My #1 Marketing Prediction For The Future

It's always been my goal to be a level 5 marketer. I chase strategy like a hunt that never quits. The trends, the algorithms, the consumer. These are my books. This is my school.

Personally, I've found the only way to keep up is to actually do it, not just learn to do it. Even then, it's hard to stay in front. I often feel like I'm attending Harvard and trying to keep up with the top 1%.

The Shift I'm Noticing

Over the next few years, we will see online marketing outsourced and crowdsourced to affiliates. Gone are the days of companies hiring a team of brilliant, degreed, experienced marketers at high salaries.

Rather, we will see companies hire affiliate marketing managers, affiliate marketing talent scouts, and affiliate marketing program developers.

But Why?

I spent the last few years putting together one the strongest social media marketing teams in the world. And when I talk about being the best, I mean it. My company Sevenly was actually named the Most Social Media Driven Company in America earlier this year by Mashable.

But we just couldn't scale that fast. Our strategy was only as big as our team.

I began noticing companies who were younger, smaller, and had less capital begin to fly past us at light speed. But how? What were they doing?

And then it hit me. Aggregated affiliate marketing.

I know what you're thinking… “Sure, every e-commerce company has an affiliate program.” Yes, most do. But not on the steroids that I'm talking about.

I watched small companies like Bluehost.com and TeeSpring.com increase revenue by the tens of millions this year alone, because they broke the code. They don't just have an “affiliate marketing program”… that's all they have.

These companies have literally tens of thousands of sales shattering, bad ass, level 5 internet marketers hustling for them every single day.

And some of these affiliates are serious players making $10-20,000 per week off product they don't own for companies they don't even work for!


The goal is not to acquire the world's greatest marketing talent or to even create the best social media or marketing strategy. The goal is to develop the most enticing affiliate program and acquire hundreds if not thousands of level 5 affiliates who simultaneously create strategies and campaigns you could never afford on your own.

Do you have an affiliate program for your business? Is your program attractive enough to draw the world's greatest marketers? What are your questions? Let me know in the comments below.

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18 Responses

  1. I’m studying for my real estate license right now. Do you think affiliate marketing could work for my real estate business?

    1. Hmmm. I’m not sure. But I’ll tell you this, someone is going to figure out how to make that work. Will it be you?

    2. Hi, I’ve already heard of a company that is doing this. Individuals feed agents local leads they might be interested in (depending on what their client is looking for) – and if the house you suggested closes you get a commission. I heard about it on the radio and then my friend in real estate mentioned that he’s seen it work in Ohio already.
      I’m sorry i don’t remember the name but it might be worth asking around about.

  2. Seriously, Dale? You have SUCH a bloated ego – I couldn’t even get past your opening paragraph without being disgusted. If you want people to take you seriously, a little humility would serve you well.

  3. Dale, thank you for sharing! It takes a true businessman/leader to recognize a paradigm shift especially when they are at the top. This makes sense as more and more aspects of business are moving towards affiliates or as I like to say subcontractors. It is economical and competitive.

  4. Hi Dale,

    What’s better, to be the business utilizing level 5 Affiliates, or to be the level 5 Affiliate?

    What are a few key steps to becoming a strong marketing Affiliate?

    Thanks in advance,


  5. Dale, good stuff, it makes sense that things would move that direction. Thanks for the great article! I’m 15 years in a successful brick & mortar biz, just launching my first online product (training program). I was just talking with my team today about looking for affiliates! So, my question is what makes an affiliate program attractive?

    1. Hey Hilary, Affiliates are looking for good design, UI & UX, customer support and most importantly a good payout. I would say 25-50% of the product price.

  6. This is insane. I see how much Pat Flynn does in affiliate commissions. And I’ve read about others. I wish I could just sit next to them for an entire day – they don’t have to say a word, just let me watch their genius!

  7. I dream of having affiliate numbers like theres. You are correct when no one seems to be hiring marketing people for decent amount of money. I am a soon to be college grad who when to school for Internet Marketing and I get nervous everyday that I am not going to find a job to pay the bills. Which is why I have started to try out doing affiliate marketing on my own. I am actually an affiliate of Sevenly along with a few other companies that I enjoy. No where near these fellow marketers numbers or yours, but with my first month out reaching $200. I will take it and hope to grow from there. Excited for your class in October too.

  8. Do you think that just starting out, the best way to attract affiliates is by your numbers? Focusing in on getting a moderate following and then branching out from there?

  9. I’m not sure about the entire industry, but at large corporations (I.e. Facebook, Google, Pinterest, etc.) there is still a strong desire to have in-house teams with huge talent and experience.

    But some things do jive with what you’ve outlined above; degrees are less important (it’s about your work), it’s vital you have multidisciplinary chops (design + film, copy + design, etc), and smaller outside creative teams are sought out to support in-house initiatives.

    I still think there is a place for bad-ass teams stacked with talent to move that needle.

  10. In my opinion, when dealing with a smaller more concentrated market, there is still a good chance for a small team of motivated marketers to make it. Now when talking the big boys playing field (national and global markets) theres no doubt that affiliate programs have proven to be the most effective way at gaining and converting leads. Great viewpoint of the industry, time to jump on the bandwagon (more like a lightrail probably)

  11. Something just made me think how I can create an affiliate programme to market business Digital Marketing agency in London. Great ideas Dale, thanks for sharing.

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