Week 4: Affiliate Marketing Research
Amazon currently runs an associate’s programme with anyone that wants to join. This scheme is basically an easy way to advertise amazon’s portfolio of products through referrals.
To put referrals in a nutshell, it is a system where if you purchase a featured product through this programme, there will be a commission paid to the person that provides the hyperlink or the exposure to the featured product. This has been used for a while in industries such as the Video Game industry, where if people have signed up for an account through a friend’s referral link, then the said person will receive in-game items or experience bonuses, or even cosmetic products that you would have otherwise have to pay with micro transactions.
Going back to the actual Amazon.co.uk Associates programme, of the bat we can see on the main page that Amazon describes it as a very easy to join and use project, that basically will make you generate revenue by being an ad space for Amazon themselves.
Below we can see the sign up page for the programme, and it specifically asks you what you need to do to benefit from these commissions. Your website activities need to be specified, and the types of Amazon products you will be showcasing as well. You will need to specify your way of monetizing your content and the way you pull traffic to your page or platform.
Amazon advertises that you can earn up to 10% advertising fees through their catalog of retailers and even their amazon original products.
The exact amount you will receive based on the purchases that people make through your affiliate hyperlinks will most likely vary according to your traffic on your website, youtube channel, blog or any other source of attention you attract on the digital space.
They do have a grid that offers the percentages for each sale, but most of the times the categories for certain products can get ambiguous as a very popular Tech Youtuber stated in the past.
LinusTechTips is a tech review and tech showcase media company located in Canada that frequently uses the Amazon Associates Programme in order to receive commissions on the products that they review and showcase in their productions.
On the other Hand Netflix, does not currently have an active affiliate programme anymore. When they were starting up it was an easy way to get advertising going, but my opinion is the ROI just became dry because they aren’t really focused on selling physical products. Some sources say that they still offer some kind of affiliate programme but for high end companies and their contracts are a lot more profitable with those partners as opposed to the day to day blogger or even youtubers. Comparing the current Amazon affiliate programme to the old Netflix one, if I remember correctly it was not very different but instead of commission and cash income, they offered discount codes for the people that referred their friends and different types of offers. Say, whoever signed up through their friend’s code, that said friend would receive a small discount for the next month’s subscription price.
Now switching focus on MoneySuperMarket.com, Comparethemarket.com, and Gocompare.com, these 3 sites offer possibilities to compare and to choose from the very wide variety of products and competitors available on the market. Whilst still in the are of affiliate programmes, all 3 of them offer affiliate programmes whilst MoneySuperMarket is a bit more ambiguous about their affiliate programme, the only things that I was able to research on their affiliate programme was through a third party site that announced they will be doing such a programme. Unsure if it will be available soon or the projects was scrapped all together.
But the way these websites work is that they are all comparison websites that will help you sort out through the choices the market provides, making it clear for the confused customer.
These 3 websites are at their core affiliate marketing programmes for bigger companies, these companies most likely make their revenue by getting commissions from the companies they showcase.
There are 3 ways these website earn revenue in these commission based income:
- Pure CPC (Cost per Click)
This is self explanatory, every time these sellers listings of products or services get clicked on, they will get a couple of cents or bucks.
- Pure CPA (Cost per Action)
This is also referred to as the “affiliate model”. Every time someone purchases something or uses the product, the middle man or the comparison companies receive a commission.
A combination of both, which is usually used by all comparison websites, this is the model that is most likely used for all these examples and combining both CPA and CPC will make them more income, of course, depending on the companies they are showcasing.
In my opinion a lot of these websites can be dodgy because even if they showcase 3–4 choices for broadband, for example, they will more likely be biased towards the companies that pay more per comission.
These comparison websites are not as transparent about their earnings as day to day content creators or people that use affiliate programmes from big firms are.
In conclusion, Amazon and in the past, Netflix, will use their affiliate programme directly with the consumers or content creators, influencers and people that are more likely to connect to the consumer. On the flip side, these comparison websites are not very personal and they may as well work with amazon too, it is not the same and to make a comparison would be comparing products on two different stages of production.
What I mean by this, is that a website like Gocompare.com, may as well partner with Amazon or Netflix in order to offer their services in concurrence with their competition. But Amazon offers referral codes and affiliate programmes to people that may sell them to other potential consumers.
So even though we may be talking about commissions and affiliate programmes, they do not have the same target audience and set of consumers.
Moving on to the comparison of the Thomas Cook Group and Marriot Hotels affiliate programmes they are somewhat complementary products, being part of travel and hospitality.
Starting off with the Marriot Hotels, there are a lot of brands that participate to this affiliate programme, ranging from Marriot and JW Marriot Hotels to Delta Hotels.
All of these are under the same group of hotels and they all benefit from these affiliate programmes.
The way it works for Marriot Affiliate members is, they get a 7 day referral action period, in theory if you send your referral to anyone and they book a vacation or a stay at one of the hotels you will receive a commission. This is how a lot of