One Comment

  1. Hero Grigoraki

    Great topic and both sides have very strong arguments to fight their corner.
    From my perspective, I am a strong advocate that clients need to trust their affiliates’ expertise in knowing what their visitors are looking for. Therefore, the affiliate is in the best place to select the most relevant products, write the copy, decide how to promote and where. Of course, all the efforts need to be aligned to certain brand guidelines in order to utilise the merchant’s brand equity to the max – which is why it’s advised that clients do publish such guidelines, as a means to help their affiliates though, not so that they restrict things.
    Many merchants, especially those with big traditional marketing departments, have the mentality that they need to control what, how, where things are published, that they dictate the content etc – to a point, they are right in asking to either approve content or have visibility over placements, but some clients are so inexperienced with online (or are only used to display campaigns and branding placements with direct partnerships) that they fail to understand the basic notion of affiliate marketing – the visitor belongs to the affiliate. It’s not the merchant’s divine right to determine the terms.
    On the other hand, certain affiliates, some of those you refer to as having their own brand equity, on certain occasions just lose the plot as well. Making demands for higher offers, further increased CPA, continuous exclusivity etc drive profitability down and make the partnership commercially unviable.
    Every partnership is all about balance, it needs to make commercial sense for all parties involved. I understand the need for clients to control their brand, and I understand the need for affiliates to capitalise on their traffic, but a common ground of mutually beneficial terms should be fairly easy to be achieved.

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