A few weeks ago I attended Affiliate Summit West in Las Vegas for the first time. With my background being primarily in Paid Search and Display advertising, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. I’ve always been skeptical of the Affiliate channel and how much incremental value it truly adds to an organization. At first glance, the channel has always seemed to be driven by publishers using discounts, coupons, and cash back offers to claim credit for sales that were likely going to occur anyway. I was hopeful that the Affiliate Summit would show me another side of the channel.
Affiliate Summit West is three full days of educational sessions following numerous marketing related tracks along with plenty of networking opportunities. I sat in on countless sessions and was taken aback with the quality of both the topics and presenters. The sessions covered everything from attribution modeling to conversion rate optimization, with almost no mention of coupon publishers. It was fascinating to learn about the untapped potential the Affiliate channel had to offer. I came away excited to focus on developing relationships with quality publishers rather than continuing to simply expand our placements on coupon sites. It was also interesting to hear how some advertisers are encouraging publishers to add more value by implementing customized compensation plans with higher rewards when a publisher sends a new vs a returning customer.
Attending Affiliate Summit West was a great experience and opened my eyes to a whole new world of possibilities in this under leveraged channel. I am anxious to see what Affiliate Summit 2018 has in store.