Affiliate Marketing in the B2B Space: Tips and Insights – with Dustin Howes

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Dustin Howes joins the Brands and Brews Marketing Podcast to discuss affiliate marketing. He explains that affiliate marketing is a partnership between a publisher and a merchant, where the publisher promotes the merchant’s products or services and receives a commission for any resulting sales. Dustin emphasizes the importance of having a well-defined strategy and hiring an affiliate manager to ensure the success of an affiliate program. He also highlights the growing role of affiliate marketing in the B2B space, particularly in the SaaS industry.

Dustin offers a course and free consultations for those interested in affiliate marketing. 


Episode Key Takeaways:

  • Affiliate marketing is a partnership between a publisher and a merchant, where the publisher promotes the merchant’s products and receives a commission for sales.
  • Hiring an affiliate manager or working with an agency can greatly improve the success of an affiliate program.
  • Affiliate marketing is expanding in the B2B space, particularly in the SaaS industry.


0:00:00Introduction to the podcast and discussion about the beer.
0:02:55Discussion about Bud Light’s marketing disaster.
0:08:43Introduction to affiliate marketing and its importance in marketing.
0:09:51Definition of affiliate marketing and its relationship between publishers and merchants.
0:11:50Explanation of how influencer marketing can be a type of affiliate marketing.
0:13:07Suggestion for working with influencers by using vanity coupon codes.
0:13:43Affiliate marketing with skin in the game for closing sales.
0:14:25Types of affiliate marketing: coupon sites, content marketers, etc.
0:18:31Affiliate marketing in the B2B space is in its infancy.
0:19:31B2B publications and digital media buyers are effective affiliates.
0:24:13Starting an affiliate program: get a strategy and affiliate manager. and for affiliate marketing resources.
0:28:14Free 15 minute calls for help with affiliate marketing.
0:28:42Dustin’s podcast, Affiliate Nerd Out, for learning about affiliate marketing.
0:30:33Importance of getting help in affiliate marketing.
0:31:35Affiliate marketing is always evolving and constantly changing.
0:32:44Partnership marketing will always be relevant, unlike AI.
0:33:30Every industry changes and evolves over time.
0:33:53Dustin and Jesse talk about their favorite sports teams.
Dustin Circle

Dustin Howes


Dustin Howes is a partnership nerd spreading the good word about performance marketing. He is the chief coach at where he helps businesses grow and scale their affiliate programs with online video training, group coaching, and a community of affiliate managers helping each other succeed.

Summary by host Jesse McFarland:

Welcome to the Brands and Brews Marketing podcast, where we delve into the world of marketing while enjoying a cold beer. In today’s episode, we have Dustin Howes, a coaching affiliate marketer and consultant, joining us to discuss the fascinating realm of affiliate marketing. But before we dive into the topic, let’s start with our usual tradition of discussing the beer we’re enjoying.

I have chosen a Juicy Drop, a hazy IPA from Breckenridge Brewery in Colorado. Despite a small mishap of dropping it on my way down the stairs, it survived intact. The reason I selected this beer is because it comes in a tall boy can, which has become increasingly popular in the craft beer scene. Craft beer enthusiasts are always on the lookout for unique and distinctive offerings, and the introduction of tall boy cans by craft breweries has certainly caught their attention. While the price per ounce may be higher compared to traditional six-packs, the allure of standing out with a tall boy in hand is hard to resist.

On the other hand, Dustin has opted for a Bud Light, not because he particularly enjoys it, but because he finds the marketing story behind it intriguing. Bud Light’s ill-fated attempt to appeal to a younger demographic by embracing woke culture turned into a marketing disaster. Sales plummeted, and the brand faced significant backlash from its core consumer base. This incident highlights the importance of understanding your target audience and the potential risks associated with aligning your brand with certain cultural movements.

Now that we’ve discussed our beers, let’s dive into the world of affiliate marketing. Affiliate marketing is a partnership between a publisher and a merchant, where the publisher promotes the merchant’s products or services and receives a commission for each sale generated through their efforts. This form of marketing has gained popularity in the digital age, particularly in the direct-to-consumer (DTC) space. However, it is still relatively new in the B2B sector.

Affiliate marketing in the B2B space is still in its infancy, but it holds great potential. SaaS companies, in particular, can benefit from affiliate partnerships to promote their products and reach a wider audience. Content marketers, such as bloggers and publications, play a crucial role in introducing B2B brands to their target customers. By creating informative blog posts and listicles, they can effectively showcase the value of various SaaS products to businesses. Additionally, influencers with smaller followings can also participate in affiliate marketing by promoting products through unique coupon codes.

To successfully implement an affiliate marketing program, it is essential to have a well-defined strategy and dedicated affiliate manager. While some companies may attempt to create an affiliate program on their own, it is highly recommended to seek external help from experienced professionals or agencies. These experts can guide you in developing a robust strategy and ensure the program’s success. Alternatively, you can invest in training a young, digital marketing-savvy individual to become an affiliate manager.

Affiliate marketing is constantly evolving, and staying up-to-date with the latest trends and strategies is crucial for success. For instance, changes in browser policies, such as reduced cookie durations, have forced the industry to adapt and find alternative tracking methods. Despite these challenges, partnership marketing will always have a place in the marketing landscape. The human element of forging relationships and making deals cannot be replaced by AI or automation.

In conclusion, affiliate marketing offers a powerful way for brands to expand their reach and drive sales. Whether in the DTC or B2B space, partnering with publishers, influencers, and content marketers can significantly boost brand visibility and revenue. However, it is important to approach affiliate marketing with a well-thought-out strategy and the support of experienced professionals. By leveraging the right partnerships and staying adaptable in a rapidly changing landscape, businesses can harness the full potential of affiliate marketing.

The future of affiliate marketing looks promising, with new technologies and strategies constantly emerging. As the industry continues to evolve, it is crucial for marketers to stay informed and adapt their approaches accordingly. By embracing the power of partnerships and leveraging the expertise of affiliate managers, brands can navigate the affiliate marketing landscape with confidence and achieve remarkable results.

So, grab a cold beer, explore the world of affiliate marketing, and raise a toast to the power of partnerships in driving business success. Cheers!

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