Expanding Affiliate Program Internationally: 3 Markets to Consider

Continuing the series of my Google Affiliate Network Client Summit 2012 videos [video 1 in this post | video 2 here], today I’d like to bring you a video I shot in the heart of stunning St. Petersburg, Russia.

Google asked me to express my thoughts on “affiliate marketing around the globe” — particularly, what I think about the expansion of the affiliate business into markets beyond the United States.

My reply will surprise some (after all, being Russian am I not expected to stand for Russia first and foremost here? I do, but as expressed here to a reasonable degree), but here it is:

While we should be monitoring what’s happening in the online economies of the 4 BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China), the top three countries to consider are not among these. When looking to expand beyond the USA, look at (1) the United Kingdom, (2) Germany, and (3) France — in this order. Localize your creatives, landing pages, and partner with local agencies to help you recruit the right affiliates, and provide program support in respective languages.

By the way, with localization into German and French you will not only cover Germany and France, but become open to Austria,  Switzerland, French-speaking Canada, and Belgium.

4 thoughts on “Expanding Affiliate Program Internationally: 3 Markets to Consider”

  1. It’s interesting that you mention BRIC countries, over the past 2-3 years, India has seen a major e-commerce boom, all of a sudden everybody and their mother is buying online, a total of $600 Million was invested by VCs in to e-commerce companies. The interesting thing is, Affiliate marketing hasn’t even taken it’s first steps here yet. There are no local affilate networks, the bigger players are opening up programs on CJ. China is already a very mature e-commerce market, and I am sure Russia and Brasil can’t be too far behind either.

    1. Yes, Pranav, all four of these must be monitored, but, taking into account regional peculiarities (e.g.: restrictedness of the Chinese market, high reversals and low trust in electronic payments in Russia, etc), I wouldn’t recommend merchants with established affiliate program to enter any of the BRIC markets without thorough guidance by skilled (and trusted) professionals… Having said this, I believe there is a lot of potential in all four of BRIC ecommerce markets. And since I already have an idea re India, let me email you right after posting this comment… As always, thank you for chiming in with your thoughts.

  2. There have been a number of India based Affiliate Networks over the past 4-5 years, how ever they have all floundered and died, generally due to focusing on pushing Affiliate Marketing as a CPM system. Even the present networks really don’t seem to get what affiliate marketing is, don’t respond to attempts to contact them and generally seem happy to wallow in a field of miss education and poor affiliate offers. That said, a number of in house programs had done a great job of growing the affiliate marketing business. Though when I last checked even two of these had died off.

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