Affiliate industry need not fear Google – Affiliate view

So, Google is “optimistic” about extending its test of a cost-per-action
(CPA) payment model alongside its traditional cost-per-click (CPC)
business. It’s a development that underlines the increasing importance
of the CPA model as advertisers demand mo…

So, Google is "optimistic" about extending its test of a cost-per-action (CPA) payment model alongside its traditional cost-per-click (CPC) business. It’s a development that underlines the increasing importance of the CPA model as advertisers demand more and more accountability from their online marketing. This general trend helps to explain why the affiliate marketing sector, which already pays out on a CPA, has been one of the fastest-growing online segments for the past few years. However, concerns that Google’s move presents a threat to the traditional affiliate marketing industry are hyped.

For a start, Google’s approach to advertising has always been a very automated one. The AdSense product, to which the CPA model will first be applied, was very much meant to be a "plug-and-play" solution to help publishers to monetise their sites. And while the CPA payment model will now mean advertisers only pay out if someone comes to their site and buys, it will do nothing to actually tell them how to improve their conversion or site performance. Affiliate marketing networks today take a very different approach.

At Buy.At we also use our technology to support our publishers and advertisers, but we complement it with a high-touch level of service. We work with our advertisers on choosing the right creative, constructing efficient landing pages, positioning their products appropriately on affiliate sites, and improving their acquisition funnels.

Secondly, most affiliates that already participate in the industry today have grown significantly in terms of sophistication and variety. A typical campaign through the Buy.At network today will see traffic driven from pay-per-click affiliates, search engine optimisation affiliates, verticalised content sites, affinity or reward sites, shopping comparison engines, e-mail marketers and more.

Ultimately, Google’s entrance into the CPA market is an endorsement of the business model that has fuelled the success of affiliate marketing networks to date. However, its "plug-and-play" approach will leave plenty of room for the existing affiliate industry to continue to grow.

Kevin Cornils is chief executive of Buy.At

Latest from Marketing Week

NOT REGISTERED? IT'S FREE, QUICK AND EASY!

Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and opinion that will help you do your job better.

Register and receive the best content from the only UK title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work. The more we know about our visitors, the better and more relevant content we can provide for them. And, yes, knowing our audience better helps us find commercial partners too. Don't worry, we won't share your information with other parties, unless you give us permission to do so.

Register now

THE BEST CONTENT

Our award winning editorial team (PPA Digital Brand of the Year) ask the big questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.

THE BIGGEST ISSUES

From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we are your guide.

PERSONAL AND PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT

Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3703 or email customerservices@marketingweek.com

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here