Q: How can I best recruit talent to run an affiliate program for me, and what skills should I look for in that person?
A: There are some important factors that will influence your ability to recruit an experienced affiliate manager: competitive pay, brand name and reputation of your company, reputation of your affiliate program (if it already exists), etc.
The reality is that in the current job market, there are not really many, if any, experienced affiliate managers that are looking for work.
Years ago, every HR director had a stack of affiliate manager resumes on their desk, but times have changed. There is simply more demand than supply as the young industry continues to grow.
As far as the skill set you should be looking for, I would suggest focusing on bringing in a people person over a fancy pedigree.
The affiliate manager position is all about somebody who can establish and maintain relationships. You certainly want somebody with marketing experience, but that should be balanced with personality and some technical ability (it’s a plus to bring somebody in who knows their way around HTML code).
Below is the skeleton of an affiliate manager job description that you can customize. In addition to the traditional job boards, you can post affiliate marketing jobs on my affiliate manager forum.
The candidate will be in charge of the selection of an affiliate tracking technology, affiliate relationships, and representing our brand and interests through the affiliates. He/she will work with cross-functional teams including Customer Service, Sales, Technology and Administration to achieve Business Development departmental objectives.
- Reporting and forecasting revenue
- Tracking actual progress toward forecasts
- Primary point of contact for affiliate relationships
- Strategic development and management of affiliate initiatives
- Managing related internal technical and creative processes
- Document affiliate processes and procedures
- Identify, target, and recruit new affiliates
- Develop communication and support follow-up requests from affiliates
- Educate affiliates on all marketing and promotion initiatives
- BA/BS or equivalent
- 3 years of on-line marketing experience (prior experience managing affiliate programs preferred)
- Applications experience (Microsoft Word, Excel, etc.)
- Attention to detail
- Ability to understand contracts and implications for communications and opportunities with partners
- Strong business and analytical skills
- Organizational and problem solving skills
- Aptitude to function within deadlines, while working both independently and as part of a team
- Experience with Commission Junction, DirectTrack, LinkShare, MYAP, and/or Performics, Shareasale management interfaces preferred
- Practical experience as an affiliate
If you would prefer to outsource the affiliate program management, there are a number of affiliate program consultants out there.
Be sure to do your research and check references before contracting with any outsourced management companies.