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The Affiliate Summit event series has provided a venue for our community to connect and do business almost as long as affiliate has been a powerful marketing and performance channel. These shows continue to draw tens of thousands of attendees worldwide – a record of growth and longevity that few events can match. The team that orchestrates them is very focused on keeping the content and format fresh, relevant, and highly actionable. 


At ASE, their Content and Commerce track helped hundreds of attendees understand and formulate action plans. It was a great example of how events can enrich the understanding and working relationships between brands, agencies, and publishers. The collision of content and commerce is a topic of great interest to the Martech Record team, and seeing the Affiliate Summit team work so hard to deliver value to all participants was very exciting. The roots of our industry are so firmly rooted in driving lower funnel outcomes, but the ascendance of performance content is expanding our industry's relevance to early and mid stage shopping decisions. 


Brands and agencies are working hard to master this vibrant component of our industry, and the ASE content team amassed a remarkable collection of experts to discuss what works and how brands can leverage content partnerships to unlock the full potential of affiliate for their businesses. 


Here’s a taste of the ideas and topics that helped make this content track so successful earlier this month. 

Important New Industry Research


The ASE Content and Commerce track began with the results of a significant research and insights presentation from Gen3. The session presented highlights from the company’s new study, developed in partnership with AWIN, CJ, Impact, Partnerize, and Rakuten Advertising. This eye-opening research showcased the importance of both affiliate and the high-quality content publishers that have fast become such important drivers of partner marketing. 


The research provided great insights into how affiliate helps brands be a part of the conversation at every stage of the buying journey – something no other channel can match. 


Revenue Diversification for Publishers


One number that keeps publisher leaders up at night is 59.5% -- that’s the share of digital spending that will go to Google, Meta, and Amazon in 2023. That leaves less than half the spend for all publishers and tech companies combined to fight for. Many premium publishing houses struggle to stay viable and profitable in this environment. Fortunately, affiliate partnerships are creating a sizable and fast-growing revenue stream for these organizations. ASE provided invaluable insight and ideas for publishers seeking the best strategies to capitalize on this potential revenue source.


We were impressed by how forthcoming the speakers and panelists were with ideas and advice to make content deliver even harder for brands and agencies and how content can become an even more vital revenue stream for high-quality content publishers. Speakers outlined a variety of strategies that are helping brands and content producers collaborate in ways that bring value to readers and viewers. 


Driving Traffic Through SEO and Social


Many brands and publishers focus on SEO and social media presences to grow their organic traffic and revenue. One powerful track session featured experts from across the ecosystem who shared ideas and insights to help their partners succeed. Naturally, Tiktok was on many people’s minds, and dedicated sessions helped advertisers and publishers better understand this massive social community and the best strategies and programs to unlock its business-building value.


M&A Outlook


As affiliate has continued its decades-long growth streak, more investors are taking notice of the space. We’ve seen significant inbound investment in partnership agencies and tech solutions as well as content plays. This investment cash is helping to make the content and commerce arena even more dynamic. What’s most exciting here is that the fundamentals of the partne

rship and affiliate space are so strong that most industry observers expect more investment in the months and years to come. We should be able to outperform many other advertising sectors because of the great acquisition and conversion value that partnerships bring to brands.


Networking and Social Activities


Personal relationships propel our industry, and the ASE team worked hard to create a powerful menu of activities and options to help brands, agencies, and publishers connect and do business. Those who have attended Affiliate Summit for years know that the show’s team has a knack for building experiences that foster communication and idea sharing. Their “VIP” Commerce and Content Lounge gave event attendees a great place to turn the ideas from the sessions into actionable partnerships.


Other sessions gave individuals and teams ways to cultivate deeper trust relationships over drinks and other entertainment – never losing sight of how affiliate is built on interdependence, innovation, and concrete solutions to business challenges.


On to ASW


The meteoric rise of commerce content shows no sign of slowing, and we look forward to seeing how the Affiliate Summit team incorporates these areas into next January’s event in Las Vegas. You can learn more about that event, register to attend, and learn about the many sponsorship opportunities available, on their website. Thanks to the ASE team for their hard work in making another successful event for everyone in our space. On to Vegas!