I have recently interviewed two prominent figures in the affiliate marketing world: Brian Littleton (CEO & Founder of ShareASale) in the U.S., and Kevin Edwards (Strategy Director at Affiliate Window, and former Chair for the IAB’s Affiliate Marketing Council) in the U.K. The interviews with them have just gone live; and while we’ve discussed many interesting things with each of them, at the end of the interviews I asked both the same question:
If you were to leave affiliate managers with just one advice today, what would it be?
We’ve always heard: “know the affiliate!” And while it is important (extremely important) to know who your affiliates are and what their needs are, both Brian and Kevin also underscored something else: the importance of knowing the merchant’s product/business too… Here are their full replies (with links to respective interviews):
Use your instinct. When it comes to finding a really good affiliate, don’t be fooled simply by statistics or language. Use your instinct and knowledge of your own product and website to help you.
Too many Affiliate Managers are forced into relationships either by lack of understanding or through automatic approval. Unfortunately, their programs can suffer due to it. If you are going to actively manage a program – make sure to use your #1 asset. [full interview on SmallBizTrends.com]
Know your client’s business and what they’re trying to achieve. Many won’t necessarily have the full picture so work with them consultatively. Don’t sell them propositions that may be ill-fitting or unsuitable, this will only serve to undermine the goodwill you’ve built up.
Be open to the huge raft of online opportunities available to you via affiliate marketing but never lose sight of the bigger picture and how all the pieces fit together. [full interview on Econsultancy.com]
Both Brian and Kevin will be speaking at Affiliate Management Days East 2012, participating on the two-part “The Role of the Network” keynote panel during Day 2. Come see them live!
I am excited to announce that we have finalized the agenda for Affiliate Management Days East 2012 which is set to take place in Fort Lauderdale, Florida on 9-10 October, 2012.
There is a total of 32 speakers (see their bios here), including such luminaries of Internet marketing as Joanna Lord (SEOmoz), Hunter Boyle (AWeber), Tim Ash (SiteTuners), David Szetela (Bionic Click) and Brad Geddes (CertifiedKnowledge.org), as well as such affiliate marketing stars as Carolyn Kmet (Groupon), Todd Crawford (Impact Radius), Brian Littleton (ShareASale), Rebecca Madigan (Performance Marketing Association), Peter Hamilton (HasOffers), Kevin Edwards (Affiliate Window), Ali Pasha (Google Affiliate Network), and many many others. It is going to be one amazing show!
The three keynotes I’ve arranged for you will be as follows:
- Rebecca Madigan will focus on “Navigating Big Issues” giving you a big picture look at the value of compliance, education, managing your CEO’s expectations, attribution, and why you need to think big in order to promote growth in your affiliate program.
- Brad Geddes in his “Building a Brand When No One Cares Who You Are” speech will discuss how to get customers to care about your business. Both through affiliates, or other channels, you can successfully build your brand, growing a solid database of loyal customers.
- David Szetela will concentrate on “Search, Affiliates and the Future of Personal Computing” and how you can anticipate the coming paradigm shifts that can either threaten or supercharge the way you do business through affiliates.
There will also be things on the agenda that will be quite different from the our first show in San Francisco earlier this year. The three I’d like to emphasize here are:
- OPMs — Surprisingly, but we’ve had only a couple of OPMs presenting in SF in April. Many of them have tremendous experience; hence, the surprise… This time, however, we have a quite a few on the agenda (Mike Nunez of AffiliateManager.com, Daniel Feinberg of GTO Management, Robert Glazer of Acceleration Partners, Rick Gardiner of Gardiner Media Group).
- Panel with affiliate networks — As you can see on the agenda, there will be no morning keynote on Day 2. Instead, we’re doing something very different this time: a panel with higher level execs from all major affiliate networks (the already-confirmed panelists include Jessica Breslav of Commission Junction, Tony Nelan of Google Affiliate Network, Brian Littleton of ShareASale, Kevin Edwards of Affiliate Window, and Todd Crawford of Impact Radius). “The Role of the Network” panel will run for 1.5 hours in the course of which the network reps will discuss what role of the network in areas such as affiliate screening, fraud monitoring, program management and more.
- New topics — We’ll have sessions on topics which weren’t covered in much depth in San Francisco (e.g.: a session on FTC and state actions, a panel on affiliate automation tools, a session on mobile commerce in affiliate marketing, etc)
So, what are you waiting for? Come register while the Super Early Bird rate is still on (it won’t last for longer than 15 more days)! I’m looking forward to meeting you at the show.