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Affiliate marketing v/s Digital Marketing? Which business to open in 2021?

By Suraj Jha on Feb 25, 2021

With shopping, work, and most parts of our lives progressing to virtual space, it’s crucial to establish the business in the best possible light. The dominance of the internet, technological advancements, and electronic devices has made online marketing indispensable. With the growing significance of online media, making money from home has become easier. Sure, it’s risky, but which business is not attached to risks.

Effective marketing strategies are part and parcel of any business. To convert visitors into leads and retaining existing customers, you must have an exceptional web presence. Building a brand image is not an easy feat. It requires decades of experience to implement data-driven marketing strategies that ensure campaigns’ success. That’s where white label digital marketing services come into the picture. A study reveals that nearly two-thirds of agencies outsource their services to a white label digital marketing agency.

Whether you are planning to set up a home-grown business or build a marketing agency, you must first answer those burning questions lingering at the back of your head. And I am sure one of them would be the constant battle between the two current marketing categories, digital marketing and affiliate marketing. Let’s dive right in!

Affiliate Marketing

Whether you are unemployed or taking a break from your primary job, a passive income source bridges the gap and imparts security with extra cash flowing in.

Affiliate marketing is regarded as one of the most adequate techniques to generate passive income. With compelling affiliate marketing, you can advertise products and procure a share of the profit you earn from every deal that converts. Sounds like an easy way to make money from home!

However, it’s vital to understand the objective benefits and challenges of this convenient business model to earn a satisfying cut of sales.

Pros of Affiliate Marketing


  • Minimal Investment

As an affiliate marketer, you don’t need to invest in building and developing products. Hence, you can begin promoting products almost with zero costings or a minimal cost for the domain and hosting.

  • Customer Service- not your department

Handling a wide number of customers gets challenging at times. As an affiliate, you have the flexibility to put across customer-related queries to the merchant’s customer service team, or you can opt for white label digital marketing services to outsource post-sale requests.

  • Flexibility

Landing into the diverse world of affiliate marketing permit you to create multiple campaigns, giving you the convenience to mitigate paint points and optimize the leading ones. This way, you are not relying on a single program, so you can always make profits by dropping the ones that don’t work.

  • Extensive Marketplace

The affiliate marketing arena allows you to source countless products and services directly from the marketplace. Either you build a marketing agency or work with a reputable affiliate marketing agency to reach your expected target audience and earn handsome profit in return.

Cons of Affiliate Marketing


  • No Guarantee of Revenue

Pay-per-performance can be perceived as a massive opportunity coupled with significant risk. Affiliate marketing does not guarantee an expected revenue right away. Despite the invested efforts to maximize profits, you cannot predict the amount of money entering your pockets.

  • No Control Over Competition

Owing to low-cost initial investment and high-profit windows, most people try their hand at this business model, which significantly widens the competitive arena. With highly skilled marketers entering your niche, there is an apparent threat to your performance. Tapping into white label digital marketing services can help you crack the code.

  • No Connection with Consumers

When you work as an affiliate marketer, you work as a third-party for the merchant who pays you a share of profit for every product you sell. Neither you have a direct relationship with the customers, nor you are constructing your customer base, you are just enlarging the potential customers’ list for your merchant.

  • No Control Over Marketing Programs

Under Affiliate Marketing programs, you are entirely dependent on the merchant’s marketing structure. You cannot amend the rules and regulations by yourself. You can only suggest and wait for the merchant to approve and implement it.

Digital Marketing

Sure, you believe you are a digital marketing aficionado, but dynamic digital trends make it challenging to keep business afloat. What seemed a silver bullet yesterday might be irrelevant today! Hence, the businesses that stay firm and flexible, despite the turbulence, are the ones achieving the most success.

The study reveals that only 58% of marketers are successful in achieving their marketing goals. Since digital marketing is here to stay, you can’t afford to lose the opportunities. Before you build a marketing plan, let’s weigh the pros and cons of digital marketing.

Pros of Digital Marketing


  • Massive Audience at a Low Cost

If your goal is to reach the entire globe with a shoestring budget, then digital marketing is at your disposal. Even if you build a marketing agency and pay marketing professionals for the digital marketing services they offer, the cost would be nearly 50-75 % less than other marketing tools with equal prospective outreach.

  • Brand Interaction

Keeping customers’ preferences into account, digital marketing helps you to build effective customer relationships. With personalized greeting messages and customized offers, you can push the visitors down the sales funnel. The more you sell, the more you refine your brand image.

  • Trackable Results

It is rightly said, “You can’t manage what you don’t measure.” Using Web analytics, online metric tools, or casting white label digital marketing services for tracking and measuring results of marketing campaigns allows you to split your marketing budget and re-plan your strategies.

  • Progressive Conversion Rates

Unlike other marketing media, digital marketing is immediate and targeted, which is the reason why 89% of all companies have adopted a digital-first business plan. One loud post, one status update, or one responsive comment is all that is required to add up to qualified leads.

Cons of Digital Marketing


  • Time Consuming

Research reveals that around 1 in 3 digital marketers invest more than 11 hours working on complex tasks such as writing marketing content and optimizing digital marketing campaigns. It might not demand a monster budget, but you will need to shed sweat in running a marketing campaign.

  • Inundated Consumers

If your digital marketing campaign resembles internet advertising, it is likely that many users either skim data or overlook the complete information as they are already feeling overwhelmed. Make sure to not get lost in the existing digital white noise while making money from home.

  • Easy to Copy

Your competitors can grab a piece of your market share by copying information from your online marketing campaign in a few mouse clicks. It is advised to stay vigilant to not lose information.

End Note

The pros and cons of affiliate marketing and digital marketing portray distinct pictures of both marketing strategies. Digital marketing renders comprehensive designs to venture your business into several digital floors for brand awareness and conversions, while Affiliate marketing resides under the umbrella of digital marketing that provides a platform to sell other companies’ products for a specific commission percentage.

If you are wondering which marketing business you should open in 2021, it all boils down to your expertise and interest. However, with everything running into digital space, digital marketing augments your brand reach beyond geographical limits by allowing you to engage with multiple customers across diverse platforms simultaneously. If you want to build a marketing agency or bring in a positive change in your existing business, employing effective digital media tactics can take you very far!


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