The state of affiliate marketing in 2015

Jonathan Cronstedt forecasts what to expect in the new year

As industries go, the field of affiliate marketing is still one of the new kids on the block. However, over the last few decades, I think it has proven to be a major player and shows clear indication that it will continue in that vein.

People constantly ask me about the longevity of a career in affiliate marketing. At Empower Network, we’re working to make sure it’s a worthwhile business model and a great way to achieve an ideal work/life balance. While I don’t have a crystal ball to see into the future, I do believe there are some key developments that we can expect to see in the year ahead.

I foresee a greater understanding of the industry for those who still labor under misperceptions. This is due to the growing popularity of affiliate marketing. Now that a steadily increasing number of brands are using the affiliate marketing model to reach prospects and build relationships, the general public may view the field less as some sort of get-rich-quick scheme and more for the strategic partner it can be.

It will become harder to ignore the effects of the affiliate marketing industry. Experts predict that the affiliate marketing field will grow to approximately $5 billion by 2016, which represents a 17-percent growth.

More local and regional businesses will see the value of affiliate marketing and choose to join. Large companies like eBay and Amazon have become giants in their respective fields, due in no small part to using programs like affiliate marketing. In order to remain competitive, smaller brick-and-mortar businesses will need to find ways to attract more customers, and affiliate marketing offers a cost-effective, proven method of doing that.

Affiliate marketing provides a simple formula that anyone can understand: You only pay when your affiliate marketing partner is successful. This can be very appealing to businesses that may lack the resources to go head-to-head with the big dogs but still need to drive traffic to their websites.

Affiliate marketers will continue to find new ways to capitalize on emerging technologies. Experts estimate that consumers will complete more than $170 billion in sales through mobile devices in coming years. There are also opportunities to explore with social media, online videos and advances in email to better target your audiences.

Global marketing will remain an issue to watch. Expanding markets mean that brands will need to find ways to reach a growing customer base, and affiliate marketing is poised to contribute significantly in this area.

Government and online regulations may have a larger effect on the industry. I’m continuously asked about various rules, lawsuits and penalties regarding affiliate marketing practices and I think we could be in for a bumpier road ahead. Several states currently have or will soon put laws on the books concerning where an affiliate marketer is located and how taxes will apply.

Also, due to some questionable methods a few affiliate marketers have used, more oversight of the entire industry is a hot topic of discussion. Things like domain name tricks and sketchy search engine optimization tactics designed to game the system have left a bad taste in the mouths of many and could lead to increased calls for control and supervision of the industry.

Overall, I expect that the coming year will be one of the most exciting and challenging for the future of affiliate marketing, and Empower Network is here to help our members make the most of it.

Did I miss anything on my list? What new developments are you looking forward to seeing for affiliate marketing in 2015? Let me know what you think in the comments.


Jonathan Cronstedt

Jonathan Cronstedt is the CEO of Empower Network, LLC. Empower Network is a leading affiliate marketing and direct sales company that’s helping tens of thousands enjoy the “Empowered Lifestyle.” Jonathan enjoys travel, spending time with his wife and red wine.


Featured image credit: thinkstockphotos.com

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