6500 affiliates, media buyers, ecom sellers, and technology providers gathered this January in Las Vegas for Affiliate Summit West 2024 (AWS) – the largest melting pot in the world for affiliate marketing. ASW is a true homeland of affiliate marketing, and for this reason, it is preferred by digital affiliate professionals more than any other global marketing event. 

Anna Kovalchuk, Business Development Manager at SmartyAds DSP, attended this unforgettable gathering to make important business connections and to learn breakthrough strategies and trends that will be leading digital businesses to prosperity and efficiency in 2024. Wondering what are those? Today, we’ll share some important insights.

Evolving affiliate landscape: from KPI-based closed community to an open holistic market

Traditionally, affiliate marketing operated within the confines of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), with a focus on specific metrics and performance targets. However, the industry has witnessed a paradigm shift towards a more open and inclusive approach, embracing a holistic market perspective. This shift recognizes the interconnectedness of various marketing channels and the need for collaboration across diverse platforms.

Affiliate Summit West played a pivotal role in shedding light on the importance of this holistic approach. Sessions and discussions highlighted how businesses are moving away from siloed strategies and adopting more integrated and collaborative models. The emphasis is no longer solely on individual KPIs but on creating synergies between affiliates, media buyers, e-commerce sellers, and technology providers. Currently, the worth of global affiliate marketing is reaching $17 Billion, and these approaches will play a pivotal role in the industry's growth. 

Aside from this, Anna mentions that the global affiliate community was super open to meeting and networking, even if we compare AWS with other renowned industry events. This signifies that the industry is not just evolving in terms of strategies but also in fostering a sense of community and shared purpose. The collaborative spirit observed at Affiliate Summit West indicates a departure from traditional closed communities to an open, welcoming environment that encourages cross-industry partnerships and knowledge sharing.

Lead gen is a big thing in affiliate marketing

One critical insight gleaned from the summit was the acknowledgment that successful lead generation extends beyond mere quantity to prioritize quality and relevance. This is a very important point since affiliate marketing already ranks among the top three best customer acquisition channels for 54% of brands. 

Affiliates, alongside specialized media buying agencies, are adopting innovative techniques. Aside from content marketing, email marketing, paid traffic and social media outreach they use AI-driven chatbots and technologies that contribute to meaningful interactions. 

In the dynamic landscape of affiliate marketing, fintech is a standout vertical, where affiliates are capitalizing on the rising demand for innovative financial services. No wonder Fintech's digital market is projected to grow by 5.13% (2024-2028), resulting in a market volume of US$3409.00 billion in 2028. Simultaneously, the solar industry, which accounts for 15.9% of generated global electricity, is witnessing a surge in lead generation efforts, tapping into the growing interest in sustainable living.

Home renovation has also become a key focus for affiliates, aligning with the trend of increased investment in home improvements. Insurance, a perennial lead generation powerhouse, remains at the forefront, with affiliates navigating the intricate landscape to connect with consumers seeking various coverage options.

Not only user acquisition

As we mentioned before, the world of affiliate marketing is now showing more openness toward new approaches. It has also become more loyal to measuring user acquisition metrics and is currently actively developing new ways of measurement.

For example, over 83% of marketing professionals highlight that tracking the total number of affiliate link clicks is the most popular metric. However, recognizing the ultimate significance of sales in the success of an affiliate program, 72% of marketers prioritize measuring conversion rates, while 62% focus on tracking the overall number of purchases made through affiliate links.

Uncharted territory: opportunities of programmatic

Although programmatic history already spans a decade of years, a lot of affiliate professionals are still new to the concept of programmatic performance. In our previous articles, we explained why programmatic technologies offer significant benefits to affiliate marketers by introducing automation and efficiency into their ad campaigns, so in the age of AI and automation, it becomes a must to explore them.

Moreover, programmatic technologies provide valuable insights and data analytics. Affiliates can access detailed campaign metrics, allowing for more informed decision-making. This data-driven approach empowers marketers to refine their strategies, identify high-performing channels, and allocate budgets more effectively.

Buying on CPM and meeting the CPL goal is a skill, and the SmartyAds DSP team is ready to take on this challenge. We understand the nuances of programmatic advertising and educate our partners on how to achieve this delicate balance without losing precious budgets. Our goal is not just to meet CPL targets but to make the Return on Ad Spend (ROAS) even more efficient. By leveraging our expertise, affiliates can navigate the complexities of programmatic advertising and unlock the full potential of their campaigns.

Unlock success with programmatic efficiency. Register on SmartyAds DSP!