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  1. #1
    ABW Ambassador Rick McGrath's Avatar
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    Not sure what to do with this one.

    One of the fundamental concepts here is not to disclose partners URLs. Because to do so would invite others who may/will "borrow" your hard won marketing initiatives, insight, business practices and competitive advantages.

    The purpose of my/JC Whitney's participation here is for the benefit of our partners. Not for the purpose of instructing our competition. It would seem that this is what -may- be happening. We have competitors also and I'm not in the business of exposing strengths, weakness, marketing initiatives etc. It would appear that I have competition taking advantage of information I make available for our partners. I welcome the exchange with Andy and other marketers who are not our competitors. It becomes a problem when I see our competitors modifying or adopting from what would -appear- to be from my publicly disclosed information.

    I'm confident that cream rises to the top but who here wants to give up 10%, 5%, 2% to their competitor or invite new competitors to cherry pick based on -your- work, trial and error, risk-taking etc.

    Not sure where to go with this. Could be a threat to the kind and extent of information I'm willing to share. Not in the business of schooling the competition.

    Thoughts?
    Rick

  2. #2
    Affiliate Marketing Consultant Andy Rodriguez's Avatar
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    Rick,

    You can ask Haiko to limit access to your thread to only registered members of JCW.

    That thought came to my mind when i first started posting here, however, quickly it became apparent that i would "gain" more by openly discussing and letting the others see what we were made up.

    Maybe in your industry, you have a different market. In computers, we will gladly go head to head with any merchant. Our model is widely known, we have sharks on our buying team, the deals we get are because of who we are, we have nothing to hide from our "competitors" - we have none....

    If anyone wants to take us on, it will only make us better....

  3. #3
    Full Member
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    What sort of modifications [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif[/img] Just kidding...

  4. #4
    Content $ Queen Ebudae's Avatar
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    Hi Rick, I'm not a merchant so I hope its ok to answer or give some thoughts <IMG src=http://www.abestweb.com/ubb/icons/icon15.gif>

    Something similar was mentioned by one of the affiliates pertaining to our realm. At first, I thought it really would not be a problem, but it has happened to us too. In my case, so subtle you can't really complain, but you see it.

    As an affiliate who is not one of your members, I would not be offended if you only had access to your forum for your members.

    Good Luck!!
    Vicki [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif[/img]

  5. #5
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    Rick,

    Here is what you can do:
    1. Make an affiliate area on your site (password protected).
    2. When making public posting, post only general stuffs w/ links to important info on your affiliate area (people will still have to login to access it).

    That way, you have your way of preventing someone to easily read your posting.

    It's making more time consuming for affiliates, but it's safer this way.

    Still, you have the posibility of your competitor disguise as an affiliate [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif[/img]
    (that's how business spy work [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif[/img])

    PS: I'm not a spy, just a regular affiliate, who has hobby in web marketing [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif[/img]

  6. #6
    ABW Ambassador Rick McGrath's Avatar
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    Thank you to each of you. Some good points.

    I will consult with my marketing partners before I make any move on this. Just emailed the "short-list" and will post a request for feeback in the forum.

    Thanks,
    Rick

  7. #7
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    Rick;
    I imagine you have about 500 actual producing affiliates just like Andy. By getting those who produce to contribute proven tips to those who don't produce, or haven't joined or known about JCW ..we grow your program. If your obviously weaker competitors lurk these boards they will learn, with or without your posts, what works to produce sales. Their problem is over coming your head start since we affiliates hate to pull producing links or put up new ones on a hunch.

    My job is to eliminate merchants right now and funnel targeted traffic to only those who regularly convert. I no longer desire to put up 27 million annual impressions for merchant exposure. I don't sell advertising space. If one excells by my exposure then they not only deserve to be showcased in my Cybermalls, but also deserve a dedicated optimized domain. I'd say 50% of your major online auto parts competitors are bankrupt. Those that exited left a bad taste behind. Those who ggot burned come here and see a working program and a manager working for their betterment and the look no further!!!

    [ 05-09-2002: Message edited by: Haiko ]

    [ 05-09-2002: Message edited by: EcomCity.com ]

  8. #8
    ABW Ambassador Rick McGrath's Avatar
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    Thanks Mike,
    I appreciate your thoughtful feedback.

    I've recd. a number of replies from the short-list of key relationships. The consensus seems to be they don't mind the forum being password protected as long as the main page is public so they can quickly/easily see if there's anything new to check. Juries still out. I wouldn't make a move like this without full partner support. Worst case we'll try it, see if it helps or hinders.

    I appreciate your input on this.
    Rick

  9. #9
    pph Expert! Gordon's Avatar
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    Hi Rick
    Just a thought, if you had a password protected forum what is to stop your competitors joining your program anonymously and then getting access to your password protected forum?
    Maybe emails or PM's is the way to go with confidential stuff.

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