Study: 50% of marketers saw an increase in affiliate spend in 2020

Posted on Wednesday 10 March 2021 | Kevin Edwards - Global Strategy Director, AWIN

Kevin Edwards, Global Strategy Director of AWIN and Chair of the IAB Affiliates & Partnerships Group, introduces the group’s latest study

2020 was a pivotal year for the affiliate industry, offering advertisers and agencies a diverse range of partners to help shore up and accelerate their online growth amidst a year of disruption. From cashback and reward sites, to mass-media publishers, bloggers, social media, emerging fintech and technology solutions, the affiliate channel remains one of the most cost-effective and diverse ways that brands are finding new customers. If the activity can be rewarded on a cost-per-acquisition basis then it can play a part.

Last year, many affiliate programmes saw high double and occasional treble digit growth and this survey provides an industry snapshot as brands continue to evolve their campaigns in 2021. With almost one in five brands and agencies spending more than £250k per month on their affiliate campaigns, it’s clear that it’s a serious route to market for them.

Growth however, has to be weighed against those brands who reduced their spend. The travel sector remains an important one for the affiliate channel and we have to remain hopeful that it will fire back in the second half of 2021, taking advantage of pent up consumer demand. Certainly the most favoured affiliate business models – cashback and content sites – will be ready to support brands when that time comes.

Digital marketing in general faces challenges in tackling the ability to track campaigns in the future, and offering clarity on the current state of play within our channel is vital. Alongside demonstrating the value of affiliate marketing and ensuring transparency and trust are at the heart of what we do, this survey sets out a blueprint for future projects.

The affiliate industry has a proud heritage of demonstrating its value to brands and agencies, and this survey helps guide our future strategy in proving why we should be front and centre of advertisers’ future marketing plans.

Written by

Kevin Edwards

Global Strategy Director, AWIN


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