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April 4th, 2013, 12:09 PM #1Bad Management
I've heard my share of bad management stories online and offline for years. But recently they sound like they are getting worse. Hopefully, I haven't been part of any of your stories...
I fully admit I make mistakes with merchants and affiliates. I change my policies and do things I didn't think I would do. I'm closed minded and ride my high horse on some issues, then Cindy kicks me in the shins and says wake up and remember we work with both affiliates and merchants. We need balance. It's a fine line pleasing both sides of the management business.
But we try and we listen. So if I piss you off, contact me. Share your story and I will try my best to make it right. I'd rather hear it from you than read about it in the ABW tabloids.
My definition of bad management will vary from yours. So share your story and dont' hold back, but ask yourself, did you question authority or did you pack up and move on from that merchant?
- Don't form relationships
- Don't send newsletters
- Don't send personal emails or follow ups
- Don't work deals with coupon sites and monitor landing pages
- Don't monitor trademark ppc
- Don't give you a heads up before major policy changes
- Don't answer emails or phone calls
- Don't give you their names
- Give vanity coupons to anyone
- Push offers to toolbars
- Pay for placement regardless of ROI
- Ignore niche affiliates
- Do everything opposite of the list above and more.
- Good managers answer promptly.
- They constantly learn
- They engage in the community
- They resolve disputes
- They think about all affiliates, not just the performers
- They think about the merchants margins
- They think about the merchants other marketing channels
- They are creative
- They are open to new ideas
- Share with other managers
- Respect their competition
Maybe ABW needs a Bad Management Section for education purposes.
Sometimes this forum is quick to judge but in reality it means someone cut a corner and didn't communicate something properly. Other times it means managers and merchants are just ignorant and stupid. I've always enjoyed watching a negative thread here turn into a positive one because someone saw the light.
April 4th, 2013, 12:38 PM #2Originally Posted by akagorilla
More seriously...good insights and great list of DON'Ts and DOs. It would be nice if all OPMs and AMs worked within the constraints of your "Good" list.
I hope I didn't prompt you to post what you did with the recent thread about a bad practice. Normally, I would have been proactive (instead of reactive) and contacted the AM about the pending termination - and showed him the page(s) related to his merchant's products. However, when I saw that I was cut off without notice I became reactive and vented to compatriots (to whom this may also have happened).
April 4th, 2013, 12:45 PM #3
April 4th, 2013, 12:55 PM #4
I think what pisses off affiliates and cause them to post on ABestWeb is the tone and lack of respect they get from certain (clueless) AMs. I know I have made mistakes being an OPM and having to manage 6-10 merchants with combined 12-20 programs. Its generally not cutting corners just trying to keep up. In the case that affiliate reached out or posted here I have gone back to review and if in the wrong rectified the situation then ate a little crow!
There are over 10,000 affiliate programs and in that I mean eCommerce merchants and not CPA offers. At Summit we may see 20 OPM and maybe 1000 AMs out of 4000 attendees. Say half (2000) are CPA networks and remaining are affiliates, vendors, agencies and upper management of merchants. So I think I can safely say 1-10 Affiliate Managers are actively trying to educate themselves and talk directly to affiliates.
Its one thing to be uneducated and ill informed and have personal experience where management shoves crap down an AMs throat that they have to force feed to their affiliates. I have quit jobs over that and over not having the resources to do my job withing a 50 hr work week. What burns my ass is the talking down to affiliates, calling then barnacles that cling to the brand and trying to screw them when they are successful so the merchant can copy their work. don't get me started!
Greg you piss me off all the time but I consider you a colleague and friend!
April 4th, 2013, 01:02 PM #5
April 4th, 2013, 04:07 PM #6
April 4th, 2013, 04:11 PM #7
April 12th, 2013, 10:54 PM #8
- Join Date
- November 1st, 2005
In the past I thought a bad AM was one that kept annoying me and asking to promote their products. if I was not replying it was because I was busy with other things and when I had the time then I would get around to promoting them unless they annoyed me so much. These days it's more about AM's that don't communicate with issues or ones that are showing signs of them doing something shady.
April 13th, 2013, 02:56 AM #9
This concerns a big time merchant and their affiliate management staff that seems to have been going through the motions for years, without caring, listening, or acting.
Last October, I received an email from one of their affiliate managers inquiring as to why my sales with them may have declined over the previous year and suggesting certain promotional ideas. Following is my reply, to which I never received any response whatsoever. To allow these problems to develop and to continue, some over and over again, is itself extremely bad management, but then to reach out and ask for information, and then to fail to respond to the answers provided, is far worse management. This is what I told her:
I wold like to take this opportunity, in response to your email, to explain to you, and to MERCHANT, why I have stopped further promotion of MERCHANT products, and am in the process of replacing all MERCHANT links with those from other merchant affiliate programs.
For several years, I dealt with the obstacles that MERCHANT had erected, obstacles that included the availability of individual product links ending and then resuming at various times, unique link-creation requirements different from any other merchant even within the same network, repeated instances of existing product links no longer landing on the product page, and far too often, links not tracking, either with some sort of unexplained problem unique to MERCHANT or widespread throughout the Google Affiliate Network.
Over the years, I have spend hundreds, likely thousands, of hours, creating MERCHANT product links, and whenever I had reached a completion point, feeling that things were ready to produce, and when I saw increased sales, something would always happen to end that, and to curtail sales, whether it was MERCHANT changing networks, ending the availability of product links, or most often, links (not a few - hundreds or more) just not working or not tracking. I cannot count how many times that happened, each time requiring that new links be built for hundreds or more individual products. The same was frequently true of links used through Popshops.
A few months ago, two events occurred that resulted in my decision to stop promoting MERCHANT: 1) The release of information that GAN was unable to track links that were visited and clicked on by site visitors using Safari, and 2) MERCHANT's significant reduction in their affiliate commission rates.
After it was revealed that GAN was not tracking through Safari, there were statements released that the problem was being examined, but NOTHING has ever been said that the problem has been fixed. For this, and a few other related reasons, I am also ending promotion of all other GAN merchants.
As to the MERCHANT's commission reduction, and years of blood, sweat, and tears always being rewarded with broken links and lost sales, if this is how MERCHANT choses to treat their affiliates, then I am done. Unfortunately, due to many other pressing commitments, including the need to replace other merchants that no longer work with California affiliates, it will take quite awhile for me to remove all MERCHANT links from my sites, but I am working on it and it will be completed as soon as possible.
April 13th, 2013, 10:23 AM #10
Not sure if other affiliates feel the same way or not but what's really starting to annoy me are affiliate managers that say one thing but manage their programs differently. Used to be I was naive (or stupid but naive seems like a much kinder way of saying it) and if something was said by an affiliate manager I'd believe them but not anymore. OK, admit I am still naive or stupid and do believe some of them.
akagorilla - Don't mean to be argumentative or anything but umm I guess is a case of maybe an affiliate manager seeing things one way and any affiliate (very teeny affiliate and even just small affiliates) seeing it the other way. One thing you listed as bad I think is thought of by those smaller affiliates as just the opposite.
"Give vanity coupons to anyone"
Definitely don't think they should be given to anyone but...... If vanity coupons are only given to the big guy affiliates (I understand the reason why some affiliate managers do this) then the lil guy affiliates are put at a very HUGE disadvantage. As I said, I understand the reason given by some but it's kinda like the lil guy is just gonna be going around in circles. They can't ever expect to get any bigger (not even bigger, maybe just maintain where they are) if they can't at least be viewed as having the same offers. Not even talking about a better offer but if big guy site has as an example a $25 coupon offer given to them and lil guy has $5 offer, don't think the majority of smaller affiliates are too happy with that.
Again, am not being argumentative, critical or anything like that just maybe looking at something you mentioned as bad is looked at differently by different size affiliates.
Thinks is a very good thread. Isn't exactly the same I guess but somewhere here there used to be something like a "Things I hate as an affiliate" thread. Maybe this could be linked to that thread, or maybe not lol just a thought.
April 13th, 2013, 11:58 AM #11
This looks like the beginning of a really good thread. I hope more people would contribute to this. As a new Affiliate Manager myself I would like to find the best ways to please affiliates, and keep my program running as smoothly as possible.
It's funny, because my natural instinct is to want to contact my affiliates but fear that I may be (or become) annoying. But looks like it's more common for AM's to be unresponsive.