As a group, affiliate marketers have always been known as a collection of freewheeling entrepreneurs that can roll with the punches. Affiliates tend to be uncommonly savvy when it comes to the digital economy because their livelihoods depend on seeing and understanding trends before they unfold. As a result, they're constantly looking to the future while keeping an eye on the present. In the upcoming year, the following affiliate marketing developments are sure to dominate the news.
Affiliate Marketing 2014: Predictions
Internet Tax Pressures Will Increase
For the longest time, local on-the-ground businesses as well as state governments have had a bone to pick with tax-free e-commerce outfits. Amazon is an obvious target. However, many other e-commerce retailers and wholesalers are feeling the pinch. This development directly impacts affiliate marketers since some online vendors are reconsidering how they run their affiliate programs. While Internet taxes won't kill the affiliate marketing industry, it's not going to help matters any.
Affiliate Competition Is Sure to Rise
There's a growing recognition of the power of affiliate marketing by businesses of all sizes in every industry. As more and more SMBs shift resources to the digital sector, the growth of affiliate marketing will accelerate. This will lead to increased competition between affiliates for those sweet, sweet commissions. While this is good news for the affiliate industry as a whole, affiliates of all stripes must constantly innovate to remain competitive.
Mobile Will Force Affiliates to Modernize
Probably the most important and long-lasting trend in the eyes of affiliate marketers is the rise of mobile as the preeminent facilitator of transactions. With so many ordinary consumers using smartphones nowadays, it's not surprising that a great deal of e-commerce occurs remotely on mobile devices. As a result, Pay Per Call marketing is quickly supplanting Pay Per Click as the preferred way to get at the right consumers at the right time.
The Resurgence of Bricks-And-Mortar
At long last, traditional on-the-ground retailers are seeing the value in using affiliates to jump-start their sales. From Best Buy to Sears, established companies realize that a fusion of e-commerce and in-person conversion is the most effective way to sway consumers. For most affiliates, this is good news. These old dinosaurs of commerce are finally getting with the times. If you can leverage high volume and the right approach, this trend can make you a lot of money.
High-Margin Businesses Will Benefit
Thanks to all of the aforementioned competition and tax issues, affiliate marketing is moving away from low-margin businesses and towards the upper end of the profit margin curve. This obvious shift benefits both local businesses and major corporations that don't have to deal with low margins. Pay Per Call marketing allows affiliates to help out their high-margin advertising partners and profit greatly in the process. Expect to see Amazon and its peers relying less on affiliates and more on in-house solutions to lead generation.
Future-Proofing Your Affiliate Tactics
If there's one trend that's unavoidable, it's the shift towards hyper-specific targeting of the optimal customers for any given pitch. Thanks to this new reality, the flowering discipline known as Pay Per Call marketing is seeing a massive increase in interest. If you're going to take Pay Per Call and use it to beat the competition to the punch, the right Pay Per Call ad network is going to be your best ally.