Three days ago Forrester Research, Inc. has published their “US Affiliate Marketing Forecast, 2009 To 2014” based on based in interviews of “vendor and user companies, including Commission Junction, Intuit, LinkShare, Pepperjam.com, Performance Marketing Alliance, Stateless Systems, ValueClick, and Vertive” [details]. In it Forrester forecasts the affiliate marketing industry to grow from $1.9 billion in 2009 to $4 billion by 2014.
The global recession is reported to have slowed down the growth of the industry in 2009, but affiliate marketing is expected “to return to double-digit growth in 2010,” and grow significantly further in the following years [source].
Here are some of the key projections:
- Growth drivers: (i) better affiliate site content, and (ii) an increasingly transparent dialogue between affiliates and marketers.
- Social media is not expected to be one of the sources of considerable growth. At least not within the next 5 years.
- Search (paid and organic) is expected to remain the key arena for affiliate marketers to utilize.
- Top 3 affiliate marketing spenders will be (i) financial service providers, (ii) retailers, and (iii) online education.
- Direct payments to affiliates will represent the majority of the affiliate marketing spending (57% by 2014), but affiliate networks will also “remain highly relevant”.
For comparison, in June 2008 JupiterResearch (which was acquired by Forrester on July 31 of that same year) forecasted online marketers to spend $2.1 billion on affiliate marketing fees in 2008, with US online affiliate marketing spending reaching $3.3 billion in 2012 (cf: US Online Affiliate Marketing Forecast, 2007-2012).