The explosive growth of smartphones has presented a number of perplexing challenges for performance marketers. There is a lack of scalable mobile lead-gen programs. Few brands have a clear definition of their mobile user or a coherent mobile strategy. Advertisers aren't always equipped to manage the mobile traffic channel. And quality is often no better than co-reg. These issues are leading to inefficient mobile lead-gen traffic that further complicates an already messy formula for consistent return on investment in mobile marketing campaigns.
That's the premise of an insightful opinion piece by independent digital business consultant Mary Keane-Dawson in UK marketing trade The Drum. Keane-Dawson's headline-grabbing op-ed unleashes the big, fat performance elephant in the room. Not surprisingly, it drew its fair share of naysayers. The performance marketing industry, particularly the affiliate side, has its share of unscrupulous actors within its ranks. All industries do, but, unfortunately, the performance business seems to have a hard time shaking its "grubby" reputation. That ill-fated label arises from three distinct areas:
Marketers love to create new terms to explain their work. From "brand advocacy" to CPA, CPM, CPE and the myriad of acronyms that fill the digital marketing landscape, we'll turn almost any new business practice into a marketable term. What, then, to call the phenomenon of once beloved - or, at least, begrudgingly tolerated - affiliates being shunned by the very industry that fervently embraced them? As the performance marketing industry matures, and as brands seek more sophisticated and legitimate agencies and affiliates to manage their online marketing campaigns, are we entering a period of "Online Darwinism"?