Oct 18, 2021

Matt Gilbert, CEO of Partnerize, On The Future of the Partner Marketing Industry

Bethany Cowan

Because more people are relying on the internet to generate revenue, affiliate marketing has become a centerpiece and the broader field of advertising. Recently, we had the opportunity to sit down with Matt Gilbert, the CEO of Partnerize, to learn more about where the affiliate marketing industry has changed, where it is headed in the future, and what some of the biggest obstacles are in this field.

The Changes Taking Place in Affiliate Marketing

Right now, the affiliate marketing industry is going through a long-overdue disruption. A lot of this is being driven by the need for new marketing channels on the client side as well as the need for new revenue channels on the marketing side.'

There are several core things that are rising to the surface. These include:'

  • Fading Legacy Network Model: There are still some areas that are relying on a legacy Network model, but this is largely going to fade into the background during the next few years. Similar to programmatic display, which took a few years to rise to the surface, legacy network models will give way to new opportunities as well.

  • Changing Definition of Partner: The definition of partner has changed as well. In many situations, an affiliate was thought of as a coupon or cash back provider. They were largely tied to the last-click attribution model. Now, the definition of partner is changing. This includes influencers, the growth of a performance PR model, and other non-traditional partners. Brand to brand partnership is growing as well.

  • New Metrics: Finally, there has also been significant growth in the ability to measure a wide variety of metrics related to affiliate marketing. As the industry becomes more objective, it becomes easier to measure.'

Expect to see these core themes continue to drive the growth of the affiliate marketing industry moving forward.'

Addressing the Biggest Obstacles in the Industry

Even though the affiliate marketing industry has changed, there are still several major obstacles. For a long time, the affiliate marketing industry has been isolated. It has not been lumped in with the other marketing categories. For affiliate marketing to be included with some of the bigger marketing channels, it has to open itself up to being measured. When the industry opens up and shares its data with the other channels within an organization's attribution and measurement system of record, it creates more opportunities for growth. In some respects, the industry is still seen as the last click channel. It has to shake this reputation to grow further. The way to do this is to diversify its partner types. Getting new partners active with first-party data has to be a priority. Finally, if the industry commits itself to brand safety and fraud prevention, it will gain more traction in just about every area.

About Matt Gilbert: Matt Gilbert is the CEO of Partnerize. He brings 20 years of marketing leadership to the table and has executed countless market strategies for marketers and investors, including five successful exits across multiple digital marketing channels.