I just had a great discussion with Market Leverage founder and CEO Mike Jenkins about developments in the affiliate marketing industry.
Market Leverage is taking the lead when it comes to relationship building and branding with measures like it’s care package campaign to the top affiliate bloggers, and initiatives like Market Leverage TV. Kudos to Mike and his team for getting on the radar with innovative social marketing strategies.
In the course of our discussion, I was wondering — Will affiliate marketing come to blows with social marketing and social media?
From my discussion with affiliate managers, it seems that the majority of affiliate marketers are only interested in the one-time pay-per-lead or pay-per-sale commission structures. Ask them about revenue share or continuity (eg: subscription/membership) type payouts and they aren’t as keen.
With some bizop offers paying out $100-120 per lead or sale, this could trigger the “quick cash” impulse among some affiliates.
On the other hand, savvy merchants and advertisers would’ve grasped the subtleties of lead generation, building up an leads database and reselling the data or marketing offers to that database, and in many scenarios employing both techniques.
In this case, rev share, especially for a CPA-based network will be a moot point.
This is the business model for “affiliate marketing 1.0″ if you want to apply a label to it.
With social marketing and its technologies like video, social networking, blogging, forums, etc, the emphasis is on building the relationship, forming a community, focusing on the long-term – pretty much a complete opposite to “affiliate marketing 1.0″.
Sure you could just take the tech aspects of social media – the viral marketing, the video and audio which massively increase conversions and leave the relationship benefits at the door. But does that strip social marketing of some of its inherent benefits? Do merely become an updated version of “social engineering” as practised by Kevin Mitnick and others?
It’ll be interesting to see how these initiatives pan out.
Tune in to the Friday Podcast tomorrow to check out the interview with Market Leverage founder Mike Jenkins.