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  1. #1
    Affiliate Network Rep
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    " Affiliate Network " first impressions
    Hi Guys and Girls

    I have been reading up on a lot of threads recently and its got my brain working overtime.

    So much negativity created by market leading affiliate networks in the US its got me thinking about the value added or the lack of it in the overall relationship mix between affiliate , merchant , OPM and " network "

    I have to be honest its making me wonder if I even want buy.at to be called an " affiliate network " anymore as the term itself is associated with a Stigma of either a money hungry corp with no scruples at worst or a technology provider at best.

    The day I think buy.at has become either of the above is the day I don't bother turning up for work and I hate to think that to describe us currently would be two words that conjure up a certain image that puts us in a pidgeon hole with the rest of the pack.

    When I first talk to a potential client I want to instantly distance our offering and create a unique first impression in the introduction of our company and " affiliate network " has a sour taste to it imo

    What does the term " affiliate network " bring to mind for you?

    Mal
    Malcolm Cowley
    Advertising.com's buy.at affiliate network
    malcolm.cowley@buy.at
    buyat.com

    Ticketmaster has Beta launched their affiliate program with buy.at - be one of the first to join now!

  2. #2
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    There you are I'm eating right now but will post later.

  3. #3
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    Hi Trust mate :-)

    I'm off to bed now as its 3.30am but ill check in tomorrow for replies.

    Mal
    Malcolm Cowley
    Advertising.com's buy.at affiliate network
    malcolm.cowley@buy.at
    buyat.com

    Ticketmaster has Beta launched their affiliate program with buy.at - be one of the first to join now!

  4. #4
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    Well you can change that, SAS is an affiliate network that doesn't bring about bad thoughts.

    It depends what kind of network you're going to be. An example is most people would be suprised that a few years ago, Linkshare was voted #1 network here at ABW and SAS at the bottom. Now SAS is at the top and LS near or at the bottom. What changed? SAS listened to their merchants and affiliates and implemented, LS, CJ doesn't. It's that simple.

    The problem arises when networks think they start running things and believe they can tell merchants and affiliates how things are going to be done. And they have a lot of merchants and affiliates buying into that. And that's because they let them, forgetting that affiliate marketing doesn't even need networks to exist. That affiliate marketing started before networks even came onto the scene.

    Now I don't have a problem with networks if they are run the correct way like SAS. Listening to their customers, the merchants and affiliates. We're all here to make money and when everybody is happy, it works better. The current big networks don't listen, they dictate and merchants who want to be on networks for the convenience they bring don't have many options. That's what's needed, more options for them with networks that actually listen and don't forget what they're here for.

  5. #5
    Defender of Truth, Justice and the Affiliate Way
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    So much negativity created by market leading affiliate networks
    Negativity is often a capitalistic opportunity for someone else.

  6. #6
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    I think the negativity is mainly just within the industry, and it's the individual companies that are perceived negatively rather than the industry. Those of us in the industry tend to love affiliate marketing so I would say that "affiliate network" would be perceived well.
    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

  7. #7
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    It's very simple. Just listen. Listen to your customers. Affiliates and merchants give advice because they want a good working network where both the merchant and affiliate are satisfied. You do that and you can be a top network. When you hear affiliates complain about networks, they do that because they want them to listen and work right because that's where the merchants that they want to partner with are. And it the networks don't listen, then it's better to find one that does. Right now is a perfect time because there is a need, merchants are going to be looking. Some BF merchants are still looking. Not many options.

  8. #8
    Prince of Content Vinny O'Hare's Avatar
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    It is not the term affiliate network that bothers me as much as "trusted third party"

    To me it just screams that they trust your links are being taking over by a parasitic third party that they are partnering with.

    I am sure this is not what they have in mind
    Vinny O'Hare - OPM - Contact Info email: vinny at teamloxly.com ~ 702-582-6742 Twitter

  9. #9
    Affiliate Marketing Consultant Andy Rodriguez's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kellie aka Ms. B
    Negativity is often a capitalistic opportunity for someone else.
    Proven time and time again.....

    Hey there Mate !!!
    Andy Rodriguez Consulting, Affiliate Program Management and Consulting Services, Since 2001
    www.andyrodriguez.com | E: abw@andyrodriguez.com | P: (888) 931-ANDY (2639) | Skype: affiliatedoctor | AIM & MSN: AffiliateDoctor | Subscribe To Our ABW Forum Posts | Follow me on Twitter | Join Our Affiliate Programs

  10. #10
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    Thanks for the thoughts guys

    I agree there is a big opportunity :-)

    I guess in a way though I am more thinking about the term " affiliate network " not really encompassing what we actual do as a business next to the majority of competitors and the fact that a lot of those companies in the same pidgeon hole don't really do half the things I know we do here.

    Quite often I hear them being described as plug and play networks yet " affiliate network " is still used as the main description.

    With me being so close to who does what I guess when someone says affiliate network I cringe a little as I am already thinking damn I hope they have not just conjured up a certain image.

    Moving further into 2006 a name change may be something I push to be addressed as quite frankly I don't want to be veiwed as the same type of company as the market leaders out there.

    Especially if theres an outside chance we might be competing more face to face :-)

    Once again thanks for the replies guys and girl :-) Hope to be seeing you soon

    Mal
    Malcolm Cowley
    Advertising.com's buy.at affiliate network
    malcolm.cowley@buy.at
    buyat.com

    Ticketmaster has Beta launched their affiliate program with buy.at - be one of the first to join now!

  11. #11
    OPM and Moderator Chuck Hamrick's Avatar
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    perfiliate,

    Two points I would like to offer. If you come out as an "affiliate network" you have to compete with 100 others and differentiate yourself. If you are able to do that by providing the solutions for both affiliates and merchants you would quickly rise to the top.

    If you come out with another term then you can own that term and be first-in. That is difficult with so much press around the name "affiliate network". It is a basic tenant of marketing that you need to own the term otherwise you never differentiate yourself. When you can create a new term then you can be unique. Not sure if all that makes sense.

  12. #12
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    "Two points I would like to offer. If you come out as an "affiliate network" you have to compete with 100 others and differentiate yourself."

    You also have to consider he works for one of the top affiliate networks in the UK, Affiliate Window and Buy.at were 1 2 in affiliates favorite networks. They also work with UKs biggest brands, the kind you see at LS and CJ. So they have a step up on those 100 affiliate networks, most of them are more just ad networks. Their competition would be the top 3. And they seem to be very responsive to their affiliates and merchants:

    http://www.a4uforum.co.uk/forumdisplay.php?f=20

    I see a few of them posting there. What's lacking with the major networks today, communication.

  13. #13
    OPM and Moderator Chuck Hamrick's Avatar
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    Excellent point and I forgot that they are a top UK network. Couldn't agree more that what is lacking is a 1:1 communication by the networks.

    Malcolm if you could break that paradigm and make both affiliates and merchants feel their concerns were valid and worth answering you would get my loyalty.

  14. #14
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    I might add this to the great advice above ... lose all the negativity surrounding the word "affiliate" as it pertains to the advertising mindset. Aside from the SAS brand all other "Affiliate Network" brands acquire the morals, ethics and practices labeling the Advertising industry a few rungs below sheister attornies and corrupt politicians in the mindset of online consumers.

    Introduce yourself as a "Sales Network" or "VAR network" to push what the legit players desire ....value-add traffic leading to real sales conversions. Read and digest www.ecomcity.com/safehaven-network.htm and the differenciator light bulbs will go off. Till then your just another wank Affiliate Network run by eyeball Adwhores in the media mindset. Choose a naming scheme that goes along with joining every anti-Spyware/Adware industry group and shouting to consumers ... your different.
    Webmaster's... Mike and Charlie

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  15. #15
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    Can a mod remove the above post and this one. Mike, Buy.at is already a successful and clean network. You should do your homework every now and then. Read his posts here, read the forum I've linked too, read the interview he did with Haiko so you have some sort of clue as to what you're talking about.

  16. #16
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    Here, listen to this:

    Haiko interviews Malcolm Cowley from Buy.at

    http://www.webmasterradio.fm/episode...d=15&year=2005

    For some reason not loading up in IE for me but works in Firefox just fine.*

    Just put this link into Firefox:
    http://media.webmasterradio.fm/episo...T.050802.0.mp3

    So for those that don't know much about Buy.at, read the UK forum, read Malcolms posts here, listen to the interview Haiko did with Malcolm.

    *edit - Works in IE too, just took a little longer to load up on my computer.

  17. #17
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    "I guess in a way though I am more thinking about the term " affiliate network " not really encompassing what we actual do as a business next to the majority of competitors and the fact that a lot of those companies in the same pidgeon hole don't really do half the things I know we do here."

    How about "Performance Network"

  18. #18
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    If you coin a new phrase, you're going to need to put quite a bit of time and money into branding and education. The last thing you'll want potential merchants and affiliates thinking (if you use a different phrase) is "Huh? What's that? Oh, like an Affiliate Network?".
    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

  19. #19
    What's the word? Rhia7's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MichaelColey
    If you coin a new phrase, you're going to need to put quite a bit of time and money into branding and education. The last thing you'll want potential merchants and affiliates thinking (if you use a different phrase) is "Huh? What's that? Oh, like an Affiliate Network?".
    New phrases can come in handy at times
    How about "interval ownership" for "timesharing"? It worked
    ~Rhia7 -- Remember the 7
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  20. #20
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    Yeah, I wouldn't worry to much about the name. As long as it works right, that's all that matters.

  21. #21
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    Hi

    Yes some very good points and Trust mate cheers for the plugs :-)

    Like Michael says its hard to coin a new term without a lot of effort but I know our affiliates and clients will do the shouting for us in the most part as long as we give them what they need.

    Chuck I hope we can win your confidence :-) In the UK we have 99% client retention , in fact most of our larger clients have made moves to slim down how many networks they deal with so they can focus in on us more due to how much value they feel we add.

    Cant wait to meet some of you guys and girls I know you will keep me right as to what we would need to do to make a good impression.

    Michael i read your perfect network description a while ago and If I remember rightly we could tick every line so if the rest of the US thinks the same maybe we can really acheive something special.

    Networks like buy.at and SAS deserve to lead the market as other companies will have to smarten up to compete and thats good for the whole industry , we have seen that first hand in the UK and our competitors even mention it in pitches sometimes which makes me smile :-)

    The rest of the year could be very interesting

    Mal
    Malcolm Cowley
    Advertising.com's buy.at affiliate network
    malcolm.cowley@buy.at
    buyat.com

    Ticketmaster has Beta launched their affiliate program with buy.at - be one of the first to join now!

  22. #22
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    This year would be great timing.

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