eMarketer send some nice informative emails and the one the other day was pretty interesting too. It was a survey of US online marketers to find out what their most and least successful methods of online marketing were for 2006.
Not surprisingly Paid search, email marketing to a self-formed list and SEO were the top three.
I was surprised to see SEO go from 33% to 45% of respondents’ best tactic despite the increased competition between SEO providers and a more restrictive SEO environment.
I've never been a fan of paid email lists, despite buying many thousand pounds worth from sites like Yahoo! and a number of niche providers in the past. For me the niche lists were great, the Yahoo! list less so.
I'm surprised to see "behavioural targeting" up there too, being the fourth. It would be great to full understand what internet marketers in general classed it as.
The worrying aspect was that affiliate marketing was only the best performing tactic for a quarter of respondents which put it 7th in the list. And even worse, it was only 2% behind "banner ads" for the worst form of online marketing.
The only reason I can see for this is that, despite to many of us, affiliate marketing still isn't a hugely mature method when compared to email and banner ads. But what about when you compare it to paid search? Amazon et al were offering affiliate programmes even before Google and Goto.com conceived the PPC model.
My concern is that people like Nick Robertson do have an impact on the industry. People do listen to negative and inaccurate views and then have pre-conceived ideas when they start an affiliate offering.
Despite fora such as A4U and ABestWeb churning out loads of great information, there are idiots on both sides of the fence that try and ridicule and damage the industry at every turn. So I call on every affiliate, merchant, agency and technology provider to be an ambassador for the industry.
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