JupiterResearch has published a study on affiliate marketing that indicates online marketers will spend $2.1 billion on affiliate marketing fees, with US online affiliate marketing spending reaching $3.3 billion in 2012.
I am not clear what that means… “affiliate marketing fees”? I presume that is the aggregate cost of running an affiliate program: affiliate network fees, affiliate commissions, etc.
According to the report, affiliate marketing remains a highly attractive endeavor because it is performance based, presenting low risk and requiring low initial investment. Over time, marketers tend to work with affiliates that drive the most traffic to their sites, resulting in a small number of affiliates driving the majority of traffic and sales.
Because affiliate marketing is so heavily intertwined with the search engine marketing industry, Google is the one wild card that might affect the overall growth of the industry. Google’s dominance over SEM forces affiliates to be sensitive to Google’s Quality Score, which prevents lower-quality affiliates from buying paid search.
The lead author of the US Online Affiliate Marketing Forecast, 2007-2012 report was Patti Freeman Evans, who will be speaking at the LinkShare Symposium next week.