Affiliate Summit, one of the largest gatherings of affiliate marketers, releases a yearly report on the status of affiliate marketing. Within these reports, over 1,400 affiliates are surveyed about their methods, preferences, and strategies.

As of this time, the 2012 edition of the AffStat report has been released and we’re taking a look at the numbers compared to last year.

Affiliates: In the Numbers

Questions and data collected for the two reports covered vastly different topics but there were quite a few overlapping items which reveal a trend between the previous year and 2012.

Demographics

  • 34% Female, 66% Male [2012]
  • 42% Single, 58% Married [2011] vs. 30.2% Single, 57.3% Married, 12.5% Other [2012]
  • Children: 39% No, 61% Yes [2012] vs. 39.2% No, 60.8% Yes [2012]

Work from Home

  • 20% Sometimes, 8% No, 72% Yes [2011]
  • 18.2% Both, 26.1% Commute, 55.7% Yes [2012]

Perhaps it’s the harsh economy or many individuals taking their marketing seriously but the difference in 2011 and 2012 shows that many individuals operate, in some form or another, increasingly within an office space and cut back on working from home.

Age Range

2011

  • 18 and Under: 1%
  • 19 – 25: 8%
  • 26 – 35: 21%
  • 36 – 45: 25%
  • 46 – 55: 20%
  • 56 – 60: 13%
  • 61+: 12%

2012

  • Under 21: 1%
  • 22 – 25: 5.1%
  • 26 – 30: 22.6%
  • 31 – 40: 26.5%
  • 41 – 50: 22.4%
  • 51 – 60: 16.3%
  • 61+: 6.1%

Though the age brackets have gone through an overhaul, it’s apparent that affiliate marketing is still most popular between the ages of 30 and 55. Young and 61+ individuals have seen a slight drop off meaning individuals aren’t entering affiliate marketing, some have left or retired, while others have continued to pursue their work.

Choosing an Offer/Merchant

2011

  • Other: 3%
  • Network: 5%
  • Relevance: 6%
  • Reputation: 7%
  • EPC: 8%
  • Affiliate Management: 15%
  • Payout Amount: 22%
  • Brand Awareness: 34%

2012

  • Other: 2%
  • Optimized Landing Pages: 2%
  • EPC: 3%
  • Payout-Terms & Methods: 5%
  • Cookie Duration: 6%
  • Marketing T&C: 7%
  • Tracking Platform: 9%
  • Reputation: 9%
  • Brand Awareness: 10%
  • Relevancy: 11%
  • Reputation: 13%
  • Commission: 19%

A particular set of stats which show a drastic change is brand awareness, payout, and reputation. From the looks of things, marketers in 2012 are far more in-tune with tracking their performance than the previous year and often place greater value on management than payout.

In comparison between 2011 and 2012, most individuals seeking affiliate programs have shown a slight shift from using directories and affiliate managers toward search engines, competitor research, and information on a merchant’s website.

Affiliates: On the Issues

The annual reports give a great glimpse into the concerns, tips, and feedback from affiliates attending the affiliate summit conference.

Some of the major discussion items included:

  • Marketers have begun widely using social media to research the competition on a personal level instead of a broad, business level.
  • Email is still the most highly used form of contact but phone calls and instant messaging is on the rise due to the aid of creating personal relationships.
  • ShareASale and CommissionJunction are two of the most widely used affiliate networks.
  • Due to state legislation, almost 24% of affiliates have been removed from one or more programs.
  • Roughly half of affiliates in attendance earn less than $10,000 through their efforts annually, 6.3% hit $25,000 – $49,999, 7.6% in $50,000 – $99,999, 10.1% in $100,000 to $199,999, and afterward it drops significantly.
  • The majority of individuals promote between 1 – 10 affiliate programs.
  • In 2012, 62.5% of promoted products were consumer-related, 3.4% business-related, and 34.1% of merchants mentioned they promote both.

All-in-all, those attending the summit reveal that many individuals are either just entering “the game” or have begun to settle into a respectable income. The most revealing item is the importance placed on management and tracking.

Take a look at the two reports and see what you may discern from the information which may aid your affiliate marketing business.