Transparency over data is key to the development of affiliate marketing

The Drum, along with Affiliate Window, recently hosted an event where leading voices in affiliate marketing convened to debate some of the key issues facing their sector of the industry.

Turning 21 this year, and generating up to £16.5bn a year in sales in the UK alone, it’s safe to say that affiliate marketing is at the main table when it comes to brands’ online marketing ambitions.

Although with phrases like ‘programmatic’, and ‘programmable’ increasingly de rigueur among 'champions' of the digital marketing discipline, just how do affiliates (which briefly dawned the soubriquet of ‘performance marketing' until not so long ago), continue to demonstrate their relevance in a rapidly changing world.

Panel participant, Kevin Edwards, Affiliate Window’s global strategy director, says a key challenge for the industry to tackle is convincing advertisers to think more creatively about how their data can be used. He says that certain parties from this tier of the industry currently don’t see the benefit of sharing such information.

“By passing back additional data parametres they can better understand the value driven by affiliate marketing activity,” he adds.

Meanwhile, fellow panel participant and managing director of Rakuten Attribution, James Collins, says the industry as a whole must crack three issues to better understand the value of affiliate marketing: innovation; data, and transparency.

“Collaboration between publishers, media buyers and networks can help us all better help us all understand the consumer journey,” adds Collins. See more in video above.

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