Affiliate marketing overlaps with other Internet marketing methods to some degree, because affiliates often use regular advertising methods.
Those methods include organic search engine optimization (SEO), paid search engine marketing (PPC – Pay Per Click), e-mail marketing, content marketing, and (in some sense) display advertising.
The two forms of marketing are differentiated, however, in how they drive sales, where affiliate marketing relies purely on financial motivations, while referral marketing relies more on trust and personal relationships.
Still, affiliates continue to play a significant role in e-retailers' marketing strategies.
The concept of revenue sharing—paying commission for referred business—predates affiliate marketing and the Internet.
Also several of the affiliate solution providers expect to see increased interest from business-to-business marketers and advertisers in using affiliate marketing as part of their mix.
Websites and services based on Web 2.0 concepts—blogging and interactive online communities, for example—have impacted the affiliate marketing world as well.
Emerging black sheep are detected and made known to the affiliate marketing community with much greater speed and efficiency.