Sales & Marketing

Half of affiliate marketers are self-taught

3 min read

06 August 2014

Optimus Performance Marketing research has revealed that more than half of professional affiliate marketers are self-taught in the practices of the industry.

Almost three quarters of respondents admitted that there is a greater need for awareness of affiliate marketing in schools, colleges and university in order to teach the next generation of affiliate marketers. 

After noticing an increased lack of knowledge and understanding amongst those working in the marketing sector when it came to affiliate practice and activity, Optimus Performance Marketing decided to investigate further. And the ages of those taking part in the study ranges from 21-60, with the average participant stating that they had worked in or around the area of affiliate/performance marketing for 3.8 years.

Respondents were initially asked if they’d had any official training prior to securing their job role working in affiliate marketing; either at school, college or university or as part of a work-based training program. A total of 47 per cent of individuals confessed they had, with the remaining affiliate marketers stating they had self-taught knowledge prior to beginning their jobs. 

Of this 47 per cent, around a third admitted that, prior to working in the affiliate industry professionally, they had successfully implemented affiliate marketing techniques into their personal blogs or websites. 

Next, relevant individuals were asked to list the ways in which they successfully managed to teach themselves the basic knowledge of affiliate marketing, with the most popular answers revealed as follows: 

  1. Internet tutorials (42 per cent)
  2. E-books (28 per cent)
  3. Blogs (19 per cent)
  4. Video tutorials (eight per cent)
  5. Books (four per cent) 

Respondents were then asked their opinions on how they feel the next generation of affiliate marketers are being prepared in terms of education on the practice in schools, colleges and universities. A shocking 73 per cent of those questioned stated that they felt as though more needs to be done with regards to IT lessons and college/university courses dedicating modules to the basics of affiliate marketing in order to inspire a new generation.

Mark Russell, managing director at Optimus Performance Marketing, said: “When you work in a relatively new and ever-evolving industry, such as affiliate or performance marketing, it can be very easy to forget that the majority of people who don’t work directly within the industry are still extremely unsure about what it is we do. This doesn’t bode particularly well for those working in the industry when trying to scout the next generation of marketers for recruitment.”

Related: Everything you need to know about affiliate marketing