What Now For Affiliate Marketing?
On the down side, consumer spending has gone through the floor. Travel, retail, entertainment and restaurants have all been hit hard. Many merchants have seen big drop-offs over the last couple of weeks.
The good news? E-commerce is going to bounce back quickly because nobody is going to be heading to a mall anytime soon. Healthcare and supplements have a huge opportunity at a time when everyone wants their immune systems to be as strong as possible. And financial services are going to be desperately needed by the many, many people who have seen their incomes suddenly vanish (as I write this, news comes through that Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin privately warned Republican Senators yesterday that the USA might see 20% unemployment unless drastic measures are taken).
Zooming out a little, the bigger picture is that for major brands, the disruption of this year is likely to force delays in big branding work, instead favoring a tactical shift to performance-oriented marketing. Companies are going to need marketing spend to directly drive revenue increases, so affiliate marketing is very well positioned to take a larger slice of budgets later this year.
Media buying is going to be focused on channels close to the bottom of the sales funnel, with search and some social (like WhatsApp’s commerce angle) looking good however, once again, affiliate marketing should be well placed to take advantage.
Bottom line: as far as business is concerned, this will pass. We are a naturally agile industry. As someone once said, every disaster is somebody’s opportunity.