Performance Marketing Alliance
Performance Marketing Alliance
I just received an e-mail from Rebecca Madigan, from AffiliateClassroom.com, about the Performance Marketing Alliance and I urge people to get involved with this project. I plan on it and I am pleased to see names like Brook Schaaf, Lisa Riolo, and other veterans getting the ball rolling. Let me know how I can help.
“Weâ€™re on our way! After talking to over 40 industry leaders, there is overwhelming support to start a performance marketing professional association, with the strategic objective of bringing visibility and credibility to the performance marketing industry.
We have a lot to do yet to get this started. There is a fine balance between gathering enough input and support from the industry, and getting traction by taking action. While we continue to solicit feedback from a broad base of performance marketing professionals, weâ€™re also moving forward with the nomination of a formation advisory board, and a call for volunteers for working groups who will develop organizational and policy recommendations that the advisory board will approve.
To communicate our efforts and track our progress, weâ€™ve started a website: www.performancemarketingalliance.com. There are links to interest surveys on this site, so please forward this URL on to all your performance marketing friends and colleagues. We will need the support of as much of the affiliate community as we can muster, and weâ€™ll be successful by meeting the needs of the industry and individual members. “
Lessons From the Past- Affiliate Union
Now I get to show my age- almost forty. The Affiliate Union (circa 2000) was a good idea, with great grassroots representation. Unfortunately it became bogged down in politics and hassles over certification. I strongly urge you to visit this post from a couple of years ago as I muse about the Affiliate Union at the turn of the century. Carsten Cumbrowski, Fraser Edwards and Brian Clark provide some good dialogue in the resulting comments. You can also find the Draft of September 11, 2000 (Status: Approved) in the post above.
The primary goal was contract reform because affiliate contracts were horribly lopsided and affiliates, many amateur or new business people like myself, were new to the “contract thing”. I didn’t know what was a good contract or a bad contract. Having something like the Affiliate Union got me up to speed fast.
The biggest hurdle was perhaps the name, but that was the name selected by democratic vote. Some merchants interpreted it as “a labor union” and not a union between affiliate and merchant. Thus I love the name “performance marketing alliance”. It is long overdue for the disparate parties in affiliate marketing to come together as an alliance and work towards mutually beneficial goals.
I know the parties can get together, since I chaired the New York Summit on Adware and trust me things cannot get much more hostile than that meeting- I do not hesitate to add that The Code of Conduct and other outcomes were the products of the networks- not this mediator. Hopefully this time around, almost eight years later, with real industry maturity, we will see something work. I do offer up the Affiliate Union contract draft not only as a lesson in online politics, and the process but also because there is some good material in the working draft. Get involved. It is your industry. This goes for networks, merchants, agencies and of course- affiliates and publishers.
Bootstrapped in late April, 2000, the â€œAffiliate Unionâ€ is ongoing series of planning discussions between Affiliates and Merchants United : Welcome to Affiliate Union affiliates, merchants and affiliate technology providers aimed at developing both a â€œcertification standardâ€ for affiliate merchants and the organization to implement those standards. It is a completely volunteer online organization in the spirit of early Internet â€œopen standards committees.â€ This effort needs the participation and support of merchants â€” especially those merchants who run well-thought-out legitimate programs. After all, much of the mud churned up by the more abusive affiliate merchants gets splattered on their faces.
This effort needs the participation and support of affiliate directories. They have heard many of these horror stories first hand and are more like affiliates than merchants anyway. They will need to be the first line of education to the affiliates on these efforts â€” the ones saying, â€œDonâ€™t sign up for any program that doesnâ€™t run the emblem.â€ Or maybe they should be saying we wonâ€™t even list them if they donâ€™t.
This effort needs the participation and support of affiliate solution providers. Every single affiliate network makes their merchants adhere to terms of service â€” some even provide template â€œaffiliate agreementsâ€ to their merchants. They will be an important part of bringing these standards back to the merchants and, at the same time, they can provide the group with insight from the collected experiences of hundreds of merchants.
And, of course, this effort needs the participation of affiliates â€” lots of affiliates. The kinds of horror stories that affiliates tell each other in discussion groups now have a use: they give us the real world examples to wrestle with when planning the criteria. From each horror story we can derive a new certification criteria.