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AFFILIATE MARKETING SKYROCKETS AS RETAILERS SEEK ALTERNATIVE GROWTH CHANNELS IN THE NEW ECONOMY

Top Retailers Share Strategies for Web-Based Affiliate Marketing Success at IIR’s 1st Annual Performance Marketing Expo September 27-29 in Miami Beach, FL

Miami Beach, FL (August 4, 2010) – With most marketing channels under-performing in the ‘great recession,’ online merchants and retailers are increasingly betting on affiliate marketing programs to shore up sagging sales and get more bang for their marketing buck – and the results are getting noticed.

While the affiliate marketing space is relatively new to many retailers, the concept is anything but new. And it’s heating up fast. Forrester Research projects affiliate marketing will achieve double-digit growth in 2010, to become a $4 billion market by 2014.

Affiliate marketing – also called performance-based or online referral marketing – drives traffic and sales for online retailers by matching consumers with products and services that may fit their interests through a network of bloggers, social media communities and forums, partner websites and online publishers (“affiliates”), who then receive a commission for making the connection.

Rich Scotti, program affiliate manager for Frederick, MD-based 123Print.com, credits affiliate marketing with helping his company become one of the web’s fastest-growing resources for custom-printed business cards and other professional stationary. “Getting into affiliate marketing – especially getting your offers published on deal and coupon sites – is a slam-dunk. At 123Print.com we’ve seen the traffic and revenue from our affiliate marketing programs grow by over 300% since last year,” he said.

According to Scotti, cash-strapped consumers and business-side customers are aggressively looking to cut costs; these comparison shoppers consult the Internet first. Along the way, they are discovering deal and coupon sites, most of which belong to affiliate publishers.

Rob Gough, who heads the affiliate marketing program for Finish Line (Indianapolis, IN), has likewise seen an impressive return: in just two years the billion-dollar shoe retailer’s affiliate business has grown more than 500%, making it their largest paid marketing program. “Our affiliate business is a revenue engine that has continuously accelerated throughout the recession,” said Gough. “Part of our success lies in our ability to evolve in step with our customers’ lifestyles, and our cross-channel strategy reflects this. Affiliate marketing has played a critical role in that strategy.”

Scotti noted the increasing popularity of affiliate marketing is not simply a product of tough economic times; it also reflects retailers’ ongoing desire to explore alternatives to traditional marketing channels and tactics. “Although affiliate marketing has been around quite a while as a direct sales channel, it’s still a wide-open frontier for new customer acquisition for online marketers,” he said.

“With so much competition and noise in other online advertising channels, it’s hard to ignore any space where you can put your name in front of people who could become your customers. That was one of our initial goals at 123Print.com and it has worked well; about 60% of the sales we get through our affiliates are new customers,” said Scotti.

As the buzz about affiliate marketing spreads, more and more retailers are looking for information and ideas to help launch their own affiliate programs.

To meet this need, Scotti, Gough, and affiliate marketing managers from a variety of other top retailers that have successfully deployed such programs will share their learnings alongside many of the world’s leading affiliates and performance marketing agencies at the 1st annual Performance Marketing Expo September 27-29, 2010 in Miami Beach, FL.

Organized by the Institute for International Research (IIR) – the world’s foremost provider of action-oriented trade conferences for business professionals – the Performance Marketing Expo boasts a one-of-a-kind program that combines in-depth, practical learning with facilitated networking to create new business opportunities for retailers, merchants, affiliates and network providers.

For more information, please visit Performance Marketing Expo 2010
www.performancemarketingexpo.com

Contact: Roger Jarman
646-895-7307
rjarman@iirusa.com

IIR Conferences, Annual, Large Scale, and Guru Events feature the most sought-after experts in Customer Service, Finance & Investment, Health Care, Management, Manufacturing, Marketing & New Product Development, Pharmaceuticals, and Telecommunications. With every IIR event you attend you will find access to winning ideas and proven strategies, each capable of taking your business to new levels of success.

Institute for International Research
708 Third Avenue - 4th Floor
New York, NY 10017

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