I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect when I started as a new associate at Acceleration Partners (AP) in 2017. I had come from a traditional/digital marketing background and had no prior experience with affiliates. But, affiliate marketing was a hot topic in the industry, and I was curious.
What was the difference between affiliate marketing and influencer marketing? How could affiliate marketing possibly be as beneficial as social media and pay-per-click programs? Basically, what was I getting into?
I didn’t know, but I dove into the interview process with Acceleration Partners, and soon I had absolutely fallen in love with the company. The hiring team answered my questions and gave me a better idea of what affiliate marketing was and assured me that, if hired, I would receive the training I needed to do the job.
Fortunately, the team was right! I can honestly say the training I received was amazing. For three weeks, I attended comprehensive sessions covering everything from the most basic outlines of affiliate marketing to the most complex concepts and applications I would need in my new role.
I was also given access to an incredible amount of data—in the form of an affiliate dictionary/guidebook that AP has developed over many years. To make the transition even smoother, I was surrounded by a team of seasoned affiliate superstars, who were available for even the smallest of questions. Frankly, I felt sublimely spoiled through the entire process. In the end, I also felt completely prepared to tackle my new role.
Are you an affiliate newbie thinking of joining this new world? I’m sure you’re wondering what to expect, how this kind of marketing differs from what you’re used to, and if you’re cut out for this line of work. Don’t worry, I’ve been there, and I’ve got your back!
Here is a snapshot of what you will learn as an affiliate newbie at Acceleration Partners:
- You and Your Client Are (Really) on the Same Team
As we all know, client relationships vary greatly depending on your role. In my experience, the relationship between the agency and the client is often disconnected, with tasks and responsibilities handed off piecemeal. The marketer is often left with just the job of communicating ideas and/or results.
At Acceleration Partners, things are very different. Our affiliate program management teams are truly an extension of our client’s marketing team, and there’s a real sense of partnership between everyone. Communication is completely open, and it’s not uncommon to speak with your client multiple times a day. This keeps projects moving forward with real transparency about the state of various deliverables. This kind of communication also builds accountability and trust—the foundation of relationships that can help you achieve all your common goals.
- The Content Thickens
Content is always a hot topic in marketing, because strong and compelling content drives buyers. This is as true in affiliate marketing as in other areas, but we have a lot more to keep track of.
Affiliate marketers at Acceleration Partners have direct access to a seemingly unlimited number of content partners, from mass media, niche content creators, bloggers and more. Each of us is tasked with recruiting publishers in a wide range of categories to support our clients’ programs. It is our job to educate clients about their options while remaining focused on their overall objectives and delivering top results.
The goal is always to steer clients to the best opportunities in our directory. The tricky part is that affiliate marketing program managers also have to liaison between publishers and the client. This takes a tremendous amount of focus and a keen sense of the client’s needs — as well as a really experienced Publisher Development team.
- Data Is King
Get ready to roll up your sleeves and dig into data like never before. I had plenty of reporting experience before I joined Acceleration Partners, but the level of support and insight we provide to our clients is absolutely unreal.
I deliver some sort of comprehensive report every day—a breakdown of performance for the overall program, specific placements, activation campaigns, etc. Coming into AP, I was admittedly an Excel newbie who shuddered at the thought of creating a pivot table. Now, I feel completely confident and can effectively analyze and deliver results in new and exciting ways.
- Say Hello to the World of Affiliate Networks
Shareasale, Impact, Awin…. If you had asked me a year ago what these were, I would have had no clue. Now I use these invaluable networks every day to help run affiliate programs. Everything from recruiting and approving publishers to tracking transactions, reporting and communications—and so much more—is handled through an affiliate networks or a Software as a Service (SaaS) platform. At first glance, these networks can be extremely intimidating (especially for those of us coming from a different area of marketing). But, they will become your lifelines.
Hopefully, this outline will help ease your transition and clear up questions about what to expect in your role as an affiliate marketer at Acceleration Partners. I assure you that as intimidating as it can be to pivot industries, change can be refreshing and exhilarating. This is particularly true when you join a team that truly values the insights and perspective you can contribute—which is what I have found at Acceleration Partners.
Just be prepared: I think you are likely to grow professionally more quickly than you ever thought possible.
Ready to become an affiliate marketing rock star? Our Affiliate Academy immerses participants into the world of Affiliate Marketing through a combination of formal training, job shadowing, and on-the-job training over the course of three months.
You can also learn more about us and our award-winning culture on our Company page.