In recent blog post entitled “The Future of Affiliate Marketing” Frank Watson made an interesting proposal, which essentially means automatizing the optimization of both affiliate ads, and merchant’s landing pages. The suggested process would mirror “a lot of the work being done by successful affiliates already”, but would need both affiliate and merchant involvement. Here’s a direct quote from his post:
What I’m suggesting is an affiliate aggregator that goes beyond the collecting of programs for sites to sell and passes the burden of analysis to the publishers. “¦a program that can rotate offers through a publisher’s site and determine the best conversion could create a definite improvement.
Then add the same thing on the vendors end — optimizing their offers and creatives to the various publishers — and the affiliate industry could be a major force for profits on the Web again.
[This would require] a middleman who wants to get seriously involved with both sides of the equation — a “Super Aggregator” if you will.
For maximum effectiveness, the aggregator would need to have the ability of AdSense to intuit the message on the publishers pages and combine the source of the traffic (search terms would impact on conversion as well as the message that brought them). They would also work with the vendors to find the best fit for their various offers, or work with them to develop better ones.
What do you think? Would you use a Super Aggregator if one existed? The pros are apparent. Are there any cons?
The main thing that comes to my mind is the question of trust (and the so-frequently-abused phrase “trusted third party”), especially when it comes to the affiliate viewpoint. Would affiliates fully trust such a mediator if one existed? Would they be willing to give it a try?