The following is what Mary Melian of Direct Holdings had to say in response the the question, What is wrong with affiliate marketing and how can it be improved?
I think the following three things are wrong with affiliate marketing:
First, some companies that affiliate managers work for don’t see the big picture and fail to support this growing marketing channel. They might not see the value in affiliate conferences, offering gift and prizes to affiliates, etc.
In effect, a lot of things affiliate managers want to do for their affiliates don’t end up happening. Add that to the company’s competing marketing initiatives and it makes it difficult to get your job done without stepping on someone else’s toes.
Thankfully I see the tides turning and more and more people beginning to see the value in affiliate marketing.
Second, I believe, as many people have probably already said, that affiliate managers do not treat their affiliates like a sales force. They lack communication with their affiliates and usually only concentrate only on the top performers.
I have been working with our affiliate program for over a year and a half, but only recently took over the whole program. My ongoing goal is to meet and interact with as many affiliates as possible and learn about them. We work in a people driven industry and if you don’t know the people you work with personally, how do you make them want to work for you?
They need to hear from you constantly and on a timely basis about anything going on with your site, products, and your program. Promotion and prizes don’t hurt either 🙂
Third, I think many affiliates lack the communication back to their affiliate managers when they are reached out to. In my own experience, contacting affiliates to introduce myself or even offer them something is always a struggle, many of them just do not respond.
I want to hear feedback (good or bad) from affiliates on existing promotions, banners, etc. and what they want to see in the future.
How would you answer the question, What is wrong with affiliate marketing and how can it be improved? There are no right or wrong answers – just opinions that can help improve the industry.
The author of any response that is published at affiliatetip.com or affiliatesummit.com will receive a limited edition “It’s an affiliate thing, you wouldn’t understand.” t-shirt.