In my last post I touched on a couple of points on why an outsourced affiliate program manager will have some advantages over hiring in-house staff. I wanted to discuss some of those advantages a bit more in-depth in a dedicated article.
Let’s discuss first the option of dumping the affiliate program into the lap of your online-marketing generalist. Usually, the online marketing folks I’ve run across have medium level expertise in several different facets of digital marketing. Some of those facets could include:
Those last two are usually contracted out by a digital marketing generalist, but depending on the roots of the company, someone with these skills might simply be put in charge of all digital marketing efforts. Now, don’t get me wrong, a lot of SEO folks know and understand paid search and also understand content marketing. Ad planners and buyers might have a foundation in analytics or in graphic design. Many of these skills cross-over, but only a very few people have what I would consider expert level knowledge in multiple facets of digital marketing.
Actually, just to make a quick segue here, not having deep depth in many of these digital marketing skills can be one of the best reasons to start an affiliate marketing program. Most affiliates ARE experts in at least one of the above skills, and partnering with these affiliates helps you cover all your bases for getting your message and brand to as many potential customers as possible.
But let me get back to the main point of this article. Hiring an outsourced affiliate program management company will allow your digital marketing staff to focus on what they do best. Be it SEO, content marketing, or whatever else. Don’t let them be distracted by wasting time on a half-baked affiliate marketing effort, which in many cases could do more harm than good to your brand. Bring in the pros, and allow them to make you a star by growing your program successfully and keeping in clear of any poisoned / spamming / brand harming affiliates.
Successful affiliate program management requires a varied basket of skills, but in my opinion 2 of the highest impact attributes of a good affiliate manager are:
Regardless of how good your digital marketing team is with any other skills, only a very experienced affiliate manager will have a solid base in the above 2 points. Outsourced affiliate program management firms not only have an abundance of knowledge but have built up strong relationships over the years and they have this across the breadth of a team of people that could be supporting your program (usually at less cost than hiring a dedicated experienced affiliate manager). Actually, in a couple days I’ll talk about the pros/cons of hiring an outsourced firm as opposed to an in-house experienced and dedicated affiliate manager.