I have just hit the milestone of one decade in the affiliate industry, and throughout the last ten years I have seen some brilliant pieces of work, innovation, and positive changes within the industry.

The channel provides some of the strongest ROI within digital marketing, at 16:1 in the last IAB PwC report for affiliate marketing, and offers access to a wealth of different partners to engage creatively with every target demographic you can think of.  In addition, the cost per action (CPA) model is an inherently low-risk payment model for brands, backed up with a validation process that ensures spend is directly linked to business success.

With all these benefits, a newcomer to the industry might expect affiliates to be a behemoth of performance marketing.  And yet, it remains in the shadow of the ad tech giants, under-utilised and with relatively low growth.  In 2021, UK affiliate marketing spend grew 7%, while paid search grew by 38%.  That is an incremental spend in paid search of over £3.2bn in the UK alone, that is around four times the size of the entire affiliate investment.

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