Q: I am looking for an in-house affiliate manager – where can I find one?
A: I would say that one of the best qualifications of an affiliate manager is that they were previously an affiliate, because they have a 360 degree understanding of the industry, rather than just somebody how knows about the management side.
I encounter too many affiliate managers who don’t understand the basics of affiliate marketing.
My suggestion is to ask prospective candidates in the interview if they are currently or ever have been an affiliate.
Ideally, you’ll find somebody with experience as an affiliate manager in your niche, who is also located in your geographic area, but that’s probably not likely unless you’re based in NYC or San Francisco.
Anyhow, there are a lot more affiliates than affiliate managers out there, so if you place value on affiliate experience, you’ve got a much deeper pool of candidates.
In reality, it’s not that hard to learn any given affiliate network interface. A quality affiliate manager knows about the industry and can relate to people. Those skills trump an MBA in my opinion.