The vast majority of affiliate marketing relationships will be established either through a network or through the generic, impersonal interfaces of the companies who have established their own platforms. While the opportunity to generate additional revenue exists if networks are cut out of the picture, the substantial benefits they offer, including administrative responsibilities, makes them a pretty vital part of the affiliate marketing ecosystem.
Affiliate marketing is commonly confused with referral marketing, as both forms of marketing use third parties to drive sales to the retailer. 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.[citation needed]
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