Analytics are Holding Back Affiliate Marketing

holding-back-time.jpgAnalytics, as we have known them and constructed them for our use, are stunting the growth of online, especially affiliate, marketing.

Online marketing is still very much in its infancy. This new beast of marketing is only about 12 years old, and has only been taken seriously in the last six to eight years. In order to mark the growth of this infant, we’ve attempted to translate offline metrics and analytical means to put marks on the wall every so often.

However, these translations of offline analytical methods have not enabled us to adequately record or understand many of the aspects of affiliate marketing which is the sole reason for using such measurements.

In effect, the translations of offline analytics into our online experience have held back some of the developments and keen data driven insights which could have been gained if a false analytical structure had not been superimposed on the situation.

Kowabunga’s CTO Jeff Doak, SearchingForProfit’s SEO guru Amanda Watlington, The Partner Maker’s Jeff Molander and myself discussed this issue on yesterday’s “Weekly Insight” podcast. The show is really coming into its own because we are all beginning to seriously debate one another and allow our own personalities to come out and stake their respective territories. There are many things that I disagree with Molander on, and there are many things that Jeff D disagrees with me on, and there are other things that Amanda and I don’t see eye-to-eye on. Now that we’ve exposed some of those disagreements, we’re able to mine that valuable space in between all of our opinions and experience.

That is incredibly valuable for you as well.

Here’s what we discussed:
* Future of Media Analytics, Metrics
* MSN Enters Analytics Game
* Multi-channel Marketing Challenges
* Cam Balzer & “Offline Multipliers”
* Google Acts Weak: Monopolistic AdSense Rules

On the show, I articulate my idea for how online marketing, especially the affiliate side of things, can move beyond analytics as we know them. My basic argument is that a top-down superstructure artificially imposed on human communications will never work.

This is especially true with the types of human interactions afforded by the new emerging media platforms. I see a time when everything we do is linked back to some sort of personal affiliate link that we can share both online, offline and over mobile, without having to take the time to embed any links or share any paper coupons.

So, give this week’s show a listen. It’s well worth the hour and will hopefully provoke you to think some new thoughts and help push our industry forward.

Here’s the mp3.

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2 Replies to “Analytics are Holding Back Affiliate Marketing”

  1. Industry Veteran January 21, 2007 at 03:52

    Jeff Molander commented in that podcast that “It’s taken us how many years to get to the point where we have a conference?”

    He touts himself as some sort of insider, but he sounds so clueless.

    It’s not tough to search Google and find that “we” have had a conference dedicated to affiliate marketing every year since 1999.

    Affiliate Solutions took place for the first time at the Harvard Club in NYC on April 5, 1999. There were a total of seven Affiliate Solutions shows from 1999 to 2001 in NYC, London and San Francisco.

    Affiliate Force had their first show March 15-17, 2000 in Miami. Affiliate Force was held annually through 2003.

    Affiliate Summit kicked off their series of shows on November 3, 2003 in NYC and have had one show or more each year since then.

    IIR also ran a number of affiliate marketing specific conferences in 2000-2001.

    So by my count, there has been one or more conference dedicated to affiliate marketing every year for eight straight years.

    Maybe Mr Molander should get out more often.


  2. Good point, Industry Veteran.

    Industry conferences are certainly nothing new for our sphere. And unlike many other industries, our conferences are actually productive. As I’ve said before, I find Affiliate Summit to be a much better use of time and money than AdTech or the “larger” shows because they are too broad in scope. Even with 1700 people here, it feels like a power networking atmosphere with a base line knowledge of what everyone else does, but with an interest in doing more business with new people.

    Off to Wade’s morining brunch. I’m going to try and hike the 3 miles to the Mandalay, so we’ll see how that goes!



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