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Forrester confirms it… Affiliate Marketing is great!

by Dave Tinneny | 04.07.2012
‘What’s so great about affiliate marketing anyway?’

Rakuten Linkshare recently commissioned Forrester to compile a research paper on the current state of affiliate marketing and its future over the next four years. It’s just been released entitled ‘Affiliate Marketing – The direct and indirect value that affiliates deliver to advertisers’ and as you’d expect from Forrester, it’s pretty good. The future looks promising for all us affiliate industry types…

The report was compiled in the US and focuses on the market there. 526 US-based online buyers were interviewed along with 9 affiliates and advertisers from large companies. Even though the UK has a slightly more tech savvy industry than in the states, the US is still an important indicator of the global robustness of the industry.

Key findings from the report are as follows:

  • Affiliate marketing spend is on the rise and will continue through 2016
  • Affiliates produce new customers and generate incremental customer acquisition
  • Affiliate customers are deal-driven and more likely to buy a product they find on multiple sites
  • Affiliate customers are profitable and spend more than the average online shopper
  • Affiliates impact brand recognition and often close the sale for online shoppers
  • Affiliate promotions have a positive impact on a brands reputation and loyalty


Some of the more detailed stats are even better, with Forrester’s forecast showing a compound annual growth rate of almost 17% between 2011 and 2016.
It’s not all good news however, with financial services sites still struggling in the economic climate and a pronounced plateauing of their revenue since 2008 (when everything went sour).

For a more detailed look, you can download the full report here. Definitely recommended and an interesting read. If you haven’t evaluated the potential that affiliate marketing has for your brand in a few years, then the advice is to take a fresh look at how the industry has matured and reconsider.

My favourite part of the report is the following quote:

‘affiliate sites are like virtual shelves, if you leave them empty, someone else will fill them.’