The following is what Beth Kirsch of ReveNews had to say in response the the question, What is wrong with affiliate marketing and how can it be improved?
Affiliate marketing is powered by the dynamic, independent, resilient and vibrant entrepreneurial spirit of publishers and advertisers.
This is affiliate marketingâ€™s greatest weakness and strength. In other words, itâ€™s what is wrong and what is right with affiliate marketing.
Publishers donâ€™t want to live the Dilbert life (and who can blame them?!?!); they want to do what they want when they want. They want to rely on their own street smarts and skills to run their own business.
The issue is how this manifests itself, sometimes itâ€™s in a terrific partnership that drives revenue, but sometimes itâ€™s with people pushing the envelope of acceptable business practices.
Moreover, this is compounded by a lack of a formal contract between advertisers and publishers which exists in more traditional business development relationships (this is another part of the problem), so at times anything goes.
Itâ€™s the wild, wild West.
And then there are advertisers who are not guilt free either. There are companies that reach out to the affiliate community and really want to build a win-win partnership with publishers.
But these companies are full of entrepreneurs who change their marketing initiatives on a dime and expect publishers to adapt to their new business models which is not simple â€“ think about the coupon sites which are thrown out of programs just because they are coupon sites.
This leaves publishers out in the cold when they donâ€™t fit in the new model. Moreover, many advertisers tend to understaff their programs because they are pushing on so many fronts, and, as a result, managers sometimes donâ€™t have time to understand their partnersâ€™ needs and support them as they should.
A little more of the wild West.
But it both cases, while the downside of entrepreneurial sprit causes inherent problems and tensions; it also allows us all to shine and overcome every obstacle in our way to drive our businesses forward as partners.
I think the challenge for both groups is to understand this situation and leverage its strengths while managing the weaknesses.
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.
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