Affiliate Help Wanted
By Peter Figueredo
How to find the right affiliate marketing management solution.
The saying, "It's so hard to find good help," certainly rings true in the affiliate marketing arena. The number of programs seems to grow at a disproportionate rate to the number of skilled affiliate managers.
There are an estimated several hundred affiliate programs in existence today. Twenty to 30 new programs launch each month according to the number of clients working with leading affiliate-tracking technology platforms. Most of these marketers will underestimate the skills required to run a successful program. They'll make the common mistake of devoting only a portion of a person's time, or a full-time junior staffer with little to no experience, to managing their program, when they should choose staffing resources based on goals.
This brings to mind another saying: "You get out what you put in." If you fuel an affiliate program with insufficient resources, you'll get insufficient results. While there are a few skilled affiliate managers, they seem not to stay long with companies either because they a) get wooed away by other companies who realize their value or b) get tired of feeling underappreciated and overworked, and switch to a more glamorous channel like search marketing.
How can you maximize your return from your affiliate marketing channel? Well, one thing is to make sure you choose the right management resource. This isn't as easy as it sounds.
The size and scope of each affiliate program will vary based on each marketer's goals. Therefore, the staff level and experience necessary also will vary based on advertiser goals. For example, aggressive volume goals may require additional staff to focus on recruiting and optimization, while brand-sensitive marketers may require more quality assurance staff time. A marketer will find it difficult to hit its goals if it chooses the wrong person(s) to manage its affiliate program. Determining the optimal staffing solution for your affiliate program management requires a good deal of research.