Guide Sponsor - Carl Davis, CEO, dgm

Carl Davis, CEO, dgmRecession can bring out the worst in a business. Reactionary cost saving and slashing the marketing budget can have an adverse effect on future growth. But it can also bring out the best, and the benefits of affiliate marketing shine brighter when every penny counts.

A year ago we predicted a flight to CPA (cost per action) and never has the proposition been more relevant. While traditional media struggles to maintain yield and relevance, the affiliate market and networks such as dgm are continuing to innovate and face forward, while continuing to stick to their roots of delivering cost-effective customer acquisition.

Consumers are looking for value and convenience and they're finding it online. As the buying cycle and routes to market become ever more complex, it becomes more important to ensure your marketing investment is working as hard as possible and that you're continually measuring and optimising, to ensure the people influencing that sale are getting rewarded.

Innovation is a key characteristic of the affiliate industry. In the past couple of months dgm has released its AccuTrak technology, our advanced cache-based tracking solution, a Promotions Management System to allow our affiliates to more efficiently manage sales and voucher codes, as well as dgmCompare Broadband, our aggregated postcode checker.

But what's really exciting at the moment is how affiliate marketing can align itself to deliver the advertisers' strategic goals. This is where the affiliate network can really add value to an advertiser's business objectives and contribute beyond pure sales delivery. These partnerships, where the strategic direction and ideas are shared and discussed, are the most fruitful and will continue to be a significant contributor to a business's success in these troubled times.

Innovation, integration and strategic alignment of the affiliate channel shows no sign of abating. The affiliate market is looking forward to the next few years and the continuing success of the CPA model.