Two Thirds of Business Owners Don’t Know What Affiliate Marketing Is

Optimus Performance Marketing (OPM), the largest affiliate marketing company in Europe, has carried out a study looking into UK business owners’ understanding, opinions and perceptions of affiliate marketing. OPM undertook the research in order to highlight the ever-changing marketplace and discover how many businesses may or may not be aware of the range of performance based solutions for their commercial needs.

The research polled 516 small to medium sized business owners from around the UK. 41 per cent of those asked used online advertising of some description to promote their company and 88 per cent of those taking part currently ran e-commerce businesses with transactional websites.

Despite this high percentage of respondents with e-commerce businesses, when all those taking part were asked what their knowledge of affiliate marketing was, just 34 per cent of respondents could offer an accurate description, suggesting many may have misconceptions on what affiliate marketing is and how it can help drive sales. However, 72 per cent of these business owners admitted they felt as though they should actively try and invest more time in learning about affiliate marketing.

When asked if they’d ever considered launching their own affiliate marketing programme for their business, 26 per cent said they already had one in place and 31 per cent said they would consider launching affiliate activity.

Anyone that didn’t have an affiliate marketing programme in place currently was asked why, to which the main reason stated was ‘don’t feel I know enough about it’, with 44 per cent of the vote. Anyone with an affiliate marketing programme already in place, or who was considering launching one, was asked if this was in-house or via an external agency. The majority, 51 per cent said ‘external agency’.

Put very simply, affiliate marketing is a way for a business to make money online in which online publishers are rewarded for promoting a particular product, service or site. This effectively means, regardless of size, that there are affiliate opportunities for each business looking to increase its impact in a chosen market.

Mark Russell, Managing Director at Optimus Performance Marketing, said the following about the results of the findings:

“The team here at Optimus wanted to carry out this study in order to evaluate the current level of general awareness of affiliate marketing in the UK. The results are rather similar to what we expected amongst small to medium business owners, with a lack of knowledge apparent. It’s a shame that so many don’t realise the potential benefits of affiliate marketing, especially seeing as though so many of these business owners had an ecommerce element to their company and a transactional website!”