Internet ad revenues rose 23% to a record $14.9 billion in the first half of 2011, according to the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) and PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC US). This is twice the rate of growth during the same time frame last year and with staggering increases such as these, we have to ask ourselves why?
Assessing the Economic Condition
One of the strongest contributing factors in the growth of online ad revenues is the weak US economy. Since the market crash in late 2008, just about every single industry has struggled with weak sales figures and lagging growth rates and has turned to additional ad spends to garner more sales.
A second contributing factor to the explosive growth of online marketing is the fact that consumers now spend an average of 13 hours per week online, which is approximately the same amount of time they spend watching television. Advertisers with products and services to sell would be remiss if they didn’t leverage that fact.
Affiliate Marketing Proves Recession Resilient
In the wake of budget constrictions and ROI scrutiny, smart advertisers have embraced affiliate marketing because of its inherent benefit of only paying when a specific action is achieved.
Additionally, affiliate marketing offers advertisers a way to explore other customer acquisition channels, as affiliates are quick to jump on emerging advertising platforms such as mobile, social media, as well as offline activities like print and coupons.
The amplified adoption of affiliate marketing by advertisers and affiliates is responsible for its enormous growth. In fact, affiliate marketing is forecasted to grow to $4 billion by 2014, according to Forrester Research.
The Growth of Affiliate Summit
As I write this article, Affiliate Summit West 2012 is projected to achieve its largest attendance with over 5,000 affiliates, advertisers, networks and service providers converging at Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas.
The increased implementation of affiliate marketing into advertiser’s customer acquisition plans coupled with the bolstering of the industry’s impression overall are contributing factors to Affiliate Summit’s success.
Conversely, it’s with great pride that we look upon each Affiliate Summit event and meetup, every FeedFront Magazine issue and all GeekCast.fm podcasts as a platform to inspire the growth of our industry overall.
The Future of Affiliate Marketing
As consumers spend more time online and as the economy continues to bounce back, it is certain that the U.S. Internet marketing sector will continue to grow.
Additionally, through continued innovation, acquisitions and as more online content creators integrate affiliate marketing in their monetization plans, there leaves little to no doubt that affiliate marketing is poised for expansive growth as well.
Affiliate marketing is an exciting and lucrative space to be in right now. Will you be joining us in 2012?