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  1. #1
    The affiliate formerly known as ojmoo
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    I'll be damned
    This message makes no sense since they don't pay me anything unless I make a sale for them. I can see them saying, we have decided to end the program. But if you aren't doing that, how can an affiliate making you sales ever 'cost you money'?

    Anyone want to predict if JCP will be filing bankrupsy in a very short time and liquidation soon there after?

    We have had this discussion before, these vendors see affiliate marketing the same way they see SEM on google adwords. When one can't possibly cause a net loss and one could.

    Hi There,

    Due to severe budget cuts, the JCPenney program has asked that you not promote their brand on your sites at this time. We’ll still be paying commissions on sales, however we are doing our best to keep our exposure at a minimum until we’re able to recoup our budget.

    We won’t be pushing any new promotions via affiliate; so in the meantime please just drive directly to our homepage, and use general copy such as “Shop JCPenney.com.” Thanks so much for understanding, and apologies for the inconvenience.

    We sincerely appreciate your partnership!

    Thanks,
    The JCPenney LinkShare Team
    Expert who says Moo

    a.k.a. OJMOO

    Cow Dance


  2. #2
    The affiliate formerly known as ojmoo
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    OK, I reread the letter and I"m even more confused. What do they mean don't promote their brand, but promote "Shop JCPenney"? Do they mean remove the affiliate link but leave a direct (non-commissioned) link to JCP?
    Expert who says Moo

    a.k.a. OJMOO

    Cow Dance


  3. #3
    ABW Ambassador JoyUnltd's Avatar
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    Their wording is very confusing, but is sounds like they don't want datafeeds used to go to specific items. They obviously don't understand aff programs at all if they think they're going to generate all those extra sales themselves. Doh is as doh does!

    Daniel M. Clark, here's another one for you!
    Renée
    Pay no attention to that woman behind the curtain. -Wizardress of Oz

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  5. #4
    ABW Ambassador Bob Lawrence's Avatar
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    I got the same letter today.
    I also got the notice in LinkSteal that they were cutting their commissions.
    I think it was 12% going to 3%.
    I declined it then.
    But still see I'm getting their email letters.
    Where's the Great Life of Affiliate Marketing Hiding?

  6. #5
    ABW Ambassador Bob Lawrence's Avatar
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    I just logged into LS to see, I was mistaken.. it was 6% to 3%.
    Where's the Great Life of Affiliate Marketing Hiding?

  7. #6
    ABW Ambassador Daniel M. Clark's Avatar
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    Sounds like they need a new OPM.

    Sorry I'm late with this one lol
    Daniel M. Clark
    Tech Manager
    Greg Hoffman Consulting

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  9. #7
    ABW Ambassador Daniel M. Clark's Avatar
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    It's definitely a weird move for them to make. I understand the rationale, but only if you look at it from the perspective of someone who doesn't really understand the channel. They say they'll continue to pay commissions, but they want to reduce exposure - they clearly don't want to kill off the program, but they're afraid that if there's too much activity in the program, it will cost them more money than they can afford. To someone who doesn't understand how affiliate marketing works, that does make sense. And it could be that. But...

    Maybe it's that what they're paying to the network per-sale is too much. I could see that being an issue if their margins are really thin and the program doesn't have enough of a budget to be successful. It's possible that their fixed costs plus their per-sale fees to the network are starting to cut into their channel budget. We tend to think that they only pay us affiliates when we drive them a sale, and that's true - but we're not the only ones who get paid in the transaction.
    Daniel M. Clark
    Tech Manager
    Greg Hoffman Consulting


  10. #8
    The affiliate formerly known as ojmoo
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    I was thinking about that they need a new OPM, You know just moving the problem to SAS would save these JCP allot of money.

    The problem is they don't understand. They should see that their budget is their fixed cost. They should set their fees under their net profit on the product and then in regards to their budget the amount of sales should be irrelavent since it always has a built in profit.

    The email came from the 'The JCPenney LinkShare Team' you would think these guys since they work for linkshare would know better than to send out an email so absurd. Do the people at LinkShare understand their own business model? In my opinion, I think that anyone from LinkShare who sends out a letter like this should be fired because they don't understand the business at all. If generating less sales results in a greater net profit (or lower net loss) for the company than JCP should get out of affiliate marketing now....well at least with linkshare.
    Expert who says Moo

    a.k.a. OJMOO

    Cow Dance


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  12. #9
    ...and a Pirate's heart. Convergence's Avatar
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    4th Quarter will be their swan song...
    Salty kisses, Sandy toes, and a Pirate's heart...

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  14. #10
    Super Dawg Member Phil Kaufman aka AffiliateHound's Avatar
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    JC Pennys has been run into the ground by horrible management over the past 3-4 years. When Ron Johnson became CEO back then, he took a struggling but still popular brand and almost single-handedly destroyed it by totally re-making their marketing philosophy. He drove in-store customers away, and the company was near ruin when he was fired. When Mike Ullman took over and hired what Forbes called a very strong new management team, the focus was on reviving in-store sales.

    It looks, however, like they have now put total idiots in charge of some aspects of their online presence.
    Since June 10, 2012 a vegan aarf but still writing the Hound Dawg Sports Blog
    "If you don't have time to do it right, when will you have time to do it over?" -John Wooden;
    "Raj, there’s no place for truth on the internet." -Howard Wolowitz[/SIZE]

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  16. #11
    OPM and Moderator Chuck Hamrick's Avatar
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    Looks like they treat affiliate as a cost center and only look at the costs of sale as if it came to them from thin air. Its a profit center and probably one of the most profitable of their online marketing channels. Also sounds like their affiliate manager isn't! As for LinkShare you would think that manager or team would be seasoned but may be fresh out of college with no clue as to what they are doing so they just pass the buck. Most likely they are intimidated and its just a first job on their way to a better resume.

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  18. #12
    Affiliate Network Rep JCrooks - AffiliateWindow's Avatar
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    With companies like this, they budget everything. They probably had a specific budgeted amount for affiliate sales, and they are coming close to using up that budget. The fact that sales might be exceeding the forecast doesn't come into play, and the extra money from those sales aren't added into the budget in mid-year. So, they pull back on the program. Doesn't make sense, for sure, but that's how big companies work. Just a guess, but I've seen it before.
    Jeannine Crooks - Always happy to share what I know! - Voted Best Network Rep 2013 & 2014
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  20. #13
    ABW Ambassador
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    It simply means you can't promooooooooote them but you can promote them.


  21. #14
    The affiliate formerly known as ojmoo
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    JCrooks is right, but it makes no sense, I wonder if they are also cutting back on adwords which this type of strategy does make sense.

    Chuck: How can a company like linkshare not put a top guy on a brand like JCP. Phil is right, I have been watching their downfall on CNBC for quite a while now, but they are still a major brand and to allow it to be managed by amatures is crazy.
    Expert who says Moo

    a.k.a. OJMOO

    Cow Dance


  22. #15
    Affiliate Network Rep JCrooks - AffiliateWindow's Avatar
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    These decisions are made on the corporate side. Probably no matter whom Linkshare assigned to their account, regardless of who the OPM was, the result wouldn't change. Yeah, doesn't make sense, but I do understand.
    Jeannine Crooks - Always happy to share what I know! - Voted Best Network Rep 2013 & 2014
    Email | LinkedIn | Twitter | Affiliate Window
    US Programs | Canada Programs | UK Programs | Ireland Programs | Mainland Europe Programs

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  24. #16
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Daniel M. Clark View Post
    Sounds like they need a new OPM.
    I suspect that they need MUCH more than just a new OPM.
    Michael Coley
    Amazing-Bargains.com
     Affiliate Tips | Merchant Best Practices | Affiliate Friendly? | Couponing | CPA Networks? | ABW Tips | Activating Affiliates
    "Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world." Nelson Mandela

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  26. #17
    ABW Ambassador joyaz's Avatar
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    Great way to be taken seriously ... beginning the email with "Hi There."

    "The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step."

  27. #18
    ABW Ambassador isellstuff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JCrooks - AffiliateWindow View Post
    These decisions are made on the corporate side. Probably no matter whom Linkshare assigned to their account, regardless of who the OPM was, the result wouldn't change.
    Agreed. It was a shock to me when I realized how a lot of big brands treat affiliate marketing. AM is just lumped in with the rest of their marketing budget, e.g. TV, print, radio, banner ads, etc.

    I'm unclear if this approach works in our favor or against us? So take Wal-Mart as an example. Do they have a low commission rate because they need to stay within their quarterly "AM marketing dollars allotment" or are they really paying attention to the affiliate marketing channel ROI? I would guess they are trying to stay within their quarterly marketing budget. I've seen Wal-Mart cancel commission bumps early in the 4th quarter because they were exceeding their budget.
    Merchants, any data you provide to Google Shopping should also be in your affiliate network datafeed. More data means more sales!

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  29. #19
    The affiliate formerly known as ojmoo
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    I asked tham about it and this is their reply
    Hi there – we’re just asking that all our partners feature the brand in a non-promotional way, as our budget is very tight right now. You will still be paid for any traffic, but we’d like to keep the affiliate traffic as controlled as possible. Thank you so much for understanding, and apologies for the inconvenience!
    Isn't this saying promote it in a bad way such that sales won't be made, but people still see allot of the JCPenney brand name on the net? Whatever, everyone agrees they are foolish. Not the first one we have seen. I'm sure there will be other emails like this from other merchants. We'll post it again and discuss it and move on. Such is our industry.
    Expert who says Moo

    a.k.a. OJMOO

    Cow Dance


  30. #20
    ABW Ambassador JoyUnltd's Avatar
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    This is a great opportunity for OPMs, and possibly broad-minded network reps, to band together for an educational purpose. Perhaps a blog, some downloadable white papers with case studies (when permitted by a merchant). This needs a chorus of voices in unison, to counter the AM budget, cost center mindset and help revitalize this biz.

    Many industries have been taken over by bean counters with tunnel vision. Focus on bringing understanding about the bigger picture, not to the bean counters (who are deaf), but to those above them who can redirect their limited scope.
    Renée
    Pay no attention to that woman behind the curtain. -Wizardress of Oz

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  32. #21
    ...and a Pirate's heart. Convergence's Avatar
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    Payments owed to a network are a liability on the books.

    They may be trying to entice some angel money, restructure, or even file the big one...
    Salty kisses, Sandy toes, and a Pirate's heart...

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  34. #22
    Member Prosperent's Avatar
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    We just sank them in our algorithm after reading the e-mail. They had actually climbed into our top 10 merchants over the past few months. I'm sure that didn't help their budget issues.

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  36. #23
    OPM and Moderator Chuck Hamrick's Avatar
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    So did they use up their advertising budget due to making more sales than forecasted then decided to stop advertising for the rest of the year? Its like an airline shutting down because they exceeded their fuel budget due to increasing flights to meet ticket sales. I guess the AM and staff at LinkShare get to take some time off??

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  38. #24
    The affiliate formerly known as ojmoo
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    Thinking about this a little bit more....

    If they are saying, OK, no more coupons through the affiliate channel which can cost them twice the affiliate sale and the coupon, they could have explained that, people might not like it, but that's the way it is.

    If they really wanted to limit the afifliate channel the way they said, all they had to do was remove the products from their datafeed and within a short amount of time between those who use the datafeed and those who use goldencan and alike all that would be left would be a few banner links.

    If you make no more of the banner links then the timely banner links will become obsolete and all that would be left would be brand banner links.

    No one is going to do anything positive for JCP based upon the email they send out. If you are going to swap out a link you need (sale/product/whatever) then instead of swapping with a generic link one would either remove it totally or swap it out with a link from macys, dilliards, nordstroms, etc.

    All that the email does is weaken the reputation of everyone involved with the email including those at linkshare who are on the jcp team and linkshare itself.

    I am just happy that the datafeed is running just fine with new products added everyday as JCP is a major brand and for a comparison site such as my own including them makes my site stronger.
    Expert who says Moo

    a.k.a. OJMOO

    Cow Dance


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  40. #25
    ABW Ambassador Bob Lawrence's Avatar
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    I think they put all their budget into tv advertising.
    Seen ad after ad on HDTV the last 2 days.
    Get 15% off, 20% off, plus a 25% off on clearance items.
    Where's the Great Life of Affiliate Marketing Hiding?

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