A few days ago I posted an article originally titled "Performance Marketing is NOT Affiliate Marketing", however it caused some confusion as to my position on particular things so I changed it to Performance Marketing vs Affiliate Marketing. The main point of my post was to demonstrate that in affiliate marketing, in this case from a merchant perspective (since most of my readers are advertisers), there needs to be some actual performance and effort attributed to sales. In reality, this goes for any type of affiliate or merchant partner.
From the affiliate side, this is equivalent to signing up and promoting a program that doesn't convert. In this case, there is no performance from the merchant side. That was the point of that post. However, upon receiving some good constructive feedback as to how the title and exclusion of some additional points might contribute to an already confusing topic (and I'm always open to positive constructive feedback), I wanted to share a few more points and insights that might shed some light on this subject.
Here are a few more thoughts on the subject:
1. Performance Marketing as a term can encompass many different channels in the digital marketing space. Technically, any marketing program that produces a return that is higher than the return it was receiving before is performance marketing, because it's performing.
2. Affiliates, merchants, networks, agencies and anyone within the affiliate marketing space call themselves by a variety of names. A post by Missy Ward from a couple of years ago explains these terms and differences well.
3. Todd Crawford, owner of Impact Radius comments "I feel the terms “performance advertising, advertiser and media partner” are better terms for the currently used “affiliate marketing, merchant, affiliate/publisher” if the intention is to move the industry in a direction that aligns it more closely with other advertising like display, search, email, tv, radio, direct mail, print, etc." I think this comment aligns with the point of my previous post because it shows affiliates and merchants alike needing to perform to provide value to their partners.
4. There will likely still be confusion over the next few years about the term "Performance Marketing" because it can encompass so many things, be part of so many channels and support so many people's individual views. However it's a term that stands strong in the affiliate marketing space because it is "performance" driven.
Regardless of whether we want to term the phrase "performance marketing", "partnership marketing", "affiliate marketing" or "associate marketing", in this case, a level of effort and performance to drive incremental value, to me, still stands.