Expand Your Affiliate Team to Pursue Performance-Based Relationships

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As affiliate marketing grows up, so must our approach to how we seek and foster critical relationships that make affiliate marketing possible. Maura Smith looks at the impact breaking down internal silos by expanding affiliate teams has on identifying and nurturing performance-based relationships.

Validating affiliate as a cross-team lever

There has been a concerted effort to challenge marketers to rethink affiliate marketing as more of a “partner” marketing channel. And while this notion has aided in the expansion of partnership types that can be managed within it, when you cut past the smoke-and-mirror style naming conventions, it begins to feel more like a lesson in the power of semantics than anything else. And all these semantics simply do is define relationship marketing bound by a common payment model — pay for performance. The short of it? ‘Partnership’ is just a broader catch-all way of saying what you really mean: affiliate marketing.

Meanwhile, at its core, affiliate marketing has always been about relationship building. Traditional affiliate networks were facilitating working relationships between advertisers and brands for more than two decades. Today, we sit in position to watch the maturation of the channel: affiliate, all grown up. As this performance-driven channel comes of age, so must our approach to how we seek and foster the critical relationships that make it all possible.

This approach brings into focus how internal marketing teams are positioned to create a collaborative approach to relationship-generating efforts. In short, to maximize the performance potential of these relationships, the

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