One of the best things an affiliate manager can do for their affiliate program is to maintain consistent and regular communication with their Publishers.
Affiliate managers often say to me, “I don’t have enough to say to put out a monthly newsletter.” But you do!
The goal of planning out the year is to provide an overall marketing package that managers could provide to their Publishers that will spark interest and action. Personally, I like to create a marketing plan with the following items: Theme, Marketing Tools, and Publisher Bonus. The monthly theme is going to be the overall message or item that brings together all marketing tools provided for a given month. Look for events that could tie into the product line such as movie and video game releases, sporting events, product launches, product sales seasonality, fashion shows, pop culture events, and even holidays.
If ever at a loss for a theme, there is surely a holiday in any given month that could be played up as a creative way to present Publishers with fresh new marketing tools.
For example, below are some events and holidays the will occur in the next two months alone. Utilizing the theme selected for the month, create some new creative or highlight creative that coincides with the theme. Provide Publishers with an incentive that will entice them to generate more sales for the program. Personal competition – Any Publisher that increases their conversion rate by X percent earns Y promotion.
Tangible rewards – Qualifying Publishers earn gift card, specific product, gift set, product every month for a year, etc. Some opinions expressed in this article may be those of a guest author and not necessarily Marketing Land. MarTech: The Marketing Tech Conference is for marketers responsible for selecting marketing technologies and developing marketing technologists. SMX Advanced, the only conference designed for experienced search marketers, returns to Seattle June 22-23. Affiliate marketing is a time tested method which many bloggers and website owners use in order to increase their online profits.
Following a plan is probably the most important element in a successful affiliate marketing campaign. Writing on relevant topics is a very good opportunity to include your affiliate links and banner ads and to increase your sales. You can use your website to write some product reviews and include your affiliate links pointing to the product provider. If you’re an active member of various forums and have many posts, you may include your links or banners in the body of your messages or in your signature. Post replies including your affiliate links, help users find the Best WordPress Themes for their sites and recommend some good sources from where to buy Premium WordPress Themes. If you have an email list and run a newsletter, you may periodically send some announcements, news, special offers, to your users. Social networks are a gold mine for any affiliate, especially if you have many connections, friends, followers, etc.  You just post a message on your profile with your affiliate link and you are done. Training For Success marketing and sales development programs are designed for specific industries and tailored to meet your organization's specific goals, style and objectives. We offer individual marketing and sales strategy coaching as well as customized training programs devoted to a variety of marketing topics.
Anecdotally, through my conversations with clients and marketing executives, on more than one occasion I have heard marketers bringing core agency work internal.
The above instances and the overlying data are something for marketers to be aware of and agencies to be concerned about, but, like with most changes this is not a black and white scenario.
What success are you seeing within your “in-house marketing team” and how are you continuing to leverage your agency partners? I recently came across two articles that may be the proverbial starting gun for measuring customer focus. Management and Administration: The primary function of these solutions is to provide internal communications, workflows, budgeting and expense tracking. Using these factors, the map can be easily customized to show the current state, recommended next steps, and long term vision for just about any marketing organization. How to combat the fragmentation of specialization: It is becoming clear that the one thing all marketing roles now have in common is the need to master data and analytics.
How to combat the fragmentation of hierarchies: Marketing organizations should be defined around processes not activities. How to combat the fragmentation of technology: The two centers of gravity for your marketing IT infrastructure are your integrated marketing management solution and your website. The most successful CMOs will ensure the pervasive deployment and adoption of technology increases collaboration, socialization, and systems thinking. While 2014 might not be the year of digital marketing, digital will continue to be deeply important to the marketing organization. From 2009 to the end of 2013 digital marketing program spend has increased from 13% to 34% of the total marketing program mix. Defining and tracking digital marketing is important, but the modern marketer understands it must be executed in orchestration with the full marketing strategy.
The challenge is how to make strong sustainable connections between specialists so that new competencies can be acquired without the negative side effects. As seen in the graph below, across the entire tech industry a net of 15% of companies are increasing marketing spend versus those decreasing.
Challenge for Marketers in 2014: Finding the Right Areas that Should Receive More Marketing BudgetDespite the fact more companies across the tech industry are increasing marketing budgets than decreasing, budgets at the aggregate levels are flat to slightly negative.
The largest companies within the Tech Industry are seeing flat to declining marketing budgets due to continued transformation within the industry. Hardware companies (as seen in the above graph) are the only sector where more companies are decreasing marketing budgets than increasing. 3rd Platform companies and other high growth product lines and business units are driving much of the revenue growth and in turn are receiving much of the increases within marketing budgets. Note: If you would like to discuss cloud vendors marketing benchmarks further please email me at smelnick (at) idc (dot) com! Sam Melnick is a Research Analyst at IDC’s CMO Advisory Service and manages the entire benchmark survey and study.


In a large enterprise with many products lines, business units and segments, there are likely to be a number of different sales processes.
Marketing automation systems, especially those that are integrated with the sales force automation or customer relationship management system, have begun to provide marketing with some clues to sales process.
Aligning marketing and sales around sales process is the first step to formulating an enterprise customer creation process that extends across all customer touch points, including: billing, fulfillment, service and support.
CEOs: get smart about your customer supply chain by applying the same level of due diligence and process discipline to it that you have to your product and services units. For example, in the Exploration stage, the buyer’s main objective is to establish fit between their business challenges and a solution. In our report, IDC CMO Advisory 2013 IT BuyerExperience Survey: Create and Close Customers up to 40% Faster, we outline specific steps IT marketers should take at each stage in order to get the right messages to the right decision makers.
By having a marketing plan in place for the year, affiliate managers will be more organized and ready to put out meaningful and rich communication to their Publishers.
This could mean providing a storefront of related products, creating new ad banners, publishing consumer coupons, or uploading related text links. Don’t be afraid to get creative with the bonuses and offer promotions in addition to the common cash for sales bonus.
Even if it’s such a great opportunity, many affiliate marketers do not use its full potential, which is a big loss, since it’s such a profitable and easy way of earning extra dollars online. Don’t forget that “Content is King”, become an expert in your field and share relevant and interesting content to your visitors (articles, white papers, tutorials, industry news, etc.). Make your review useful, structured and trustful, in this way you’ll have more chances that users will click on your links. Placing banners on your blog and website is still one of the best methods which generates many sales.
You can also comment on blogs and related groups, answers questions and provide useful information. Try to include your affiliate banners and links on relevant content so that your subscribers would not view them as advertising but rather as a help or a news source. In addition, each program incorporates the skills and tools utilized by your top achievers. From content creation, to adjusting advertisements in real-time and to making sure the latest and greatest technologies are being tested and used, speed is a factor. With agencies, similar to most marketing organizations today, it’s about reinvention.
IDC forecasts that business executive budgets for technology will outstrip IT budgets.Technology is easier and prettier now. While a portion of the population will always be skeptical or frightened about the next new thing – it’s not likely to be IT that they are scared of (drones, anyone?). Your marketing is like the car – is it in the right place at the right time and taking the customer where they want to go?
IDC has recently created a tool to help – The 2014 Strategic Framework for Marketing Technology.
If you’re a pure eCommerce company the advertising and digital commerce areas will be much more important and sales enablement would disappear. Delivering on this presumes a level of connectedness that many marketing organizations struggle to achieve. As a result, there can be many degrees of separation between key roles such as social marketers, event planners, web administrators, technical writers, etc. Marketing processes must be supported by collaborative environments that foster greater visibility and coordination between contributors. The deployment of highly specialized tools can empower people within their specialties but can leave them on a technology island in the greater scheme of things.
That is all well and good, but without a consistent definition around the topic, digital marketing may mean different things to each person or organization. The skills, tools, and relationships needed to manage advertising, events, email, website, social, video production, technical writing, etc.
Data management and analytics have emerged as two key skills common to every marketing activity. While it may not always feel like it, there are marketing budget increases out there to be had!
Some of this can be attributed the size of the Cloud Vendors (typically smaller), but the growth being seen in the 3rd Platform areas is undeniable. If I were running your marketing or sales organization this would be the first thing on my agenda.
At least they can see what happens or does not happen when they deliver something to sales. At each stage of maturity, marketing, as well as all the other customer facing departments, gain much greater visibility and accountability to the whole process and its connection to corporate objectives for growth, market share, and margin. As a result, you will make much more effective use of marketing investment and be able to hold your whole customer facing team accountable for its contribution to your strategic objectives.
The data on which creatives, promotions, coupons, get the most activity  can be used to recreate similar promotions in the next year. She is responsible for providing strategic guidance and educational resources to Merchant partners that can be used to optimize and grow their affiliate program.
To “fix” this deficiency and to help affiliate marketers to get the most of our affiliate program, we’ve set up a list of tips and best practices which affiliate marketers can use to maximize their profits.
Nothing complex is needed – a simple excel table listing the main activities that you will do while promoting your affiliate link is enough. You may also include your affiliate links in the guest posts you make, but in this case, make sure to ask permission from the blog editor. Another good idea is to use shortened URL’s so that your followers and friends could not directly see your affiliate links. Since 2009, digital marketing spend within large B2B tech companies has grown, and is growing, at an enormous rate. Advanced marketers are often realizing by bringing many of these activities in-house, it is much easier to increase speed – it is also much easier to retain the talent that can execute in the manner necessary to succeed. My colleague Gerry Murray, outlines some of this reinvention that IDC expects to happen within the agency (or more specifically marketing services) world in his latest blog post, Marketing as a Service (MaaS): The next wave of disruption for marketing tech. Better design makes technology 99% invisible (to quote the title of one of my favorite podcasts).


These things matter tremendously to customers and yet we have no means to empower them to drive the behavior of marketing and sales at the moment of engagement. This tool provides a visualization of the different technologies needed to support different marketing organizations no matter how small or large, digital or non digital, modern or not. If you’re a B2B direct company digital commerce might be a very low priority and sales enablement would loom large in your plans.
It is critical that everyone in marketing understand how customer and operational data flows, how others use the data they produce, and the best analytical practices for gaining insight. However it results in compartmentalization that left untended creates a culture of disconnectedness. Enterprise social networks are becoming essential for creating a culture of openness and connection. To be successful in building a digital marketing practice, having clear definitions is imperative. Separating digital and non-digital marketing will create more complex challenges for the organization. These topics are ideal for bringing marketers together to share how each of their areas produces and consumes data and the models and tools they use to gain meaningful insights. However the overlying question each year is where will marketing budgets sit at the end of the year and what direction are they moving. This is the key to making the shift from a siloed command and control organization to a responsive, integrated customer focused one. This is a huge opportunity for both buyers and sellers with tremendous financial incentives for both and yet no improvement in six years. The primary internal influencers are business buyers (functional leaders, business unit mangers, and executives.) Once they enter the evaluation stage, however, their objective and trusted sources change completely. Since you’re promotion Premium WordPress Themes with beautiful layouts, your ads CTR should be above the industry’s average. Some great social networks that you may use for affiliate marketing are: Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, Linkedin, Pinterest, and much more. As you might have seen, IDC expects the entire tech industry to pass the 50% mark of digital spend vs non-digital spend by the end of 2016!
Does the agencies’ slower digital revenue growth give us a glimpse into the future where in-house marketers are the digital experts? This might help explain the large difference in growth between digital revenue growth at agencies and digital spend from the practitioner. Regardless of whether you’re CPG, Health Care, Financial Services, startup or global enterprise, we can build a map to get your marketing, IT, and executive teams on the same page with respect to your marketing technology requirements. Organic approaches are not enough, marketing leaders need to seed the social network with process oriented communities such as: campaign management, sales enablement, content lifecycle management, etc. Marketers also need to demand more of their technology vendors to accelerate the evolution of platforms that tie together the systems of engagement, content, administration and data. This will drive consistency throughout the organization leading to proper tracking and staff allocations. The pressure and complexity involved in each area can easily turn them into organizational islands. IDC recommends marketing organizations conduct regular analytics knowledge jams to share competencies, resources, and insights. Not only is it important to design around sales process, which should be designed around the buyer’s journey, but it is important to design for change. Marketing needs to understand very specifically how Sales operates in order to optimize around customer outcomes. As they move through each stage, their agendas change dramatically and the process accelerates.
This is the client side, but what about on the agency side, are these important partners keeping pace with their clients?
While companies are spending more dollars on digital, it is more of a do-it-yourself approach. Companies that figure it out will have the great advantage of being able to monitor customer experience and course correct in flight as opposed to relying on satisfaction surveys that are too little too late.
How can anyone improve or contribute effectively to something if they don’t know how it works.
The alternative is for marketing to optimize around departmentally focused KPIs like the number of MQLs (ugh), or SALs, or worse vanity metrics like hits, sentiment, likes, etc.
There are scheduling issues, conflicting agendas, changing budgets, changes in personnel, immature purchase processes, etc.
Buyers spend less time in each subsequent stage and have higher expectations of vendor response times. Best of all, customers will feel the power of the relationship, something they won’t get from traditional models.
It’s like setting up your manufacturing to produce blue widgets but not telling your suppliers what parts you need for your particular widgets. These metrics are useful indicators for some marketing activities, but not as business drivers for marketing investment. By carefully defining and monitoring buyers’ journeys, marketing and sales can better serve customer needs, keep pace with buyer expectations, and cut out big chucks of inefficiency. While specialization is necessary and will only increase, the fragmentation and separation that typically accompany it can break down the customer experience, introduce inefficiencies and redundancies, and slow down the whole marketing operation. That’s so important to their success that they will do almost anything to make sure you are happy. That’s the position, to one degree or another that most enterprise marketing organizations are in even at some of the most advanced process-centric companies in the world. It is a customer first model that works because customers have the ability to give feedback that has direct business impact.



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