With days left until the entry deadline on November 12, I'm doing my bit to promote Econsultancy's third annual Innovation Awards.
The awards are aimed at showcasing brands, agencies and tech companies who are doing pioneering work in the digital marketing and Ecommerce space including affiliate marketing!
Innovation in a young industry like affiliate marketing is constant and I'm often amazed at the dynamism that companies – from big to small – are concocting in their labs, warehouses and chic office blocks.
Last year's Econsultancy Innovation Award Winner employed the simple tactic of bringing their affiliate marketing and performance management in-house; and re-evaluating the hastily assembled notions of best-practice within Affiliate Marketing.
That winner was eBay Partner Network which, in 2008 and 2009, developed an intuitive relationship in their commission structure where high and low quality leads rewarded the best affiliates accordingly.
Quality Click Pricing came fore in September 2009 and has – from the inside-out – reshaped traditional affiliate pay structures to factor in in revenue streams beyond that of simply items purchased.
ePN has created a resource infrastructure where affiliates can access a useful library of literature, videos, and performance data on how to improve traffic quality and engage better with customers.
The idea has cottoned on with networks and merchants and is an example of a piece of bullish leadership in a young industry which has reset the terms under which many bloggers, affiliates and publishers play the game.
In ePN's case: winning such an important accolade in the affiliate marketing sector is recognition of what a global powerhouse can do to ensure parity and fairness in a comparatively fledgling industry
But a less-established company that brings a dynamic product or service to the fore can ensure those in the game take notice of the real innovators on the ground.
So who's up for the “Innovation in Affiliate Marketing 2010” award??
Examples of breakthroughs and progress in the industry over the last year that caught my eye as head of a performance-based agency, are naturally pieces of kit that have made my life a lot simpler.
DC Storm for Affiliates allows the affiliate to accurately equate commission generated with money spent on PPC clicks. Data is collected and aggregated automatically and the user journey is tracked, offering the affiliate deep data on their campaign.
The results of FusePump's feed technology are highly impressive and send out a powerful message to retailers operating in the affiliate channel who do not yet appreciate the power a well optimised product feed can have.
The last piece of helpful technology – and a real boon to the manufacturer – that has caught my eye has been Top10.com's Broadband Street Stats map which shows users their locality and which broadband provider is doing the business. It shows the broadband hotspots and demonstrates which providers are strongest and most prominent in a certain area.
Or maybe Prismastar's HTML/Flash widgets for the likes of Argos, the constant developments from multi award winning Skimlinks – with Skimbit & Skimwords
Having the Econsultancy Award for Innovation is a colossal accolade and a tremendous notch on the bedpost for companies, big or small.
It costs £150 / $245 for each entry, with a discount for Econsultancy members.
The entries will also be assessed by an international panel from companies such as BBC, Mercedes-Benz, Dell, Telefonica (O2), Dupont, BT, Net-a-Porter, Mindshare, bigmouthmedia, SMAC, and Newsforce, as well as digital gurus such as Paul Boag, Sam Decker and Ian Jindal.
Thanks and good luck!
Econsultancy Affiliate Marketing Lecturer