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  1. #1
    Member mrmerchant's Avatar
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    What Do Affiliate Managers Want?
    When's the last time you've heard anyone in our industry talk about what affiliate MANAGERS want. Let's set aside that popular question of "what do affiliates really want?" (need you to give them) and explore what YOU want, managers.

    http://www.surveymonkey.com/s.aspx?s...5eb2Xirw_3d_3d

    Tell the world WHAT YOU WANT! (and I'll publish the results in a few days)

    Let's blue sky it a bit. As an affiliate manager, do you want...

    Better recognition and respect internally among your superiors?

    Better tools to do your job?

    More autonomy -- to be allowed by the boss to "get creative" occasionally, try something new?

    More budget to foster creativity?

    Better understanding from leaders in my company of affiliate marketing as an affordable customer acquisition tool?

    A team environment: less competition and more collaboration with search, email and other channels?

    A better compensation structure?

    A place where I can go to learn from respected experts first, party second?

    A trusted, "go-to" resource on performance-based marketing of all flavors that's up-to-date?
    How badly do we, as affiliate managers, need each of these things? Maybe we don't need them at all.

    http://www.surveymonkey.com/s.aspx?s...5eb2Xirw_3d_3d

    Tell the world WHAT YOU WANT! (and I'll publish the results in a few days)

  2. #2
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    where will the results be published?

  3. #3
    ABW Founder Haiko de Poel, Jr.'s Avatar
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    Hey Jeff, good to see ya.

    Is it safe to assume you'll publish the results here?

    BTW, Looks like you borrowed a page from the Monty Hall marketing book on how to launch a service ... whatcha got a cookin'?
    Continued Success,

    Haiko
    The secret of success is constancy of purpose ~ Disraeli

  4. #4
    Member mrmerchant's Avatar
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    Smile Safe
    Yup. Safe to assume I'll post here. Thanks for noticing

    Seems like whenever I post my thoughts or curiosities there's never a shortage of people suggesting I've got some kind of launch of some sort. I've got nose down on a couple of books and The Partner Maker for a few years now -- so nothing new launching that I know of!

    Catch ya on the b side as they say in Canada (do they still say that?)

  5. #5
    ABW Founder Haiko de Poel, Jr.'s Avatar
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    They are some loaded questions Jeff ... it's almost like a drum roll, that's all.

    Glad to see you participating once again.
    Continued Success,

    Haiko
    The secret of success is constancy of purpose ~ Disraeli

  6. #6
    Member mrmerchant's Avatar
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    Hey, no worries Haiko. I kinda enjoy the drama (OMG, did I just say that?).

    I think you're right. They are loaded. I -- and those who helped me come up with them -- think we understand the pain of *most* affiliate managers based on our conversations with/among them. Yet as I watch data roll in I see areas of contention. Some people feel that, as an example (and so far), compensation structure isn't really an issue. Also, some seem to feel that competition between internal silos is JUST FINE and, in fact, needed for successful customer acquisition via affiliate marketing.

    Yes, the questions are loaded but I'm interested in two things here:

    1) Why nobody ever seems to ask them
    2) If their basis is wrong or off-target

    Re: 1... there are a LOT of surveys out there and lately eConsultancy just launched another. They always ask the same old benchmarking questions and ignore what affiliate managers themselves find is lacking -- holding them back. It seems like marketers increasingly have complaints and issues with affiliate marketing yet the people on the front lines rarely get asked... "so what do YOU think we should do, how, when and why?"

    I look forward to more discussion.

  7. #7
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    Wouldn't the AM's job be easy if commissionable traffic generated new business and converted at a rate better then natural SERPs?? Good to see Mr Merchant working on some solutions to the Affiliate Managers quest for a pay raise when restraining cart poachers and junk traffic eliminators.
    Webmaster's... Mike and Charlie

    "What have you done today to put real value into a referral click...from a shoppers viewpoint!"

  8. #8
    Member mrmerchant's Avatar
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    I'm baaack with results...
    I admit it. Yes, I'm asking loaded questions to affiliate managers... yet in doing so I don't pretend to know what this industry needs or doesn't need. I want to hear it from you all -- and just over a hundred of you answered. Thanks for doing so! Let's waste no time and get right to the response analysis.

    "I need better recognition and respect internally among my superiors"

    Nearly 2/3 of you said you need it with the other 1/3 being in the enviable position of NOT needing more recognition within your work environment. My take is that in an outsourced program management (OPM) role one is bound to have a LOT more success with this need. Unfortunately, I don't know how many OPMs took the survey but I'm betting they played a role in the results data.

    "I need better tools to do my job."

    WOAH! 90% of our community needs better tools. While I was anticipating this I am truly knocked on my bony hind-end when I saw the numbers. Okay, ABW'ers and fellow poll-takers... let's hear it and I'm going to let anonymous comments ride on this one -- so as to allow people to make more bold statements that reveal WHAT they need. In fact, I'll also take your offline comments at jeff_at_jeffmolander.com if you'll share them with me. What kind of tools do you need?

    "I need more autonomy -- to be allowed by the boss to 'get creative' occasionally, try something new. "

    Again, nearly 2/3 of you need to feel more empowered. Out of this group almost 20% are feeling desperate -- you need it now! How can affiliate managers work to earn this from their superiors and/or clients? What can we do as an industry to help bring about change that creates better results for everyone involved?

    "I need more budget to foster creativity. "

    We here a lot about clients "running out" of money to fund affiliate marketing from many of the networks and OPM agencies. Is this really true and if so why? It seems to make very little sense in a performance-driven environment. Why would marketers treat performance-based budgets as they would a banner buy or CPM (eyeballs based) media buy?

    Nearly 1/3 of you said this is NOT a problem. There IS hope! But this leaves 2/3 of you saying that, yes, it IS happening.

    "I need a team environment: less competition and more collaboration with search, email and other channels ."

    Roughly 1/3 of you said this is needed... but not that much. Yet 43% of you went as far as saying, hey, this is really needed -- a lot. 25% of you said it's not really an issue which I'm confident it's not... for a good number of people who believe that "internal competition" among all marketing channels is -- and always will be -- a healthy thing. Of course, I disagree but that's another discussion

    "A better compensation structure. (not necessarily salary but reward structure)"

    What I was getting at here may not have been clearly worded enough. I'm trying to assess if people are happy with how they're bonused at year end. I probably failed but... a majority felt that compensation structure change was needed but not critical. Just over 40% of respondents did, however, say it was an issue that's very needed. I'll leave it to commenters to analyze this response data. What do you think?

    "I need better understanding from leaders in my company of affiliate marketing as an affordable customer acquisition tool."

    A majority of you said you need this "a lot". Nearly 80% of you said that understanding at the highest level was lacking. So what can we do to change that? This gets to professional education in our space which I believe could stand to improve. As I see it, it's been a very AFFILIATE-centric world when it comes to education. What about affiliate managers and executive marketers that they report to? There seems to be a clear void in terms of un-biased (not influenced by corporate sponsor dollars) professional education. Of course, there are public and private movements afoot to bring our industry together around things like certification, standards and plain old education.

    "I need a place where I can go to learn from respected experts first, party second."

    Probably my most devious of questions . Sure, I have my feelings about conferences and professional education opportunities in our world but this isn't about me. I'll leave you with this: there was a bit of contention here over this question. Not everyone seems to agree and it was one of the few questions that demonstrated division. My analysis? There are some hard core party animals in our industry

    Consider yourselves teased... I'll release that data in days ahead. I'll also touch on remaining answers to related questions:

    "Do you need a trusted, 'go-to' resource on performance-based marketing of all flavors that's up-to-date. "

    and

    "I want less whiners and negativity in our business -- more doers, risk-takers and brotherhood."

    Until then what say you?

  9. #9
    ABW Founder Haiko de Poel, Jr.'s Avatar
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    Umm Jeff ...

    What is duplicate content?
    Duplicate content generally refers to substantive blocks of content within or across domains that either completely match other content or are appreciably similar. Source
    Either generate new content here, there, or where ever, ABW is not cut and paste when your soliciting responses ... and taking the information (not polling here for all to see).
    Continued Success,

    Haiko
    The secret of success is constancy of purpose ~ Disraeli

  10. #10
    Member mrmerchant's Avatar
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    Please remove
    Haiko,
    Please remove my post in its entirety.

    Thanks,
    Jeff

  11. #11
    ABW Founder Haiko de Poel, Jr.'s Avatar
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    No, it should stay, i thought a person of your intellect was above cut an and paste multiple post spam, oh well. But please remember buy an ad if your launching something and rule #2 its still spam if to leave off the http://www.

    Looking forward to the rest of the results, none of which have shocked me this far.
    Continued Success,

    Haiko
    The secret of success is constancy of purpose ~ Disraeli

  12. #12
    Member mrmerchant's Avatar
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    I Forgot, this is AbestWeb
    Silly me. I forgot. This is ABW where you OWN anything I post... anything anyone posts. Wow, what a community-minded guy. Well, Haiko, thanks for confirming that you're still the same guy I once knew -- insane enough to call my posts crap, attempt to lecture me on what duplicate content (which itself is an outdated concept... because when its practiced with an eye toward quality and non-spammyness it's called "syndication" and has been around forever) is... only to turn around and allow my stain to continue. What was it, the Revenews link in I gave you in line one? Another STUPID move on my part. Thanks, Haiko. Thanks and continued success.

    P.S.
    What am I launching? Why should I buy an ad again and what's advertising all about? You should post or forward YOUR resume to me some day Haiko. We'll see who's got the background in advertising and who's just playing an advertising professional on the Web.

  13. #13
    Troll Killer and best Snooper!
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  14. #14
    OPM and Moderator Chuck Hamrick's Avatar
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    Jeff, you never do anything without an ulterior motive so who are you fooling? You don't participate in the conversation here and never do anything without a money trail. But then again you invented affiliate marketing so who are we to speak up!

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