I am currently reading an informative book “Affiliate Program Management: An Hour A Day” by Geno Prussakov. Periodically, I will share some helpful tips with you as I expand my understanding of affiliate program management.
If you’d like to read Prussakov’s entire 5-star book, you can find it here. This book breaks down all you need to know about affiliate program management in hour-long sessions. Before you know it, you’ll be on your way to managing a successful affiliate program!
Competitive Marketing Analysis
In chapter 3, Prussakov covers the importance of analyzing your affiliate program in the past, present, and future.
During this analysis, you will be able to identify what your program’s strengths and weaknesses are. Then, you can use the results to determine your advantages and what needs improvement.
We’ll be using the SWOTT analysis method, which is Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Trends, and Threats. Prussakov refers to this method as a doctor since it diagnoses the situation and prescribes solutions. Use SWOTT when starting up your affiliate program or measuring the effectiveness of your current affiliate marketing plan.
One important tip before you begin – keep it practical. Make sure you focus on how you can use the results to make changes and not just come up with theories.
Do you know your company’s strengths and how to use them to create a strategy for success?
Prussakov provides a list of questions you can ask to help determine your strengths. Here is a handful of them (pg 36):
- What are your major sources of revenue and profit?
- How actively are you using the Internet for sales/distribution?
- In what ways are you superior to competitors (competitive advantage)?
- How competitive are your pricing and quality?
- What are your unique selling points (UPIs)?
When identifying your weaknesses, be objective and honest. Don’t try to sugar-coat them because they are actually a door for opportunity.
By finding weaknesses, you can get clarity on what you can improve on or what you may not be doing at all. Remember – be constructive! Use questions like the ones provided below (pg 37):
- Do you have gaps in capabilities?
- What are your vulnerabilities?
- What customer complaints do you get most often?
- Of the marketing channels you use, which have the lowest ROI?
- Are you losing out to competitors on the technology front?
Opportunities & Trends
Prussakov put it perfectly in stating, “Nearly all opportunities in online marketing… will be tied to the trends that exist in the market“. For this reason, both opportunities and trends must be analyzed simultaneously. Ask yourself (pg 37):
- Are there any unfulfilled customer needs you aren’t attending?
- What new technologies are you not utilizing?
- Are you tapping into the international market?
- What emerging trends fit your company’s strengths?
- Are there any areas that your competitors have not covered?
Finally, think of anything in both internal and external circumstances that may be threatening to your company. Remember to remain objective and keep your focus on the goal of improving your company. Ponder on these questions (pg 39):
- Have there been shifts in consumer tastes that resulted in consumers moving away from your products/services?
- Have new competitors emerged and do they pose any threats?
- Are there any external trends that amplify your weaknesses?
- What obstacles do you face?
- Are there changes to the online space threatening your position?
After you’ve gone through your SWOTT analysis, present your case to your boss or client with the goal of:
- Building on your strengths
- Resolving weaknesses
- Exploiting opportunities
- Taking advantage of trends
- Avoiding and/or mitigating threats
Use this method and many other tips from “Affiliate Program Management: An Hour A Day” to strengthen your affiliate program from the inside out!