In anticipation of his keynote panel presentation at Affiliate Management Days entitled 2016 Affiliate State of the Union, our very own Geno Prussakov interviewed Brian Littleton, Founder & CEO of ShareASale. View the Q-and-A below to learn more about Brian’s thoughts about affiliate marketing, in general, and the management of affiliate programs, in particular. Also, glimpse what’s in store for the AM Days 2016 conference.

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Question: If you were to emphasize one important issue that every affiliate manager should be paying more attention to, what would it be and why?

Brian:  Right now – Affiliate Managers should be paying attention to Affiliates.  So much attention has been placed on attribution, cost-control, mobile apps … all of the buzzwords of the day – and all of those are important pieces of the puzzle.  However, in the course of that time Affiliate Managers have gotten away from the core of this industry which is building relationships with Affiliates who can bring you customers.

Question: What do you believe to be the main areas of opportunity in 2016 – for online marketers, in general, and for affiliate marketers, in particular?Brian Littleton

Brian:  For retailers, the opportunity is still widely available to work with amazing content affiliates and publishers who are looking for retailers who are serious about this channel.  More and more of these types of affiliates are coming to Performance Marketing – and each time they are disappointed by a retailer either via low commission, or mis-management – that is an opportunity for a really strong retailer to snap up a quality affiliate and long term partner.  For affiliates?  The opportunities are endless and too many to list – the best part about this industry is that an affiliate will come up with something that isn’t even on my radar.

Question: What do you believe to be the biggest challenge advertisers with affiliate programs face, and what steps could help them overcome it?

Brian:  Solving the late-checkout / coupon / attribution dilemma is still important – although technology on ShareASale and others can easily be implemented to help.  The larger challenge comes mostly internally – as many other internal channels such as Search/Email/Re-Targeting/etc… are more likely to be given credit above the affiliate channel.  That mistake leads to affiliate programs incentive loaded for low value affiliates, and as a result, low value affiliates is all they get.  If you want to build a program with quality bloggers, content sites and top-of-funnel affiliates – then you have to get serious about rewarding those affiliates for the work that they do and not making internal excuses to pay them less due to channel conflict.

Question: Please give us 1-3 reasons why marketers should attend your AM Days 2016 presentation, 2016 Affiliate State of the Union.

Brian:  The panel of network and service providers is a fan favorite. We get great questions and have a great discussion every year – we’re really pleased to be included and looking forward to it!

AM DaysQuestion: If you were to leave online advertisers, merchants and affiliate managers with one piece of advice, what would it be?

Brian:  The same as I stated above – the opportunities are endless out there in the highly coveted world of content publishing, but it is competitive.  If you want to be in that space, you need to treat the content publisher in a different manner, and consider their perspective.

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Don’t miss Brian’s participation in the keynote panel, 2016 Affiliate State of the Union, at Affiliate Management Days on Tuesday, April 5, 2016, from 8:40am-10:25am. Click here to register for attendance.


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