Did you know there were over 4,000 attendees at Affiliate Summit West held at the Rio in Las Vegas earlier this week? This conference which addresses what was once a tiny segment of the marketing world has exploded and grown into a business model every brand should be aware of.
If you're a brand you advertise your products, right? Of course you do. That's a no-brainer. You hand a boatload of money over to an ad agency, they make pretty pictures for you and you hand another boatload over to media outlets to run those pretty pictures. Sound familiar? Of course it does. That's becasue everyone else does it and they've been doing it since marketing was invented.
But what if you could get people to market your products for you? That's the gist of affiliate marketing. You set up a program and develop tools which affiliates can use to help sell your products. Very similar to Amazon book ads on a website, affiliate marketing is a revenue share model. If a product is sold through the efforts of an affiliate, that affiliate gets a cut of the sale and so does the brand.
That's the simple explanation. But, like anything, it gets more involved and expansive when you grow it to a level when millions of dollars are being made through this form of marketing. And that's why there's an entire conference devoted to it.
On Monday night at Affiliate Summit in Las Vegas there were no less than five parties. And one had a live chicken running around but we'll get to that in a minute. While there were many parties the only one worth attending (we hear) was the one we were at (naturally). Epic advertising had an epic party (267 pictures of hotness) in the Hugh Hefner Suite at the Palms which went well into the early morning hours.
The two story suite itself is stunning with a rotating bed, private bathrooms (in which an amazingly beautiful lady requested we shoot her sitting on a toilet), hot tubs, glass elevator, outdoor deck and a pool which hangs 50 stories above Vegas. It was stunning.
But that's not what was epic about the party. Not only were there great people there to connect with, the hotness quotient was off the charts. Granted a fairly high percentage of that hotness was of the hired/imported variety, it didn't detract at all from the business end of the party.
There were playboy bunnies, models, dancers and people who just happened to fall into the beautiful category. While some found the "imported hotness" odd and disconcerting, everyone of these non ad industry people we spoke with were wonderful, fun people out to have a good time just like the rest of us.
On Sunday night at Affiliate Summit West in Las Vegas the Palms was where all the party action was. DoublePlay, AdKnowledge, Karaktr and NeverBlue all had parties. As did Copeac, Under the Stars, and Ads4Dough in other locations.
Of all the parties, the NeverBlue/Sin City party with ppc.bz and Nickycakes was the craziest. But if you're not into the loud, drunken party scene you would have much preferred the Under the Stars party. It was held in the Rio in a meeting room with food, Wii, darts, karaoke and, yes, a bounce house. We ate the pizza and left after a bit to cover all the other parties.