffer if this trend continues.”
He knows the basic facts of the Amazon program, like the date it launched and number of affiliates, but I’ve got to wonder if he is familiar with Amazon’s years old Amazon Web Services.
After all, this is the recent past and real future of their affiliate program. Not newbies that put up a banner and cross their fingers.
Just as so many that came before him, Mr. Munarriz has experienced a premature immolation.