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Attention Affiliate Leaders, Making Influencer Accountable Is Your Big Opportunity

Feb 15, 2023 by Jim Nichols

For years, affiliate marketing has been viewed as a niche channel – critical to delivering on a brand’s targets, but managed separately and poorly understood by the executive team. While every other channel has either been integrated or is in the process of being woven into a central brand plan, affiliate is still often detached.

That disconnection is a big problem. While it gives affiliate teams more autonomy than other teams, it means the channel:

  • Gets its budget assigned rather than set based on its superior performance
  • Is not recognized for its role in many conversions – only those directly attributed at the bottom-of-funnel
  • Has its leaders siloed and sidelined instead of being recognized for their leadership, strategic, and relationship skills

That last one has always caught in my craw because many affiliate leaders are the most professionally talented people I have ever met. But I can count on one hand the number that have ascended to the CMO chair. Actually, I can count them on no hands, even though other performance marketers are ascending to the C-Suite.

For years, affiliate event stages have been filled with people lamenting all this. But 20+ years since our channel was born, it’s still largely true. What can make this lamentable situation change?

I think the answer lies in the influencer channel.



Want an overview of the influencer solutions providers available to you?

View our Influencer Marketing Market Presence Index to understand how affiliate marketers view each platform and our Martech Matrix here to determine which platform is a good fit for you.

The Influencer Black Box

eMarketer says influencer marketing will reach $4.6B in investment in the US this year. But what measurable ROI does it drive?


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