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  1. #1
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    Was just wondering what people thought of Affiliate Managers as competition. Somebody is an Affiliate Manager for Merchant X and has their own affiliate site(s) for that merchant. They would know which sites produce and which ones don't. Would know all of our personal info etc. I know there's nothing against it, i don't personally have a problem with it. Just curious what others feel about it.

    "The successful man is the average man, focused."

  2. #2
    Affiliate Addict Robert484848's Avatar
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    It's the wild wild west trust.

    "I did'nt get where I'm at today by worrying about how I'm going to feel tomorrow."

  3. #3
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    I know its the wild wild west. Was just curious if others had a problem with it. I know plenty of AM's that do this and some get so good they quit and do this full time. If there is a jewelry merchant out there looking for an AM, i'm available

    [This message was edited by TrustNo1® on October 09, 2003 at 06:53 PM.]

  4. #4
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    If an affiliate manager for Company X builds a site for Company Y, I don't have a problem with that, as long as Company Y isn't in the same industry. If it's the same industry, I feel like that's a little underhanded.

    If Company X's affiliate manager builds a site for Company X, I have a major issue with that.

    Thanks goodness I don't know what sites my affiliate managers have.

    Michael

  5. #5
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    I wouldn't limit the question to Affiliate Managers...anyone in a company could have access to information that can give them advantage. What about the IT manager with a site, or a even the manager of an outlet store?

    Such conflicts of interest are generally a big deal for businesses.

  6. #6
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    I have a problem with it, but there is not much I can do about it. I don't even know which AMs do it.

  7. #7
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    This sounds like an "insider trading" issue to a degree. If the AM is a good AM , and divulges any "inside" info to affiliates that ask , then there should not be a problem. If the AM is aware that affiliates are not taking advantage of certain marketing strategies and he/she does , there is no harm. The AM is responsible for sales , and if the affiliates are not doing , then why shouldn't he/she ?

    Also exactly what "inside" advantage do you think an AM has ?

    In particular I am an AM , and have my own site. When asked what keywords I use at the search engines , I just direct my affiliates to the page where all the keywords used are. If no affiliate is using those keywords at a particular s.e. , I see no harm in my doing so. If they are , I usually bid UNDERNEATH them. Also some keywords do not convert as well for specific reasons. When asked I am all too happy to tell them which ones I have found that don't , and the reason I believe so.

    As for company future plans , I also have no problem sharing this info.

    I keep my "personal" site to test ideas , keywords , conversions , as well as generate sales. I look forward to the day when my affiliates "out do" my site's sales. Also since I have other affiliate links on my personal site , since there are none on the company site , I generate commissions for myself as well as related product ideas that may eventually hit the company site , where affiliates gain another product to sell.

    Toledo Swords - Collectible Heirloom Armory
    http://www.toledoswords.com

  8. #8
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    "Also exactly what "inside" advantage do you think an AM has ?"

    They can see what works and apply it to their own site. Let's say theres an affiliate manager for a diamond merchant who also makes an affiliate site of their own to that same merchant. They can monitor their affiliate sites and see which ones bring in the sales, what their business model is for the diamond merchant. They then can apply that or copy it to their own site. I can go visit other affiliates site and have no idea how much they're bringing in or if their site converts, but AMs can. That's just the way it is, nothing you can do about it.

    "The successful man is the average man, focused."

  9. #9
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    It is not only the AM it can also be the merchant himself who is his own affiliate. It is not against the TOS or COC.

    carneol

  10. #10
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    I think one day merchants will realize they can make pure datafeed sites for themselves and don't need affiliates to do it for them, pushing their own listings downs and having to pay commissions to them

    "The successful man is the average man, focused."

  11. #11
    Resident Genius and Staunch Capitalist Leader's Avatar
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    What EmDub said.

    It is a beautiful thing, to do nothing, and then rest afterwards.~Spanish Proverb

  12. #12
    Super Sh!t Stirrer SSanf's Avatar
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> Also since I have other affiliate links on my personal site <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    So, if an affiliate knows what your personal site is, they can have a look at all the other affiliate sites, right. And, no doubt, you are always willing to let those wha ask see your site, right?

    Anyone else have a problem with this?

    Hey, I want the URL if your personal site, too.

    Mr.Merchant, if you do business in any way what-so-ever with parasites, your products will not be sold on my sites!!

    LISTEN! CJ don't give no whistles no more! I can hear the music of another piper!

  13. #13
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    Good question.

    I think that it depends on the nature of the consulting engagement.
    Some merchants ask for and get SEO/SEM, PPC management and affiliate management.
    If we didn't offer all those services the merchant would just go somewhere else to get one or more of them.
    Merchants tend to require traffic from all available means.

    In most instances the merchant has already put a traffic plan in place and is interested in augmenting that plan with affiliate marketing.

    It is our job to recruit the real players to the program which in some cases can take up to six months.
    Getting a super affiliate to jump in and buy a domain/domains is not a problem. Getting them to put a merchant high on their to do list takes time.

  14. #14
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    I know of at least one merchant who actively encourages its staff to join its affiliate program.

    The idea is that once they start working as affiliates, they get to see the issues and concerns from the affiliate perspective.

    That in turn helps them design better tools and program conditions for all their affiliates.

    So there is an upside to it.

  15. #15
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by MJCB:
    I know of at least one merchant who actively encourages its staff to join its affiliate program.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    And who would that merchant be?

    Michael

  16. #16
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    Interesting topic...
    I was actually an affiliate before I was an AM. I been an affiliate for about 4 years now and an AM for 3. Just because I became an AM I shouldn't be expected to just drop being an affiliate. I still create affiliate sites and rely on the revenue as part of my income.

    I can see how an affiliate would have a problem with it though since some AM's, that were NEVER affiliates, can take advantage of the situation. But myself though, I already pretty much know what works and what doesn't work. So far I haven't seen anything new that I didn't already know.

    Anyone can do a search on the engines and find a competing site and use it for their references.

    AM's are people too

    To Good Health & Wellbeing,

    Chet Brzezinski
    eVitamins Affiliate Manager
    http://www.eVitamins.com


    The eVitamins Parasite & Scumware Policy:
    http://www.vitamins-etc.com/parasitepolicy.asp

  17. #17
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    Plus from the affiliate perspective, I would rather work with an AM that is also an affiliate rather than an AM that was just hired in off the street and doesn't know didly about being an affiliate.

    An AM that is an experienced affiliate will know what affiliates like, do not like, whether putting something on the site is affiliate friendly, etc...

    To Good Health & Wellbeing,

    Chet Brzezinski
    eVitamins Affiliate Manager
    http://www.eVitamins.com


    The eVitamins Parasite & Scumware Policy:
    http://www.vitamins-etc.com/parasitepolicy.asp

  18. #18
    ABW Ambassador Andy's Avatar
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    Seems like a conflict of interest to me. The AM's job should be to support and drive the sales of the affiliates, and since the AM has access to confidential information about all of them, they really shouldn't be out building sites that compete with the affiliates they're supposed to be supporting and helping to promote.

    If they want to be sneaky and underhanded, they should run for public office.

    Andy

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    <font color="red">Call the Exterminators! We've Got PARASITES!</font>

  19. #19
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    Andy, the AM works for the company which pays him and not for affiliates.

    carneol

  20. #20
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    A football coach works for the owners of the team and is paid by the owners.
    The coach represents the players and is the conduit through which the players get their needs met.

    It's the same with affiliate managers who represent the affiliates. He/she gets their message to the owners and sells the owners on what is needed to make a program work.

  21. #21
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    Glade this was brought up, thanks TrustNo1®.

    I wish more AM's would way in on this topic. I'ld like to hear their opinions.

    I figure the golden rule applies, are they making you money? Is the merchant parasite free, do the check come in on time, is the AM answering my question and helping me to improve my bottom line?

    I figure the best AM's are those with experience, so I'm guessing they don't just fold up their affiliate sites to take a the job as AM.

  22. #22
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Andy, the AM works for the company which pays him and not for affiliates.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE> Well technically yes but an AM is actually working for the affiliates (providing support, tips, help, etc...) while being paid by the merchant company.

    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>If they want to be sneaky and underhanded, they should run for public office.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE> A little bit overboard I would think...I just don't see doing something that you already been doing for 3 years would be "sneaky and underhanded."

    But hey if movie stars can be governors then why can't AM's? Maybe we should make Arnold retire from acting since he could now use his political power for personal gain in his acting career.


    To Good Health & Wellbeing,

    Chet Brzezinski
    eVitamins Affiliate Manager
    http://www.eVitamins.com


    The eVitamins Parasite & Scumware Policy:
    http://www.vitamins-etc.com/parasitepolicy.asp

  23. #23
    Defender of Truth, Justice and the Affiliate Way
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    The balance to the potential conflict of interest is that most AM's are paid in part by a commission on what their affs are producing. That's their incentive to make sure they have producing affs. That revenue is probably much more than what they get from their own affiliate sites. It also seems that the underlying concern is based on an assumption that AM's have scads of time to spend on their own aff stuff. Many of the AM's I've spoken to say they haven't had the time they really need to devote to their own sites. We all know how much time it can take to keep your aff stuff current and being productive.

    IMO, a knowledgable AM is pretty much going to know already what works and what doesn't. A newbie AM may be able to see which sites are producing well, but since there are so many factors which go into making a site profitable, it doesn't mean they will necessarily be able to deduce what all those factors are nor necessarily replicate them themselves.

    My final thought is that AM's who *have* been or are currently AM's themselves have a much better feeling for the obstacles aff's face and it can make them better AM's delivering the things affs want the most. They've walked in the shoes of the affs so to speak.

    It's Your Money. You earned it. What are you going to do to make sure you get to keep it?

  24. #24
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    While working as an AM I have seen what some of you have accomplished, the goals you set and the work you have done. I wish ALL of my affiliates would join ABW, for inspiration alone. I feel my job, (full time, cubicle, corporate setting etc...)is a lot different then what you are doing, there is no way I could take what I have to do on a daily basis (communicating with affiliates, improving datafeeds, reviewing sites & more) and use that information to copy a site for my benefit. Maybe I am alone. I have starting to look into building my own site, when I do, I still have to start from scratch, I still have to research (and take chances with) which merchants I think will make more money for the site, I still have to come up with my own creativity, images, design, and business plan, to stand out. Although there are some awesome affiliate websites, I know to make it I need something different, something unique.

    Again I am a newbie.

    Thanks ABW, tons of great inspirationa and lessons to learn by.

  25. #25
    ABW Ambassador qball0213's Avatar
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    Paranoia runs deep, everyone is trying to steal our money, hehe. An AM who does or has done affiliate marketing on the side are the ones most able to help their affiliates also, it makes me more comfortable if an Am does their own stuff, like Chet, since they know the deal, what works and what we need. And they know that the faster we get stuff, the faster they make money.
    Besides, if Chet didn't have his own site, he wouldn't have been able to allow me to borrow some of his code, hehe, thus saving me some time, and probably making my site look better than if I had done it. Thanks Chet.

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