This year the BLUE BOOK survey attracted 50% more respondents than ever before, making it the largest research survey in the performance marketing industry. Tens of thousands of industry professionals came together to identify the best affiliate and CPA networks in the world. Within these pages you will find 40 of them, as chosen by the advertisers and publishers of the international performance marketing community.
These are networks that have been able to thrive and grow in an environment that is not just competitive but is also increasingly difficult in terms of regulatory enforcement. Evolution in times of change is the mark of a survivor species – all of these networks have shown that they possess the combination of intelligence, responsiveness and resilience to succeed in the longer term. This can only be achieved by good leadership.
The BLUE BOOK rankings themselves have also evolved this year, with more networks than ever dropping out of the rankings or being acquired. This is a sign of the increasing rate of change in the industry and of the drive towards consolidation. There will be fewer networks in future, but they will be bigger and better, and this is a good thing.
We have also modified our ranking algorithm for the CPS rankings in order to reflect the changing state of technology and the growing importance of tracking platform ecosystems. As a result we see the entry of two “non-networks” into the rankings, Performance Horizon Group and Impact Radius. Both are changing the way that affiliate marketing is regarded within enterprise-level boardrooms, and are breaking new ground in terms of technology and marketing sophistication. The ongoing integration of performance marketing into the overall marketing mix so that corporate brand managers can use simple integrated marketing dashboards will be one of the stories of 2014.
SoLoMo, or SoLoMoGlo if you’ve had your morning coffee, is the big driver of our business right now. Social commerce, mobile, video, new payment systems, gaming and apps mean that performance marketing is positioned perfectly. Brands should and must bring performance marketing into their mix if they are to succeed in the years ahead. The networks in these pages are the ones to help them do just that.
This year’s BLUE BOOK survey was bigger than ever, with over 20,000 industry professionals taking the time to give their views. There is no better guide to which networks are really doing the job of serving their advertiser and publisher partners. Look for our ad:tech edition in April for more detail on these results, and see overleaf for our new look Blue Ribbon Panel of performance marketing
The BLUE BOOK Top CPS and CPA networks: the best networks in the world.
The BLUE BOOK Top 20 is not a simple list of the biggest networks. Instead, it takes into account reputation, influence, clientele, popularity and scale. Publishers and advertisers are self-identified and are provided with different questionnaires depending on whether they primarily run CPS campaigns or CPA/CPL. In addition to the main survey, we also accept input from the Blue Ribbon Panel of industry experts as well as our own research and aggregation of traffic data, measures of industry influence and as many other pieces of information as we can gather.