It was announced recently that Google will be bringing their affiliate network to the UK. Google bring with them 12 years of experience in the affiliate marketing space (they are the 2nd major network in the US) as well as very strong brand identity.
So, what can they offer in an industry that has matured and developed over the past few years? The likes of Affiliate Window, Tradedoubler and OMG currently dominate the market each with their own particular strengths and unique offerings.
A major USP for Google’s affiliate network is the integration with the other products that make up Google’s portfolio – namely the Merchant Centre, Doubleclick, Ad Planner and Adsense.
- Existing Merchant Centre product feeds can be synched with the network meaning merchants don’t need to set up a separate feed for affiliates to use
- Using Doubleclick to adserve the affiliate creative takes out the need to use separate network tracking
- Profiles of affiliates will be available via the Doubleclick Ad Planner allowing merchants to easily find and view stats on different affiliates
- Integrating Adsense with the affiliate network gives merchants access to incremental affiliate distribution. Any publisher using Adsense can opt to earn revenue through the affiliate channel rather than on CPC or CPM basis.
The initial commercials offered by Google (for a limited period) will also be attractive to many. Fees and monthly minimum spends are being waived and a competitive override could sway merchants and agencies to use Google’s network. There are also likely to be incentives based on commission earned which could be beneficial to merchants and agencies.
Getting merchants to transfer over their entire programmes may prove difficult to do however I see a place for Google to act as a secondary network. The experiences merchants/agencies have with the network and any financial benefit could then sway merchants to migrate over.