With the rise of Internetworking a new form of search marketing has evolved. This new method of advertising is one of the best innovations in the electronic world and is commonly referred to as Affiliate Marketing. It proves to be a remarkable source of profit due to the critical mass of customer it helps to acquire over a relatively short time frame. The combined power of this tactic and the vast number of people online can give a strong boost to a company's marketing strategy. Affiliate Marketing programs are simple alliances or contracts between online merchants who want to broaden their reach beyond their own website. This is a type of fusion marketing, but usually with more partners, less personal contact, and a financial connection that is absent in standard fusion marketing arrangements. Affiliate Marketing and its various elements will be discussed in further detail in the next section of this report. Using affiliates other websites who agree to sell or market their clients offerings in return for a slice of the action, a client merchant can quickly achieve the critical mass of customers it requires. This compared to the traditional means of promotion (advertising, sales promotion, etc.) is not only cost efficient but also effective. "Affiliate programs are one of the most powerful marketing tools available," said Steven Rothberg, CEO and founder of CollegeRecruiter.com. "Basically, it moves advertising from being an expense to being more akin to a cost of goods sold. In other words, rather than paying out a lot of money and hoping that it works, you're only paying out money when you know that it has worked." The market for affiliate marketing has seen significant growth in previous years and is estimated to grow by another 60% to reach £2.16 billion by the end of 2006 . Brands are placing more value on affiliate marketing and are increasing the support they give to affiliates. Affiliate programs have now become an important part of many merchants'...
Links: are.com and performics.com network, while the other one (www.arishas.com) was affiliated with a number of networks. The ranking of web sites in search engines was also evaluated as a result of expanding the network. To do this the placement of these websites for two relevant search queries was observed.
Finally the total website traffic coming directly from affiliate websites was also monitored and analyzed to determine how fluctuations in the amount of website traffic that results from additional networks impact the advertisers ' average cost per visitor.
This rationale behind this research is to establish a cause-and-effect relationship between the number of affiliate networks and the amount of sales leads it generates. It also serves to establish the cost and benefit relationship between the two variables. This research is useful for a variety of stakeholders including merchants (advertisers), affiliates (publishers), and other affiliate network service providers. Although this research is primarily meant for merchants who can increase website traffic through the use of affiliate networks, it is also useful for affiliates as they use affiliate networks to provide one-click application to new merchants, reporting tools, and payment aggregation. Therefore, both the merchant and affiliates can use the findings to decide to what extent they should invest in affiliate marketing networks. It also helps in proper program management which is of great importance for successful execution.
Since not much literature is available on this topic except for a few research papers this paper makes its mark in helping businesses define the strategic value of affiliate marketing networks.
Just like any dissertation this paper has three sections. The first section consists of a literature review in which all concepts related to affiliate marketing, affiliates, affiliate networks and other elements are discussed. This section also comprises of an analysis of Value Bubble Model as proposed in the book E-business Marketing. The next section develops a conceptual framework based on the literature review and the research Premise. The fourth section discusses the data collection techniques and the operational variables in use. The last section of the research paper discusses the empirical findings and these findings are applied to the previously stated research Premise.
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