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  1. #1
    ABW Founder Haiko de Poel, Jr.'s Avatar
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    All,

    A great article was published by Wayne Porter in Marketing Sherpa today ...

    A Merchant's Quick Guide to Affiliate Marketing in 2002 (First, Forget the "A" Word)

    Please also note the link to ABW, thank you Wayne [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif[/img]

    Haiko

  2. #2
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    Excellent Article ...

    Pretty much hits the nail on the sweet spot. Hopefully, More Merchants will heed this advice and grow their "a" program with our best interests (and theirs) in mind.

    Dave

  3. #3
    ABW Ambassador affiliatemakeover's Avatar
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    Wow, I'm humbled. Wayne, that could have been converted into about 6 columns...so much valuable information. Excellent, excellent piece.

    Here's my question if you're lurking. Companies say they are going to hire an affiliate manager, but I never see any listings for them, nor do I have any clue how to find a local company that is interested.

    Can you offer any suggestions for how I can break into the door of affiliate managing for a local company? I have been trying to assess the top companies in my town. Once I have that list, I'm going to attempt to track down the marketing person and get a meeting. Good start?

    Again, great article.

  4. #4
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    Well worth the read as Wayne cuts through the hype and addresses the fact thta merchants have to look at their program from an affiliates standpoint. Sorry that one of his resources has dried up ..Revenews.com with so few posts not even lurkers even go there.

  5. #5
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    Great read.

    >98%/2%

    I never understood why the merchants need an affiliate manager in the first place. imho a merchant could work with 10 guys/gals and get close to the same result without all the overhead and whinning. But from an affiliate point of view there in a niche for everyone somewhere.

  6. #6
    ABW Ambassador webmarm's Avatar
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>If handled badly -- well, it's a close-knit community so the word
    that you are a lousy merchant (either because your site is not
    highly effective at converting clicks to sales, or because you
    treat partners disdainfully) will get around quickly.

    Porter describes these partners' mindset, "They want to see that
    you respect them. 'I'm not your subordinate, I'm an independent
    contractor.'"

    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Does sound like someone has been reading here... [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif[/img]

    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>If you have so many affiliates that you can't communicate with
    them on a one-to-one basis, Porter recommends you (politely) drop
    the ones that aren't making you any sales and start getting
    personal with the remainder.

    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
    Uh-oh, no-no! Send the routine "a" newsletter to everyone and the personal notes to the 2%.

    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Unfortunately, despite the fact that there are a lot of marketers
    out of work right now, that doesn't hold true for experienced
    affiliate managers. Porter says, "There are big shortages of
    qualified managers."

    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Hey, ABWF, hear that?

    Very good article. And WTG Haiko on the mention!

  7. #7
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    Article is just terrible, as usual, stats seem to be made up on the fly. Nobody wants to be called a "publisher" and it is only Overture/CJ who calls it "Performance Marketing". Judging affiliate sites with google ranking is just a big mess in there.

    Is Porter a Todd Crawford alias?

    - BluesX

  8. #8
    Affiliate Marketing Consultant Andy Rodriguez's Avatar
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by BluesX:
    Article is just terrible, as usual, stats seem to be made up on the fly. Nobody wants to be called a "publisher" and it is only Overture/CJ who calls it "Performance Marketing". Judging affiliate sites with google ranking is just a big mess in there.

    Is Porter a Todd Crawford alias?

    - BluesX
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Blues,

    With all respect, i had the pleasure of meeting and talking to Wayne Porter for a long time at AF 2002.

    IMO, his knowledge and insight in the industry is amazing. The man is a walking resource center.

  9. #9
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    One of my favorite parts in regards to hiring an Affiliate Manager ...

    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>"I've seen people hire
    former interns, assistants, even janitors", says Porter.
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE> [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif[/img]

    This dosnt apply to Andy or Shawn ... We all know they are setting the standard.

    BluesX ... Typical of you seeing you are the "guru" of this industry. Perhaps it would be a good article if you had written it [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif[/img]

    Dave

  10. #10
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    Andy,

    I respect your opinion on him and his knowledge.

    To me, though, very naive.. very... I have not met Porter, but looking at that article... I wouldn't want to... (meet yet another Todd Crawford)


    - BluesX

  11. #11
    Affiliate Summit Guy Shawn Collins's Avatar
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    Adam -

    While many affiliate programs operate at 98/2, this can be attributed somewhat to a hands-off management approach.

    In my experience, the more personal contact I have with my affiliates, the more that ratio shifts, so that it's more in the neighborhood of the Pareto Principle: 80/20.

    A merchant certainly could work with just 10 folks, but then they wouldn't really be running an affiliate program, rather just maintaining a handful of biz-dev relationships.

    Also, there are pitfalls to relying solely on a small nucleus of 10 or so sites. If a few of them leave for whatever reason, that will cripple a program.

    Meanwhile, my approach is to work closely with as many sites as possible. But I truly work with them, and go to great efforts to engage them and activate them.

    In the case of the ClubMom program, there are tons of mom, parenting and baby sites out there with 1,000 to 5,000 visitors a week.

    Most will never be "super affiliates," but they combine to create a critical mass of quality affiliates. In this scenario, it's essential to have, at least, one full time person on the program to work with the affiliates.

    Shawn Collins
    ClubMom

  12. #12
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    It was certainly refreshing.
    Nothing amazing or to die for, but very fresh & thus welcoming !

    Good one Wayne !

  13. #13
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    To BluesX

    Article is just terrible, as usual, stats seem to be made up on the fly. Nobody wants to be called a "publisher" and it is only Overture/CJ who calls it "Performance Marketing". Judging affiliate sites with google ranking is just a big mess in there.
    Is Porter a Todd Crawford alias?”


    Thanks for your feedback!!

    I promise you I am not Todd Crawford. Anyone who has seen Todd and I can tell the difference since Todd is a beanpole and I am on the portly side. (working on the extra pounds)

    To address your concerns: There were no stats made up on the fly. Please cite where you saw figures, numbers or stats that were “made-up”. Be specific.

    Regarding Google Ranking- the interviewer posted a truncated version of my advice due to publishing constraints. In actuality I use several tools/methodologies including, Alexa, Google PR, in-bound links, domain age, relative rank velocity, quality of site, presence of other revenue sharing links, design, media mentions, and relative positioning around critical key words. Using Google ranking alone is enough to predict the value of a partner. Of course if you have a Google PR of zero, an Alexa ranking of 2,023,345 and a domain that is only 5 days old you probably aren’t ready for prime time. (Unless of course you are laundering traffic from a legitimate or illegitimate source- I won't go into that)

    YES many people want to be called publishers. Maybe you want to be called an affiliate but media publishers, portals, and other large properties prefer to be called publishers because that is what they do. Site owners are not affiliates they publish websites, information, services, or they are business people. Merchants don’t own you. This is not a job- you are an independent sales contractor.

    Try this scenario- call up a Media Metrix Top 100 site and say “We want you to join our affiliate program.” The phone should be hung up pretty quickly. Now try “We want to do a series of media purchases and structure them with performance components or hybridize the offer into CPC/CPS” you will probably get a conversation.

    Or look at how Performics classifies partners: “Performics classifies Web sites into two categories: partners and affiliates. Typically, partners are high-traffic Web sites and may require a member login. Generally, affiliates are defined as content-specific Web sites and have less traffic than partner sites.”

    Ack!- already you have been relegated a notch below a partner. I prefer the terms partner and strategic partner. A partner is someone you work with for mutual benefit, a strategic partner is someone large enough that it shapes your online strategy and sales. Afterall if they trust you enough to work with their brand shouldn’t they give you the respect you deserve?

    Here is a little trivia, the word “affiliate” literally means: “To associate oneself as a subordinate” and this is exactly how the senior management of many firms see affiliates- as subordinate relationships that aren’t critical. Is that how you want to be treated, has a mechant ever treated you that way?

    I don’t know about you, but I don’t know many people who want to think of themselves as subordinates to a merchant. You have as much control in the relationship as the merchant does! After all it is also YOUR BRAND that is moving their products. You can choose to end the relationship, to negotiate the terms, and to work with another merchant that competes with them. You have power in this relationship- especially if you are a productive affiliate. If you are a huge “affiliate” you have even more power because a merchant does not want to lose valuable shelf space to a competitor. That’s when you can get the sweet perks like slotting fees, hybrids, etc. You don’t even have to be huge, but if you command a very tight vertical and your brand is strong you will get better deals.

    There is no real equality in a relationship where one is a subordinate. Successful performance marketing means both parties respect each other’s unique needs, skills, and obstacles. (One of the reasons I feel affiliate managers should be or should have been an affiliate at one time.)

    I too still use the word affiliate (but never at the executive level) but I much prefer the term marketing partner which literally means: One that is united or associated with another or others in an activity or a sphere of common interest”. The common interest would be doing business together for mutual profit. This can be hard to achieve.

    Remember “Affiliates” and “merchants” have diametrically opposed goals!!!

    --Affiliates want to see a shopper go through their links as often as possible to generate recurrent revenue. Without recurrent revenue you can’t survive. In my opinion recurrent revenue is the absolute MOST important thing a smaller web publisher should focus on.

    --Merchants want to see the shopper go through an affiliate once and acquire that customer for life.


    There is a happy medium here and that is when merchants realize that they either need to pay a higher bounty to acquire the customer or realize that affiliates need to get recurrent revenue to stay alive and price their commissions accordingly.


    As for performance marketing- well that is what it is and Overture and CJ aren’t the only ones that call it that. It has been around long before the Internet. You market on behalf of a party and you are paid on performance.

    I used the caveman scenario a year ago-
    Og and Bog both sell stone wheels, Grog sells axles. Og tells Grog when new customers buy an axle I will give you 5 pieces of shiny seashells if you refer them to me and they buy a set of wheels. Thus a partnership is born and works great until Bog tells Grog I’ll give you 5 pieces of shiny seashells and throw in a used club for every wheel they buy. Of course if he doesn’t trust the new offer of if hears Bog sells square wheels he is more apt to stay away from Bog. Again- trust, quality, brand all of these things are important in the performance equation.

    Sorry to be so windy BluesX and I am happy to elaborate on any other questions you might have.

    Cordially,
    Wayne

  14. #14
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    To AffiliateMakeover:

    Can you offer any suggestions for how I can break into the door of affiliate managing for a local company? I have been trying to assess the top companies in my town. Once I have that list, I'm going to attempt to track down the marketing person and get a meeting. Good start?

    The key to breaking in, in my opinion, is to demonstrate success as an affiliate first. If I had my druthers EVERY affiliate manager would be an affiliate or have walked the long, hard road of the affiliate at least for awhile.

    Obviously hanging out in communities and lists is a good way to make contacts and publishing on a regular basis helps a lot to. (Be prepared to take flak- it comes with the territory) Networking at events is crucial and even starting as a contractor is a good place to go. For example- I will bring you x number of good partners and you will pay me x% for 6 months on those partner’s sales. With no experience you really have to start with small merchants and work your way up. Needless to say the real money lies in doing business development for top-tier merchants, multi-channel retailers and catalogers.

    best,
    Wayne

  15. #15
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    Adam Ward said:


    “I never understood why the merchants need an affiliate manager in the first place. imho a merchant could work with 10 guys/gals and get close to the same result without all the overhead and whinning. But from an affiliate point of view there in a niche for everyone somewhere.


    A manager is very important because every deal takes time! Especially deals with larger sites. You need someone to handle creative, track down problems (a link that doesn’t track), recruit, make existing partners happy, stay up on industry trends, get ideas from partners and put them into action, report and analyze metrics, notice trends, handle complaints, argue with upper management on why partners deserve more etc, etc.

    You can have 10 partners but that is not enough. The 98/2 only applies if you aren’t picky about who you recruit or as Shawn says if your program is on auto-pilot. If you’re picky the ratio can be as high as 50%/50% or better!

    The 98/2 rule is a bad thought to adopt because managers believe their curve SHOULD fall this way. If you purge inactive partners or partners who are badly matched to a program then you will see that sort of curve.

    The fact is performance marketing works and works well if all the right elements are in place.

    best,
    Wayne

  16. #16
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    WebMistress wrote,

    Uh-oh, no-no! Send the routine "a" newsletter to everyone and the personal notes to the 2%.

    Web marketers have ENOUGH to read as it is. If I get a broadcast from a merchant I want to know of something IMPORTANT.

    If you ever went to college (I dropped out) you might recall that a professor always thought THEIR class was the most important. Students know better, they have to juggle multiple relationships. For example, some of our largest AffTrack clients might have over 1,000 relationships!!!


    Professional marketers want a deal, a hot promotion, the top performing products to focus on, something to boost their sales.


    I believe that if merchants spent their time communicating powerful information that could be used as tools partners would spend more time reading their communications. More often than not I see basic regurgitated tips from somewhere else.

    If people need tips on how to cut and paste links or how to build a website they need to get a beginners book on HTML first.

    What many partners might not know is that many managers are overwhelmed with simple questions that experience marketers already know.

    As everyone on this board knows- YOU HAVE TO PUT IN YOUR OWN HARD TIME and LEARN!


    Newsletters are appropriate for some programs, especially programs that center around tight-knit communities i.e. ClubMom Also Clubmom has, at least for now, one CPA offer and not a broad range of merchandise. A newsletter is a good fit for that grassroots sort of situation.

    Yes- I do suggest merchants drop affiliates that are not active or don’t send any sales after several weeks. Mainly because resources can be marshaled to those who can improve and it makes the offer more exclusive for the producers. Not just portals, there are MANY one or two person companies who really rack up the sales.

    Also if a partner isn’t sending any sales they need to drop the merchant and look elsewhere- it’s not fair to them. If a merchant is not producing for you- drop them. It is good business sense. Imagine if car lots were full of sales people who never sold a car (a nightmare) or if grocery stores never sold eggs and it stayed on the shelf for a few weeks (might sell well at halloween)

    Everyone has to focus on performance. The merchant must perform for the partner and vice versa. If either side cannot perform the equasion fails.

    best,
    Wayne

  17. #17
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    I'll try to consolidate my last two remarks.


    Andy-TigerDirect:
    With all respect, i had the pleasure of meeting and talking to Wayne Porter for a long time at AF 2002.

    Thanks Andy!

    You will note the article stressed charisma, charisma and charisma in a manager. Partners must bond and form relationships which is something you have done well and I have no doubt it has boosted your program. There are other managers here that have been opening the door to their partners and fighting for them.

    I think many "affiliates" fail to realize that most managers don't want to cheat them. Why would they? If managers delete transactions it doesn't justify their existence! The majority of affiliate managers I know have a lot of pressure to justify their channel, produce sales and results. It is just as hard a road as an affiliate.

    Before people can do business they must seek to understand each other and know each other.


    To Dhelle:
    “One of my favorite parts in regards to hiring an Affiliate Manager ...
    quote:

    "I've seen people hire
    former interns, assistants, even janitors", says Porter. “



    If only this were not true! The problem is that many companies put their program on auto-pilot and expect it to perform miracles, when no miracle happens they either

    a) Shutdown the program because performance marketing doesn't work

    b) Find the first warm body and tell them- make this work. Sad, but true. Not saying all affiliate managers are bad, many are good and many get better as they gain more experience because being an affiliate manager is difficult.

    The best path for companies IMHO is to get a seasoned consultant in the area that has a demonstrable track record and plot their performance marketing strategy long BEFORE they launch a program.

    Performance marketing puts out what they put it into it. Unfortunately many companies don't give it enough time or enough effort.

    best to all- welcome any feedback on or offlist.

    Wayne
    who also apologies for so many replies.

  18. #18
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    >Thanks for your feedback!!

    I gave no feedback!

    >To address your concerns: There were no stats made up on the fly. Please cite where you saw figures, numbers or stats that were “made-up”. Be specific.

    Yep. Be specific. Cite the sources of the figures you used.


    >Regarding Google Ranking- the interviewer posted a truncated version of my advice due to publishing constraints. In actuality I use several tools/methodologies including, Alexa, Google PR, in-bound links, domain age, relative rank velocity, quality of site, presence of other revenue sharing links, design, media mentions, and relative positioning around critical key words. Using Google ranking alone is enough to predict the value of a partner. Of course if you have a Google PR of zero, an Alexa ranking of 2,023,345 and a domain that is only 5 days old you probably aren’t ready for prime time. (Unless of course you are laundering traffic from a legitimate or illegitimate source- I won't go into that)

    Good. I did not think you would be that short sided.

    >YES many people want to be called publishers.

    NO. Not the people I know. Of course, wall street journal would like to be called publisher, but Performance Marketing doesn't make much sense to wall street journal, or, does it Wayne?


    >Maybe you want to be called an affiliate

    No Wayne, You'r wrong again. I am a Sales Partner. Retailers partner with me as an outsourced sales channel. Maybe you never thought of it that way because you just never had to think of it.

    >but media publishers, portals, and other large properties prefer to be called publishers

    Amen brother. I would LOVE to call them publishers.

    >because that is what they do.

    Oh you seem pretty intelligent here!

    >Site owners are not affiliates they publish websites, information, services, or they are business people.

    Argghh.. where did the intelligence go in a nick of time?

    >Merchants don’t own you. This is not a job- you are an independent sales contractor.

    Ohhh!!! It is back again!!!!!! back and forth.. back and forth...

    >Try this scenario- call up a Media Metrix Top 100 site and say “We want you to join our affiliate program.” The phone should be hung up pretty quickly. Now try “We want to do a series of media purchases and structure them with performance components or hybridize the offer into CPC/CPS” you will probably get a conversation.

    Umm... yeah, but what's the catch here?

    >Or look at how Performics classifies partners:

    Is Performics an Authority on this matter?


    >Afterall if they trust you enough to work with their brand shouldn’t they give you the respect you deserve?

    Yes, or else I boot them.

    >Is that how you want to be treated, has a mechant ever treated you that way?

    No and Yes. This is why we are here working with the people responsible for the companies' "Sales Partner Program" Managers. I wouldn't go to a company's senior management directly with my "sales partnership" offer. I would rather go to the person who takes care of such business for the company.


    >I don’t know about you, but I don’t know many people who want to think of themselves as subordinates to a merchant. You have as much control in the relationship as the merchant does! After all it is also YOUR BRAND that is moving their products. You can choose to end the relationship, to negotiate the terms, and to work with another merchant that competes with them. You have power in this relationship- especially if you are a productive affiliate. If you are a huge “affiliate” you have even more power because a merchant does not want to lose valuable shelf space to a competitor. That’s when you can get the sweet perks like slotting fees, hybrids, etc. You don’t even have to be huge, but if you command a very tight vertical and your brand is strong you will get better deals.

    Nothing to disagree here.

    >There is no real equality in a relationship where one is a subordinate. Successful performance marketing means both parties respect each other’s unique needs, skills, and obstacles. (One of the reasons I feel affiliate managers should be or should have been an affiliate at one time.)

    I think it's time you forget about the subordinate and affiliate concepts and concentrate on business as we know it.


    >I too still use the word affiliate

    I do too.. but when I say affiliate, I mean salesman or sales partner. Heck, it sounds much better than "publisher" anyways! I would be willing to pay CJ $10K/month to call me an affiliate instead of "publisher". Remember Wayne, There is absolutely NOTHING I publish. I only SELL, that's what I do. That is what the merchant wants to do. SELL. We sell together and that's the common goal...

    >Remember “Affiliates” and “merchants” have diametrically opposed goals!!!

    SELL. My goal is parallel to my merchants' goals. SELL. When the merchant goes in the opposite direction, the parting comes naturally.

    >There is a happy medium here and that is when merchants realize that they either need to pay a higher bounty to acquire the customer or realize that affiliates need to get recurrent revenue to stay alive and price their commissions accordingly.

    We need about 4 more years to get to that point.

    >As for performance marketing- well that is what it is and Overture and CJ aren’t the only ones that call it that. It has been around long before the Internet. You market on behalf of a party and you are paid on performance.


    I paid on how much I sell. You call it marketing or advertising, I call it SALES. That's what I do. SELL. I SELL. I do not advertise, I do not market. There are no AD INVENTORIES on my ecommerce sites. WE SELL Wayne, WE SELL.

    >Sorry to be so windy BluesX and I am happy to elaborate on any other questions you might have.


    Windy? Man you gotta see the weather outside! I have no questions Wayne but I'm happy to elaborate on yours.

    >Cordially,
    >Wayne

    Cordially,
    BluesX

  19. #19
    ABW Ambassador buy_online's Avatar
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    Wayne,

    I appreciated your lengthy replies on page one of this thread. Your focus on relationships is interesting, and I am glad to see someone address it. In business, relationships are everything.

    I have a question for you though. We have seen several Merchants recently, bring out strong legal language concerning Affiliates' placement and ranking at SE's and directories. What do you see as the reasoning behind these moves? Perhaps some kind of liability issue, or simply their narrow-sighted view of how things should work? <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>"Remember Affiliates and merchants have diametrically opposed goals!!!"<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Fred

  20. #20
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    >I gave no feedback!

    You made general reference to the article, your disdain and challenged the “numbers”. Therefore you gave feedback.

    >Yep. Be specific. Cite the sources of the >figures you used.

    You evaded my question- what figures? Aside from the 98/2 distribution which is generally agreed upon by many managers and it holds true from my personal experience consulting and working with a number of diverse merchants over the course of the last three years. Therefore there are no numbers that need to be cited. The 98/2 distribution is an obvious effect of affiliation en masse, a concept that has failed and given “affiliate marketing” a bad name. (Some networks would disagree with this of course).

    If I were to give you a hard number like: Hybrid And Performance-Based Ad Spending Soars: 79% Increase In Spending Among Top 50 Internet Properties then I would cite a Reference.

    Keep in mind that I did not write the article and much of the background was courtesy of MarketingSherpa, a source I trust and respect. So be specific- what numbers do you need a citation for?


    >NO. Not the people I know. Of course, wall >street journal would like to be called >publisher, but Performance Marketing >doesn't make much sense to wall street >journal, or, does it Wayne?

    I said “many people” certainly not all. However you are being myopic in assuming the WSJ or a similar large media publisher or brand might not be interested in performance marketing. Performance marketing occurs in radio, in magazine (remnant space), and probably other formats.

    Furthermore, a number of large media publishers are now buying performance marketing enabled sites and implementing that into their revenue mix. This trend will continue even more so as media publishers learn to stop cannibalizing their prime real estate and use contextual marketing or socket sites where it is applicable.

    Thus media publisher meets monetizer. This is perhaps one of the most powerful unions that could take place.

    Let me paint a real scenario- a large media publisher realizes that there are profitable niches to exploit and instead of putting that space out on CPC basis (like syndicated Overture links) or on pure performance they acquire the merchant and that merchant (which they own) takes all the space.

    Naturally this will only work with certain categories and certainly not ones dominated by huge brands, but it is going on now.


    >No Wayne, You'r wrong again. I am a Sales >Partner. Retailers partner with me as an >outsourced sales channel. Maybe you never >thought of it that way because you just >never had to think of it.


    Again no, I said “maybe you prefer to be called…” I don’t assume to know how you classify your business, nor do I know how you operate your online business. You are also assuming performance marketing revolves around retail partners only which would exclude CPA structured deals and formats i.e. financial. However, I will concede that I like your term Sales Partner.


    “Site owners are not affiliates they publish websites, information, services, or they are business people.”

    >Argghh.. where did the intelligence go in a >nick of time?

    You need to get that myopia treated Blues. Just because YOU are heavily sales oriented site doesn’t mean everyone else is a salesperson. Nor does it mean you have to be a sales person to make performance marketing work.

    “Try this scenario- call up a Media Metrix Top 100 site and say “We want you to join our affiliate program.” The phone should be hung up pretty quickly. Now try “We want to do a series of media purchases and structure them with performance components or hybridize the offer into CPC/CPS” you will probably get a conversation. “

    >Umm... yeah, but what's the catch here?

    The catch here is that the majority of major performers are not small operations but companies with massive reach- they don’t want to hear the term affiliate and it is easier to move a deal if the deal is structured to their mindset. This simply means that the biggest performers are often large publishers and it is a better tactic to cater to the best performers. You tell me to forget about subordinate and affiliate concepts but it is these concepts that push the largest deals. If you are making over 10 million a year in commissions then you are an exception to the rule.

    >Is Performics an Authority on this matter?

    Did I say that? That point was to underscore the fact that affiliates are in a class by themselves, a class that is often scoffed at by many retailers and certainly they are the last to get paid when it comes time to settling. Things have improved, but a year ago it was a nightmare.


    >Yes, or else I boot them.
    Good. An obvious sign of being a savvy sales partner with some leverage.


    >No and Yes. This is why we are here working >with the people responsible for the >companies' "Sales Partner Program" >Managers. I wouldn't go to a company's >senior management directly with my "sales partnership" offer. I would rather go to the >person who takes care of such business for the company.


    My points were to underscore a macro view of the performance marketing arena. If you wanted to develop a syndicated selling relationship with a large brand (i.e. Certain JCPenny’s sections being powered by SETA) then you would need to go up to V.P. level at least. Again don’t assume the way you operate your business is how all businesses operate or how all deals are struck. It is a matter of scale and how complex the deal might be.


    >I think it's time you forget about the >subordinate and affiliate concepts and >concentrate on business as we know it.

    Wake up and smell the coffee! The word “affiliate” is tainted, especially when you start talking to large multi-channel retailers who are looking into getting into performance marketing. They here the word “affiliate” and it is often a turn-off, or they see it as a major risk to their brand, or they fear the stripping of loyalty away from their brand. Many merchants are refusing to even get involved in “affiliate marketing” and some scaling way back on their program choosing to work with only a handful of partners.

    Granted affiliate marketing works great for small businesses but it is the large brands that drive the massive revenue. You can even see it in the networks recruiting strategies- they don’t want small affiliates- they need to recruit brands that produce large returns.

    And you can't deny that places like Overture have been heavy handed on affiliates- in many cases forcing affiliates to waste the valuable space they are paying for to identify themselves as an "affiliate".

    This irks me to no end. I could write a wonderful, information packed site about coffee makers but because I have a "standard affiliate link" going out to merchants who carry coffee makers I am given second-class citizen status. It is second-class because I am forced to waste valuable space on identifying my status. You don't see them using the term salesman, sales partner, or salesperson. On that note I can understand the strategic rationale behind it because merchants can shoot it out with larger margins, but it still sucks.


    >I do too.. but when I say affiliate, I mean >salesman or sales partner. Heck, it sounds >much better than "publisher" anyways! I >would be willing to pay CJ $10K/month to >call me an affiliate instead >of "publisher". Remember Wayne, There is >absolutely NOTHING I publish. I only SELL, >that's what I do. That is what the >merchant wants to do. SELL.

    Well how do you sell? You publish no content so I am assuming you are either a Search Engine marketer or you play statistical arbritrage with the PPCSEs. If you can do that successfully then more power to you. Is their a category I am missing?

    >We sell together and that's the common goal...

    If only all merchants thought that way. You are a salesperson but the vast majority of sites are not sales sites. What about the content publishers, ASPs, service based sites, media archives, etc. Their goal is to publish first. OK- we have established what you are but that is a limited view…what are your thoughts on a macro level?
    How would you solve the problems of media publishers who make up the vast majority of real estate on the Web?

    >SELL. My goal is parallel to my merchants' >goals. SELL. When the merchant goes in the >opposite direction, the parting comes >naturally.

    You are naïve if really think big merchants think that way. They have two main goals- customer acquisition and customer retention (lately the money is flowing towards retention and not acquisition). There are *exceptions* to this of course but overall that is THEIR goal. More and more merchants are coming around to this shared interest but not enough.

    >We need about 4 more years to get to that point.

    Agreed, and that is what I don’t like about the “subordinate mindset”.

    >I paid on how much I sell. You call it >marketing or advertising, I call it SALES. >That's what I do. SELL. I SELL. I do not >advertise, I do not market. There are no >AD INVENTORIES on my ecommerce sites. WE SELL Wayne, WE SELL.

    Great- that is what YOU do. But your unique situation is not the same as everyone else’s. Marketing is different then advertising and selling is markedly different then either marketing or advertising. They are all different, yet related.


    >Windy? Man you gotta see the weather >outside! I have no questions Wayne but I'm >happy to elaborate on yours.

    Fine. I enjoy a debate and your perspective, even the generous saltings of sarcasm. I'll won't call you a publisher either, even if you did offer CJ $10,000...
    [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif[/img]

    Regards,
    Wayne

  21. #21
    Affiliate Marketing Consultant Andy Rodriguez's Avatar
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Wayne_Porter:

    You will note the article stressed charisma, charisma and charisma in a manager. Partners must bond and form relationships which is something you have done well and I have no doubt it has boosted your program. There are other managers here that have been opening the door to their partners and fighting for them.
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>


    Thanks Wayne..<IMG src=http://www.abestweb.com/ubb/icons/icon12.gif>

  22. #22
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    >>Anyone who has seen Todd and I can tell the difference since Todd is a beanpole and I am on the portly side. (working on the extra pounds)<<

    Hey Wayne,
    You should stop by my content site - it can help you with that! [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif[/img]

  23. #23
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>(i.e. Certain JCPenny’s sections being powered by SETA)<HR></BLOCKQUOTE> Acronym Alert --- what's SETA?

  24. #24
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    Sorry buckworks. SETA Corporation. I think Seta is the last name of the owner (???). They are the world's largest direct marketer of jewelry.

    -wayne

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    I have a question for you though. We have seen several Merchants recently, bring out strong legal language concerning Affiliates' placement and ranking at SE's and directories. What do you see as the reasoning behind these moves? Perhaps some kind of liability issue, or simply their narrow-sighted view of how things should work?


    Ok I will take a stab at this. It probably stems from several reasons. Please realize I am not taking sides, just presenting it as it is.

    1) Strategy: Merchants have far better margins than affiliates (I’ll use the “A” word for Blues), thus they risk losing prime positions as other merchants that come in and bid against their affiliates have deeper pockets. As an affiliate you might get a 10% commission, the merchant might have 35% margin. If a competitor comes in he can easily oust the affiliate with his identical 35% margin. The prime space is now lost.

    2) Merchants realize the value of Google and Overture and they retain more in terms of margin by paying them on a CPC basis. By bidding against their affiliates they are raising their costs. Remember a merchant’s goal is ultimately customer acquisition and retention.


    3) Cookie duration might play a factor too. If a merchant is bidding on the same trademarks as you and they click through your link, then go back and click on the merchant’s link the merchant has to pay not only the CPC cost but the commission. (Another reason why some cookie durations are short- brands that do large amounts of advertising buys cannot really afford to pay a commission plus the media buy and hope to make a decent profit.)

    4) There are some legal issues in regards to trademarks. For one it is something that a brand has spent a lot of money on and they want to defend that turf. Actually they MUST defend their trademark or they risk losing it. Especially in the case of URL stuffing.

    5) Often it is the legal eagles that lay down these laws with no real concerns on how it affects affiliate marketers. As I posted above- affiliates are treated as low priority partners. Some legal teams are extremely aggressive for example Playboy tried to trademark playboy.jpg (I don’t know if that ever happened) but I am willing to bet that most lawyers don’t even know what affiliate marketing is- they just hand down the law to the management.

    6) In some firms an ad agency may be doing the media buying and operating independently from the affiliate manager. Often the media buyers wishes come first. The larger the brand the more concerned they will be about protecting their marks.


    In the old days, back when Overture wooed affiliates theirmarket penetration wasn’t significant enough to really get the attention of large multi-channel retailers. They were fine to leave that turf to performance marketers, but as Overture’s market penetration grew and they saw the sales being racked up it only made smart business sense to go in and compete.

    In reality Overture and Google CPC buys are another form of performance marketing- the deal structure is different. Sometimes it is handled by the media agency, sometimes by the affiliate manager, and sometimes the very networks that you partner with. For example Performics offers these types of services to their merchants. I have always been curious about how affiliates felt about that or if they even knew that.

    If you want to get into the legal nitty-gritty about trademarks and affiliate marketing I would recommend Haiko dragging over Glenn Sobel of AffiliateAdvisor.com.

    I met Glenn a couple of years ago at the L.A. Roadshow and aside from his tough reputation he is a nice and very pro-affiliate guy. He is also an excellent legal resource when it comes to affiliate marketing and part of his practice is built around helping merchants craft agreements that are fair for both parties. I would also advise reading some of his hard-hitting articles on program agreements: http://affiliateadvisor.com/articles.htm

    In summary the best bet is not to bid on trademarked terms or get permission first. It is getting harder and harder for smaller affiliates to compete (not saying they can’t! many do) so your best bet is to find that unique angle, build community and acquire your OWN customers so you are less reliant on CPC based buys at places like Overture.

    To survive in performance markeing you have to think TWO YEARS AHEAD. Don’t think in the here and now and realize that practicing statistical arbitrage on trademarked names in CPC engines will eventually be difficult if not impossible. Content, good list building and community will carry you through the hard times because you have acquired your OWN customers.

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