Rich Clark Marketing

Opinions from Rich Clark one of the UK's leading Marketing Professionals


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A4U Awards 2011 – Winner of Best New Entrant

The A4U Awards were on the other night, hosted by comedian Rufus Hound.  For those of you not aware of A4U Awards, the annual event attracts the good and great from affiliate marketing and acts as a kind of whose who inthe industry.  Sadly I couldn’t make this year’s event (yes I was invited) due to illness.

There were some great winners at the event including our own network partners Affiliate Window, who did really well, as they always do.  It was a special event this year as the efforts of myself, AW and my team were recognised as “Best New Entrant” this year.  This was largely down to the great numbers we achieved, the strong relationships we built with key affiliates and the huge share of our sector that we captured almost over night.

This award comes off the back of the other recongition we received recently when we were voted fifth in the Top 100 UK Social Media brands #sb100 .  This award and recognition are great honours that recognise the amazing efforts and success we have experienced as an Online Marketing team at Best Buy in the UK.

I would like to thank the team at A4U Awards and the panel for the award.  Of course big thank to AW and the internal team in makign our programme such a success. If the guys at A4U are reading this, please let me win one next year, I promise I will be there to collect it 🙂

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Affiliates – One Network or more

More the Merrier?

One of the questions I am regularly asked is “Should merchants partner with more than one network?”  I have been on both sides of the fence.  At Nationwide I ran with both single and multiple networks at different times.  For the majority of DSG brands we run exclusively with Affiliate Window

Competition and Loyalty

A common argument for running more then one programme is:

The networks are just virtual sales forces.  Surely an element of competition will improve performance as the networks try to beat their rivals.

On the face of it, that is a sound argument.  In certain circumstances that is true.  However wherever there is competition, there are generally winners and losers.  Whilst in the initial stages, competition is rife, often the losers motivation deteriorates.  This results in more work for the merchants and less focus on those affiliates.

In addition, some affiliates do have preferences with certain networks.  This could be down to personal relationships or the technology the network provides.  Whilst very few affiliates do work exclusively with one network, they often prioritise merchants based on the network they are with.

So do merchants on exclusive agreements miss out?

Management

Merchants on single affiliate networks benefit from a number of efficiencies.  The de-duping becomes less of an issue.  You don’t have to worry about double paying through affiliates or integrating two tracking technologies.

Processing of payments, affiliate approval and communication is streamlined.  The main benefit is the fact that relationship building with the networks become easier and more focussed.  In turn the network can talk in much more depth about your programme and sell the benefits to affiliates.

Affiliate Choice

So does one network reduce affiliate choice?  Well in one sense yes, if an affiliate really wants to work with Currys for instance, then there would only be one network.  However it does make choice easier for the affiliates and they know exactly who they need to speak with  in order to resolve issues or to negotiate incentives and optimisation.

Decision

The end game has to be based on your objectives.  If you are meeting your KPIs with one network do you need the additional work of two networks?  There is not one single answer, different approaches work for different brands with different objectives.  For me Affiliate Window offer great technology for retailers and affiliates alike.  For that reason sole networks could be the way forward.