The Affiliate Brand Abuse Explosion in the SEM Channel: A Case Study of Abuse

Affiliate marketing is exploding and continues to, when used correctly, represent one of the most cost-effective, performance-based marketing strategies available.

In 2009, Forrester forecast that the affiliate marketing industry would grow to $4 billion by 2014 – a doubling of spend in just five years from $1.9 billion in 2009. Meanwhile, SEM spend in 2011 is expected to reach $19.8 billion.*

Along with this rapid acceleration in spend has come an increasingly dangerous environment for brands that are at a greater risk than ever before of having their SEM brand campaigns hijacked, their brand equity diluted, and of falsely paying out valuable advertising dollars.

The potential dollar losses are significant. The good news is that as hijacking techniques become more and more sophisticated and prevalent, so do the tracking techniques, technologies, and strategies for locking out what is becoming chronic brand abuse.

This case study uses the experience of a typical advertiser to demonstrate not only the perils of brand abuse in the affiliate channel, but also how it can be detected and prevented. It also provides some key best practices to help advertisers prepare and to “lock down” their brands.

Sponsored by Atrinsic Interactive
Atrinsic Interactive, a division of Atrinsic, Inc., is a full service agency and affiliate network ranked by Advertising Age as one of the top 10 Search Marketing Agencies for 2010.Offering clients a cross-platform approach, Atrinsic Interactive is dedicated to delivering customers to its clients in the most cost-efficient manner possible by bridging the gap between search and other online marketing channels. Atrinsic Interactive helps advertisers drive leads, acquire customers and build brands through an integrated suite of customer marketing solutions and technology, including SEM/SEO services, business intelligence, social media, the Atrinsic Affiliate Network, display advertising, email marketing, mobile marketing, creative services, and its proprietary brand protection technology, Brandlock.

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