Affiliate and partner marketing industries get new voice

The Affiliate and Partner Marketing Association (The APMA) has launched in the UK, ushering in a new chapter for the industry as it looks to cement itself at the heart of advertisers’ digital marketing budgets.

Initially supported by around 30 companies drawn from across the industry, The APMA has a mission to raise the profile of the channels while striving for excellence and best practice.

Veteran affiliate marketer, Kevin Edwards, is the founder and director.

The APMA will shortly publish a roadmap for 2024 with projects covering tracking, payment, research and training expected to be delivered. The newly formed organisation intends to tackle as many areas as possible, with an additional focus on standards and best practice. The APMA also wants to foster relationships with regulators and other trade bodies to help them shape policy and attitudes to the channels.

A channel growing by 30%

The latest Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB) data, released in April 2023, shows the affiliate industry grew by 30% in 2022. Eight companies submitting their revenue numbers, totalling £1.4bn in fees and commissions. With an average return on investment of around £14 for every pound spent, that equates to more than £20bn in sales revenue for brands who run affiliate campaigns in this country.

Edwards, who first started working in affiliate marketing in 2001, subsequently worked for affiliate networks dgm and latterly Awin where he had a variety of roles including leading compliance, data, marketing automation, product marketing and publisher teams during his tenure. He was twice Chair of the IAB’s Affiliate Marketing Council where he was responsible for launching a code of conduct for publishers offering downloadable software and toolbars.

He will be supported by Jenna Goodchild-Pain who joins as Head of Memberships. She has previously handled multi-million pound affliate accounts agency side at Ogilvy and then client-side at Sky and NOW TV.

Supporting all areas of the industry

Having exited Awin in February 2023, Edwards approached more than 100 affiliate marketers to gauge their appetite for a new trade body and secured funds from 18 paying, founding members. Supported by another ten companies on lower membership tiers and others providing anciliary services in areas such as tracking and compliance, The APMA has a goal to support all segments of the industry.

Edwards commented, “the launch of The APMA puts a line in the sand. It is time the industry stepped up and shouted about why it’s such a brilliant place for companies of all shapes and sizes to invest. The APMA will help demystify the channel and ensure it’s front of brands’ minds when their deciding their annual budgets. It will also champion the diversity of the industry which will help to turn it from a nuts and bolts to a hearts and minds channel”.