Like any business, you deal with the people that can make you money, I just received a long-winded (semi-rude) email from a merchant like the one MarkHutch described. So I just "expired" the merchant from my pages, not for any emotional reason though. Its all about $$$$$.
I've only had 1 small commission from them in 2 years, so its just not worth the time and trouble.
Never done PPC for them either.
I hear so many times that some merchants want to disallow affiliates to bid on their brand name. But questions for merchant is who represent you in the world of search engines? Who makes that you have a lot of searches in se for your brand names?
The simple answer is affiliates!
Several companies for which I am working doesn't have in mind to disallow affiliates to use their own brand names, because simply affiliates will not have stimulation.
Again Why? Because if I drive somebody to www.merchant.com on keyword store he will certain make searches for that brand "merchant" before he buy something there.
So, Merchant if you want to have a lot of work and a lot of sales you just need to allow affiliates to use all necessary tools and ways (also your brand names) to increase your traffic and DO THE JOB. Of course you need to pay them every month for this job.
Also, you must know that when potential customer see a lot of competition (a lot off affiliates which promote the same and bidding on the same brand name) on brand name he will buy that product for sure. Believe me.... I made a lot researches on this...
Of course, the affiliate winner is the one whom potential buyer clicked.
We've done several PPC campaigns as an affiliate. A lot of merchants are picky about us using their brand name as a keyword (and why not? They've spent a lot of time and money buuilding up a brand name, only for some affiliate to come along and get a cut on it), and when they've told us to stop, we've stopped. The only problem is that few merchants actually state this in their TOS, which is a bit annoying when we get a "reminder" email telling us that we should never have been doing it. But we stop, there's no point pissing the merchant off, they're always in control.
If I were a merchant, I wouldn't want any brand name bidding done by my affiliates. If they continued to go against this policy, I just wouldn't pay them. The merchants hold all the aces in this situation.
I agree as far as the merchant's own brand is concerned. They own it, they set the rules. However, maybe some consideration could be given to the advantages of exposure. As some posters mentioned, it is almost certain that large exposure to a brand will prompt most who continue seeing it to investigate at some stage.
superduperwidgets.com seen once in results leaves little impression. See it everywhere, well... it's pretty basic.
Seems like short-sightedness to me.
Maybe affiliates need a structured negotiating platform ;)
I was not referring to brand in mentioning greed. What I had in mind is the fact that when I introduce a customer, some merchants will allow a few DAYS that I can call that customer mine. There's a case to be made for this if I bring this customer directly via PPC, but many affiliates direct the traffic from content and other sites. That customer is mine, maybe for life?
This skewed relationship exists because in the major management operations like CJ etc, the merchants have a lot of power, IMHO.
Too many affiliates chasing too few merchants....
Good post Sweezely. I agree with everything you say, with one caveat: Some manufacturers of products sell direct to the public through their own website, but are also sold through Amazon, Walmart and 100's of other smaller retail sites. In that circumstance, if I was the merchant/manufacturer I would be happy to have affiliates bid on my brand name. It would make no sense for me to tell amazon and walmart not to promote my products so I have to expect that they will bid on my brand name in the PPC world. But I think I would be even happier to have an associate bring traffic directly to my own website.
I see that you don't have enough experience in affiliate world...
Affiliates is the main ones which will build brand name for you... How you thanks them? By telling them to stop bidding on your name... In that case you will have small number of affiliates which will remain to work with you...
|Affiliates is the main ones which will build brand name for you... How you thanks them? By telling them to stop bidding on your name... In that case you will have small number of affiliates which will remain to work with you... |
I'm talking about BIG merchants. The kind who've built their brand through "real world" advertising like TV, radio and magazines. Affiliates didn't help build these brands, and these are the kind of merchants I'm talking about.
Yes, we are a "Big Merchant". We do TV ads and Magazine ads, too. We built our brands through our own channel for many decades. We found who the affiliate was and sent a warning to him/her.
It was one of the new ones (as I expected) who didn't read the TOS and welcome page on the aff network and welcome email from us about PPC bidding policy on brand names.
I know there are much more affiliates than merchants here. So, it will not be easy to have a favorable discussion here. But as I mentioned I am an affiliate myself for my hobby sites as well as a merchant for my company. I know both. I give a lot of good feedbacks on the affiliate program and search from my experiences.
The more I read the more it seems I'm the one who pissed itisgene off, although I think the company I did this for wasn't that old, probably less than 5 years old, their webpage say copyright 2000-2004. Nice to see they have time to check who is bidding on their name, but not the copyright notice. Nice and professional, just how I like my merchants.
It is not you. :) Our company is more than 40 years old.
|Affiliates is the main ones which will build brand name for you... |
If the affiliate channel is building the brand for a company, that tells me one of two things about the company; 1) They're a TEENY TINY company, and/or 2) They don't know squat about brand-building.
If you know how affiliates works, if you know their strategies you will know how affiliates make brand name for company.
Of course TV Advertising is the best for brand name making and sure if company advertise on TV, of course that this is the most important way how they make and will make brand name...
Also, I just want to say don't forget affiliates! : ))
Why would you care if the affiliates are bidding on your brand? Don't you make money on your aff program? It has to be good for you.
Assuming all your affiliates have a link on their page to your page with your brand name you should be #1 in the organic SERPs anyway, right? So who cares about the PPC?
If you want an affiliate program I would think you'd be happy to see them trying so hard to round up business for you, and if they outbid you, so be it!
|If you know how affiliates works |
Oh, I know how affiliates work. And I know how brand-building works. I stand by my original statement.
|If you want an affiliate program I would think you'd be happy to see them trying so hard to round up business for you, and if they outbid you, so be it! |
Bidding on trademark names isn't trying to round up business -- it's trying to make money on the strength of an existing brand. Great gig if you can get it, but why anyone is surprised when merchants actually want to own their brand is beyond my ken.
|Oh, I know how affiliates work. And I know how brand-building works. I stand by my original statement. |
I am sure that you know! : )
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