To create an effective DMP, a business first needs to review the marketplace and set 'SMART' (Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Relevant and Time-Bound) objectives.[61] They can set SMART objectives by reviewing the current benchmarks and key performance indicators (KPIs) of the company and competitors. It is pertinent that the analytics used for the KPIs be customised to the type, objectives, mission and vision of the company.[62][63]
Since the emergence of affiliate marketing, there has been little control over affiliate activity. Unscrupulous affiliates have used spam, false advertising, forced clicks (to get tracking cookies set on users' computers), adware, and other methods to drive traffic to their sponsors. Although many affiliate programs have terms of service that contain rules against spam, this marketing method has historically proven to attract abuse from spammers.
An important step is to get out and talk to prospective publishers and business partners. Do they participate in affiliate programs already? What has the yield been in terms of performance? What are the typical revshares that ad networks are taking? What are typical conversion rates? What would be the incentive for publishers and business partners to promote your products and services?
If your customers transact with you on a weekly or monthly basis, then it makes sense to incentivize referrals with account credits or discounts towards future purchases. However, if your customers purchase from you less than a few times per year, that reward won’t carry the same weight. In fact, it might send signals that you don’t really understand your customers.
Your employees are your greatest ambassadors. If they are endorsing your product it shows that the company is taking good care of them and they have good faith in the product too. Many companies provide incentives to employees for promoting their products. In banks, clerical staffs are given monetary incentives to promote some saving schemes or mutual funds. The best performers among them may be periodically recognized by giving a gold coin on a monthly or quarterly basis.
As referral marketing continues to be a key driver for acquiring new customers, brands are looking for more ways to incentivize existing customers to invite their friends. While traditional online referral marketing programs continue to be fruitful, brands are starting to think outside the box to develop new ways to prompt their customers to refer friends.
Some commentators originally suggested that affiliate links work best in the context of the information contained within the website itself. For instance, if a website contains information pertaining to publishing a website, an affiliate link leading to a merchant's internet service provider (ISP) within that website's content would be appropriate. If a website contains information pertaining to sports, an affiliate link leading to a sporting goods website may work well within the context of the articles and information about sports. The goal, in this case, is to publish quality information on the website and provide context-oriented links to related merchant's websites.

In February 2000, Amazon announced that it had been granted a patent[18] on components of an affiliate program. The patent application was submitted in June 1997, which predates most affiliate programs, but not PC Flowers & Gifts.com (October 1994), AutoWeb.com (October 1995), Kbkids.com/BrainPlay.com (January 1996), EPage (April 1996), and several others.[13]
^ Semenov, Alexander; Alexander Nikolaev; Alexander Veremyev; Vladimir Boginski; Eduardo Pasiliao (2016). Analysis of Viral Advertisement Re-Posting Activity in Social Media. Computational Social Networks. CSoNet 2016. Lecture Notes in Computer Science, Vol 9795. Lecture Notes in Computer Science. 9795. pp. 123–134. doi:10.1007/978-3-319-42345-6_11. ISBN 978-3-319-42344-9.
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