I have been dealing with affiliate marketing and management for some time now. It seems the longer you do something in life, and the more common-place the concepts become to you as a professional, the more you expect others around you to understand the same at your level. You never want to approach someone as if they are completely ignorant (stupid is a better word), nor do you want to get frustrated because you made assumptions of their knowledge of a subject (or lack there-of). I have discovered, over time, a rather simple way to combat this issue, and today I am going to use this very tactic to explain the difference between affiliate management and affiliate marketing.
I have found it easiest to approach someone (usually this is a client) with the blunt statement, “Please do not take offense, but it would be best and most efficient if I were to approach this situation as if you had no knowledge of the subject”. This helps in many ways. First, it generally lowers the defenses a bit of a client or potential client. Second, if they do have a bit of genuine knowledge, then I am immediately put to the test. And finally, I am the type of person that allows the consumer to be better served with a start to finish description of my outlook or general thinking process on the particular subject. So now we begin with affiliate marketing versus management.
My company, Mid Carolina Freelance, LLC wears many hats so to speak. Part of this includes an extension site and affiliate management company, Affiliate Manager Pro. Affiliate Manager Pro is just how it sounds, an affiliate management company. While it is targeted to the affiliate management needs of small businesses. Unlike many of the large affiliate management networks, we have lower overhead, and therefore are able to deliver the same – and in many cases – better features for affiliate management. This does include marketing features.
For example, Affiliate Manager Pro allows our affiliate partners to add flash banner ads, text ads, static banner ads, hover ads, email marketing, and much more. We are also responsible for setting the pay-out thresholds on behalf of our clients, tracking (clicks, impressions, and purchases) and the actual monthly payout via PayPal, Money Bookers, check, or other form that the affiliate partner chooses. This is where many get confused. This is management, not marketing.
Now there is the option to additionally market the affiliate program. Examples could be as simple as writing articles to attract bloggers and other publishers to place banners, links, and more on their site. This is outside the scope of the affiliate manager. Don’t get me wrong, many companies will perform both. In fact, Mid Carolina Freelance, LLC offers both. And unfortunately, some affiliate advertisers wonder why there would be an additional bill. Our rate is set very low (we don’t ever take commissions) for the management of the program. Anytime a link, banner, or other needs changing, this is all included.
If we are asked to market, again, this may be through advertising services like Kontera, article marketing, or other commonly used Search Engine Marketing technique.
Hopefully this article was helpful in understanding the difference between affiliate management and affiliate marketing. Let me know your thoughts below!