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July 08, 2008

Online Marketing Tips Video: Affiliate Marketing - Network Client Services verses Outsourced Program Management

By Li Evans

This week's Tuesday's Tips in Online Marketing is from SMG's Affiliate Marketing writer, Donna McCarthy

Donna's tackling the subject of whether companies should look to network client services or perhaps taking a deeper look at outsourced program management firms.  Donna discusses the pros and cons of each and what companies who are considering running an affiliate program to sell their products or promote their brands should look at when making their decisions about who should run their affiliate marketing program.


Full video transcript after the jump...

Affiliate Marketing:  Network Client Services verses Outsource Program Management - Video Transcript

Hi Welcome back to Tuesday's Tips in Online Marketing.  My name is Donna McCarthy from Search Marketing Gurus and DMC Affiliate Consulting

Who Should Run Your Affiliate Marketing Program?

Today's topic we're going to talk about whether or not to use a network client services or whether or not to use an OPM (outsourced program management firm).  From my experience, and this questions seems to come up a lot lately, in a lot of the circles. Should we use the services that are provided by Linkshare, Commission Junction or Performics to name 3 of the top there.  This question comes up a lot because folks get confused because those networks are out there so heavily selling their services and what they can do.

So the question is why should I choose an OPM or an Outsourced Program Management firm that I don't know verses one of these networks?

Network Client Services & Rapid Turnover

From my experience and what I've found is that the networks will charge very heavily for those services.  You are usually getting a junior employee, someone who has only been there for a few months and the turnover is very rapid.  So every three to six months you are getting turnover of who your account manager is.

Outsourced Program Management Firms Offer Experience

With an OPM, you're usually getting someone who is much more experienced.  Someone who has been in the field for a long time, who's been doing this for five to 10 years.  They come with a wealth of knowledge and experience managing multiple types of programs. They also come with their own resource or database of affiliates they have been working with over time.  You tend to get much more experienced people managing your programs.

You also don't get the heavy turnover that you would get as the networks are seeing right, that they are getting folks turning in every three to six months.  So you are getting a much more experienced person, you're also getting a person with much more business experience or experience in various channels, so they are able to bring that knowledge and experience to the table as well.

Look At the Clients to Manager Ratio for Your Affiliate Program Management

Usually the ratio to clients verses the managers is usually much smaller in an OPM.  So you'll have one person managing five programs, as where a network you can have someone managing up to 20, 15 to 20 programs.  You are getting more one on one attention from the OPMs.

Outsourced Program Managers Offer Highly Honed Skills

Usually at the OPMs  you also have someone who has a little bit more experience in a specific line of work.  They'll have a recruitment strategy, or they'll have financial strategy,  or they might also have search strategy so they bring that additional information and experience with them to the table that you're not necessarily seeing out of a networks.

Look for Cost & Transparency in Who Manages Your Affiliate Program

The final thing is that you will probably get a cheaper price or something that is lower cost out of an OPM than you would from a network.  The cost usually comes out to be more financially viable for you, than it would be out of client services. 

There's also much more transparency when you go with an OPM. You know exactly what you are getting, you're getting that monthly reporting or that weekly reporting.  You're also getting statistics and very good information about your program.  You develop that one on one partnership with the OPM to make your program a success, that you don't see all lot of times out of your client services managers because they are so busy and so taxed.

That's your Tuesday's Tip, thank you and come back for another tip on online marketing.


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well i must say the video was really informative great source for those who are looking how to start a affiliate marketing websites .

Thanks for this blog... good info about markenting sites... I need That

Great post and I like the video. Pretty cool. :-)

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