For many businesses, the market in which they operate is becoming increasingly dynamic and faces increasing challenges. Demanding customers, shorter lead times, and a massive increase in technological developments, among other things, have ensured that the attention for performance management software has expanded enormously in recent years.
However, performance management is a broad subject. You often see that businesses think too lightly about it. Please provide a list of KPIs, communicate this to the administration, make their bonus dependent on it, and people will manage. Nothing could be further from the truth, and you often see disappointing results. Setting up good performance management is, therefore, not easy.
Performance management can only succeed if the correct preconditions have been met.
- There must be a clear link between formulated KPIs and the organizational objectives. Often this link is missing, with the risk that people are not steering in the right direction.
- A useful decomposition of processes is important in order to be able to do a good translation from strategic goals to operational objectives.
- Make sure you don’t have too many KPIs that make businesses micro-manage. This indicates a lack of focus.
- The introduction of Performance management requires a different way of leadership. Managers must be willing and able to steer based on the insights obtained. It requires a change in managers’ behavior in which addressing people about their responsibilities is of great importance.
- Ensure that the preconditions (rewards, responsibilities, etc.) are properly fulfilled for managers to fulfill their role properly.
- Good and sufficient communication about the implementation of Performance management is necessary. The business’s employees must be sufficiently informed because otherwise, resistance may be perceived as threatening as a possible consequence.
- The setup Performance management system must be sufficiently flexible. Inevitable business changes and adjustments in business goals must be easy to process if people want to continue to manage in the long term.
- Performance management is, therefore, more than just managing based on a few numbers. Performance management is acting on business questions that play a role within the company. Good Performance management must ensure that an organization
- Can respond quickly to questions from the market
- Ensures the required transparency
- Manages the realization of the strategy
Performance management is, therefore, more than drawing up a few KPIs. If businesses actually want to implement performance management and control performance, the preconditions are also important!
What is the right mix of tools to measure affiliate marketing performance?
Despite all the advanced tools, just think of automation’s possibilities, there is a strong need to see at a glance how the organization is doing. The more complex organizations and the more complicated the management task for management, the greater the need for simple tools to measure actual performance.
Measuring affiliate marketing performance is a prerequisite for providing feedback on the progress of processes. Feedback is needed to control and improve processes. Therein lies, of course, the practical importance. This contribution concerns an exploration of the possibilities. Building up and working with (a set of) indicators is important. This is a practical aid for managers who need compact information about their organization’s state of affairs.
Why is feedback a management principle?
Feedback, or feedback, derives its value only when it is part of a feedback loop. This feedback loop, also known as a feedback loop, makes it possible to take corrective action and verify whether the correction is effective. Therefore, feedback is the assessment of the current performance of a process on information from an early or previous stage of the process.
Feedback is, therefore, necessary to be able to control processes. From a technical point of view, it is often necessary to install several feedback loops one after the other before the desired degree of control is reached. Control need not be limited to production processes. It can also be applied more widely; in this way, design and preparatory processes with feedback can also be better controlled. Organizing feedback is actually a fundamental management principle.
Feedback can be easily integrated into reporting relationships.
Feedback is important at every aggregation level in the organization. Besides providing feedback in the organization’s breadth, vertical loops, i.e., construct cascades of feedback throughout the organization. After all, what is the means for a certain level of the organization is the goal for the next lower level. Feedback can, therefore, be easily integrated into reporting relationships. This makes it important for those who hold leadership or power in the organization.
To properly allocate responsibilities, for example, in the case of delegation and mandate, it is necessary to agree on how to report on the use of that power. It is about giving an account of the assigned responsibility. This is especially the case in vertical relationships. Feedback is, therefore, an instrument for controlling authority relationships.
Feedback can also be applied to continuous performance improvement programs.
Feedback has another application. Organizing feedback loops is an important part of programs for continuous improvement of existing affiliate marketing performance. Feedback is applied to the learning theory. Feedback should be specific, relevant, concise, and prompt. It is about finding the best, and most obvious are areas for improvement.
The entire organization is usually involved in these programs. They focus on increasing the satisfaction of both the internal and the external customer. This is necessary in order to stay ahead of the competition. Here we do not so much look at the vertical relationships, but do everything to optimize the horizontal process flow. This leads to the bottlenecking of progress and improving quality.
- Feedback of information about the delivered performance: provides a vertical reporting relationship with concrete information
- is the basis for process control and corrective action
- is used for process improvement and prevention action.
The informal feedback instruments
At this point, we would like to point out – perhaps unnecessarily – an important informal instrument. These are the expectations of the leader, whether expressed or not. The employee notices how his boss reacts to his affiliate marketing performance, or (unfortunately) does not respond. The saying goes that the master’s eye makes the horse fat. Some leaders manipulate: they speak out (at least not in advance) what is being watched, gaining additional influence through the created uncertainty. The way in which the leader gives feedback is very important. This also applies to the way in which he uses more informal feedback instruments.
Which formal instruments can be used to measure performance?
Measuring performance and giving feedback about it can already be very important for management for several reasons. Traditionally, ‘control’ from vertical relationships has been a well-known example of performance measurement. However, it will have become clear that feedback is more than just control. It also has an important horizontal component: process control and improvement. This horizontal approach is currently receiving a lot of attention. Numerous instruments have been developed for this, one of which, working with indicators or key figures, is central to this.
In large companies, the need for optimize and measure affiliate marketing performance assessment is growing. Consideration is given in advance about which matters feedback is given. It is also clear in advance what level of detail will be used. This is one of the most important elements of organizing feedback. The more and better you organize, the more explicit you can be in advance, and you know better what tools are needed. In practice, four types of instruments are distinguished, each of which is capable of providing feedback.
- inspections; checks
- This is understood to mean the usual checks and measuring points that are applied during the daily process execution to see whether the process or the product meets the specifications.
- This is a periodic and scheduled evaluation by independent persons that is carried out according to a set procedure and with checklists to determine whether a system (e.g., a quality system) has been developed, documented, and installed in accordance with the requirements set on site.
- This tool is used for design assessment. It takes place at an early stage of the design process to optimize suitability for manufacture and use. It is a formal, written, systematic investigation to evaluate the design requirements and to determine whether the design is seafront and complies with it.
- and… indicators
- These are cues collected at predetermined points in the process. The intention is to use these indicators to assess the performance of the process. Examples of indications are the percentage of failure, hours needed for rework, the percentage of B-quality, the percentage of rejected parts, machine downtime, average waiting time at the counter, etc. The characteristic of these indications is that they are indicative. They indicate the existence of a problem and not so much the cause.
There are, therefore, four types of instruments available to meet the need for feedback. With each of these instruments, at least in part, the realization of the effects intended by management can be made visible. Feedback using indicators is just one of these tools. It is this variant that manages to lock up a lot of information in a single clue.
There is now a great need for this. This does not alter the fact that before starting to work with indicators, it must be checked whether the same information can not be obtained better with other instruments. Even if this is not the case, harmonization, or the right mix of instruments in a total information framework must still be pursued.
What is the right mix of instruments to measure affiliate marketing performance?
The choice of instruments depends on a number of factors. The most important, of course, is the actual information requirement. It’s just about finding that tool that can at least provide the data you need. When several instruments can now meet the same need, additional considerations are made.
- the time required to design the instrument
- construction and maintenance costs of the instrument
- timeliness with which the results are obtained
- (after all, it is necessary that the indication comes at a time when intervention can still have an effect)
- the character of the instrument (anticipatory; guiding or correcting; controlling)
- the style of the organization
- The ability to fulfill the conditions of existence of the instrument.
In many cases, the same considerations also apply to the weighing up between one option and the other within a type of instrument. So the trade-off of one check against another, or one indicator against another. The list of factors can also be used to assess existing information systems for their suitability for continued existence.
A critical review often leads to the conclusion that traditional systems are no longer always adequate. We mainly refer to the long processing times of the source data. Moreover, the incorporation of all kinds of information wishes in the past has contributed to the information ultimately delivered being (too) late or insufficiently specific.
Who takes the initiative for a measurement system with indicators?
In the first place, they are interested managers and executives who want to improve their information system because they strive for a better organization’s performance. The horizontal information flow (information about the status of processes) is therefore central. But it can also be managers who strive for greater control. This is more in line with the vertical approach mentioned above. This involves the use of indicators to give concrete substance to a reporting relationship. For example, quality management by objectives is based on this philosophy.
What steps are needed to get started in practice?
In general, an approach that leads to an indicator in three steps is sufficient.
- Determine the so-called preferred search fields. It is also referred to as the performance areas. A search field is an even broad indication of the subject to be viewed. For an organization, the search fields are linked to the strategy and the strategic success conditions. For a department, they are linked to the department’s objectives.
- Subsequently, it is determined – very precisely – which type of information is most meaningful.
- Then it is provided with a target or norm value. Only then is the indicator of a fact.
Using the outlined approach, it is possible to generate maximum information with a minimum of effort.
This introduction to affiliate marketing will teach you everything you need to know to start an online business idea. In this article, we will introduce you to the concept of affiliate marketing and discuss why a small business might need an affiliate program. We will teach you what affiliate marketing is and what it means to join a top affiliate network.
First, we will go over the affiliate software that is used to create a self-hosted affiliate program. We’ll show you the benefits of affiliate marketing and why people prefer self-hosting affiliate programs to self-hosting affiliate programs over their traditional partners.
If you are not entirely focused on affiliate marketing, but want to add additional revenue to your online efforts, you can add an affiliate link if it makes sense to you. If I have missed any affiliate programs that you believe will help your affiliate generate passive revenue through affiliate marketing, please do not hesitate to mention them in the comments below.
I think that your website visitors and your social media followers can and must benefit from this. If you participate in an affiliate marketing program and select the product you wish to sell, the seller will provide you with an “affiliate code.” Choose the partner marketer of your choice for your company or for one of the partners in your program that you can use to promote your product with your support.
When you start an affiliate program, you should host your own affiliate programs or join affiliate networks. If you are looking for a web or hosting partner, let me know which program works best for you and which one you should join. The higher you pay, the better, but if you’re looking for a low-cost, high-level way to join partner companies hosted on the web, take them.
The first way to use affiliate marketing is for your company to offer affiliates to other companies. As you can see, using affiliate software or a self-hosted affiliate program is a better choice if you want to have more control over the affiliate marketing process. The ability to make a profit from affiliates depends greatly on which affiliates marketing program you work with. If you are willing to make money from affiliate marketing, I encourage you to join the LiveChat affiliate program, which is one of the best affiliate programs available.
Join Dreamhost and benefit from the conversion of your web hosting affiliate program into the industry’s highest. Join an affiliate marketing program with a major provider to generate additional revenue and monetize your blog. Affiliate marketing can be combined with other marketing strategies, such as blogging.
If you are already familiar with the affiliate marketing standards and blog about this topic, you can try a web hosting affiliate program. Commission Factory provides affiliates with everything you need to grow your online affiliate marketing business in Australia. If you are interested in becoming a hosting partner, there are some great affiliate programs for you.
Whether you’re creating a website or blog, making YouTube videos, or building an audience on social media, you can use affiliate marketing to monetize your content. If you want to create an entire affiliate marketing page, sell affiliate products to your email list, add affiliate links to your content, etc.
Although you may not have to sell services or products to earn a commission constantly, there are still some benefits when you use an affiliate marketing program. Here are some of the benefits of affiliates marketing programs through which you can earn profits.
Whether you are a blogger or digital marketer, hoping to earn a side income or monetize your blog or website, affiliate marketing offers benefits and revenue potential for everyone. First, in terms of your own benefits, you should have the ability to create a stable and even growing source of income. There are many different ways to do business through online marketing, but one of them is to make your business part of the affiliate marketing program for your website or blog through affiliate marketing programs.
S Reseller Hosting for Affiliate Marketing is a great way to generate additional revenue and start your business with little or no investment. Success in web hosting affiliate marketing is not an easy task, but it is worth it for many reasons.
For this reason, we have put together some of the best products and companies to help you make the most money as an affiliate marketer. In this guide, you will learn how to build a profitable affiliate marketing business by selling other people’s products.
Now that you know what affiliate marketing is let’s discuss how to start your profitable affiliate marketing business in 6 easy steps. Once you know the basic definition of affiliate marketing, it’s time for you to learn the basics of affiliate advertising and how to create your own affiliate marketing plan in 5 easy steps!
Are you starting your own affiliate marketing business? That is not just anything, and there is quite a bit involved. Okay, registering with the Chamber of Commerce is one thing; it is done in no time. But actually starting an affiliate marketing business is all that comes before and after.
Ensure that you get customers that money is made. It is no secret that 40% of the companies that register with the Chamber of Commerce no longer exist after three years. In this article, I will help you avoid that scenario and tell you everything involved in starting your own business. I also take you through the process based on one example; one of my private companies.
Why do you want to start your own affiliate marketing business?
Everything starts with the ‘Why,’ Simon Sinek would say. Why do you want to do something? Only later will you look at how you will do that and what you are actually going to do. But of course that often goes the other way with real entrepreneurship. You have probably seen an opportunity in the market, or you simply have something that you really like and want to turn it into a company. Whether it is an eshop, a catering company, or a door-to-door hairdresser, it can literally be anything.
In any case, it is important to ask yourself why you actually want to start that company. Starting your own affiliate marketing business is a difficult road from which you only reap the benefits after a while. Many people do not get through the first period because it often turns out to be more difficult than expected. Having a realistic view can help to avoid disappointment. So take a look at how you can correctly estimate your chances.
For example, I was on holiday to Ibiza with a friend. We brought such an air lounger from the Action to relax on the beach. When we were there, many people came to us and asked where we had bought it. We found out that this product was not yet available at all in Ibiza. And so a new business idea was born, selling air loungers in Ibiza!
Market research is essential and can also be a lot of fun.
Before you register at all, you will first be able to see whether what you want to do is desirable. See if there is a chance of success. Of course, that can never be said with certainty, but it can often be said with certainty when something has no chance of success at all—certainly an important step to do some market research. Don’t think too hard about that, either.
You can do market research by talking to your network and asking what they think of your idea. You can launch a survey on Facebook or just address random people on the street. You can also visit your competitors’ websites at this stage to find out what they are offering.
For the air loungers I mentioned earlier, I decided to do some market research through my friends on Facebook. I asked what they thought of the product and what they thought people would pay for it in Ibiza. That way, I could reason whether it was a good plan to buy them. I also used the same network to make choices for the logo, the product, and even found my logistics partner. Sharing is caring.
Share and learn from others.
During your market research, don’t be afraid to reveal your idea. Many people always act secretive when they start an affiliate marketing business. But the truth is, if you’re one of those types, you’re not going to learn anything about the market. Openness is essential. An idea is a start, but not yet a business. It is only a company if something is done with that idea.
Research yourself before starting your own affiliate marketing business
A final part of the research mainly concerns yourself. Find out what your strengths and weaknesses are and prepare yourself for risks in the future. Also, look at your network and financial resources and map this out. This gives you an overview of the chaos, and you may just end up on the part of your network that you had not yet thought would help you further.
Now gather and analyze all the results of your market research and your research. Does this match your assumptions, and is there a chance of success? Then we can proceed to the next step. We can register the company.
With the air loungers, which eventually became Ibiza Loungers, I came to the conclusion that I knew a lot about marketing, sales, and design (logo, etc.) but simply NOTHING about import. From this, I could conclude that a logistics party was needed to advise me. If you don’t investigate yourself, you will only find out later in the process, and that is a huge waste because it will cost you money.
Starting your own business starts at the Chamber of Commerce.
You will register with the Chamber of Commerce. This can be done quite easily. That is why many people who only have an idea do that too. You make an appointment online at the Chamber of Commerce and suggest your company name.
It may be useful to check the trade register beforehand to see if someone is not already registered with the same name because then you can forget about it. Your company name must be unique and should not be confused with competitor company names. That would be unfair.
Is your company name already listed? Then invent a new one, that should be fine.
Legal form for your company
When starting your own affiliate marketing business and registering in the trade register, you will also have to choose a legal form. When you start your first affiliate marketing business, this is most likely a sole proprietorship. Other legal forms such as VOF, BV, NV, or a Foundation are less common in a start-up company but are interesting. However, you will have to read a lot more and be well informed before you start.
In 2017, of the 1.6 million registered companies, more than 1 million were one-person businesses. So the great majority.
Starters day own company
When registering, you will have a chat with someone from the Chamber of Commerce. He will ask you why you want to start your own affiliate marketing business and ensure that you fall into the right category. It will also invite you to attend a starter day where you will learn more about taxes and entrepreneurship. Be sure to do this. These days are the start of your professional network and help you to understand the affiliate marketing business. Starting your own business is difficult enough, so support for each other is welcome.
After registering with the Chamber of Commerce, you must submit your VAT return every quarter (in case of a sole proprietorship). Look for a few tutorials and screen the website of the tax authorities. Then it should be all work. Would you rather outsource that accounting? I have a friend who is an accountant, does a top job;). Now on to the interesting part of starting your own business!
Get started with actually starting your own business.
I can talk about it long or short, but I have seen so many times that people in my area wanted to start their own business, but the idea was not converted into an activity. The reason for this was often that it got stuck with fear of the rules and legislation. When it feels like it would be too difficult to implement or the risks it entails.
The reality is often that you will indeed fail if you start your own business. That cannot be prevented. You start on something new, and then mistakes are made. The most important thing is to accept that and estimate in advance. When you do that, you accept the mistakes and realize that we all have to start somewhere. Only then do you actually get to work instead of always remaining an unrealized idea?
The first steps as an entrepreneur
Now is the time to start doing affiliate marketing business! Here it obviously differs enormously per company how this is worked out. In general, you can say that you first have to get customers before the money is made. Or there must first be something to sell. But assuming you have already arranged the latter, now is the time for business because those customers do not come naturally.
Do you already have a logo, business cards, website, linked-in profile, press release, Facebook page, or folders? It’s time to take your ‘brand’ out into the world. Shout it from the rooftops and let everyone know you’ve started a business. This will no doubt help you with your first customers. In many cases, those first customers are acquaintances of acquaintances.
Make sure everyone knows about it, and you’ve started!
For the Ibiza Loungers, we made a logo, printed t-shirts, and caps, and had our own beach flags made. We wanted to make sure everyone would see us at the Ibiza beach sale. Now it was time to sell!
Conclusion starting your own business
I have already started (and stopped) several companies myself. I fell hard a few times (read this story), but got up just a little more often. And that is entrepreneurship. The way is not always clear, but when you start, you will find out automatically. Sometimes it is the process of trial and error in which you learn the most and can achieve the most. This means that starting your own business is not for everyone. After all, not everyone can motivate or discipline themselves enough to go through that process.
And just to recap, the steps to take into account when starting your own business are the following.
- Put the why, how and what on paper
- Share your plans
- Research the market
- Examine yourself
- Choose a legal form
- Register with the Chamber of Commerce
- Visit a starters day
- Provide visibility
- Find customers
- Business through trial and error
Good luck with starting your own business!
What is content marketing? It seems such a simple question, but an answer cannot be given entirely unilaterally. That first word, content, is a collective term. Affiliate marketing, too, by the way. With content marketing, I managed to attract 25,000 visitors a month to this website. Every month and I don’t have to pay for that. Not to mention the turnover that all those people generate. In this article, I discuss what content marketing is and how you apply it successfully.
What is content marketing?
So let’s break down the concept into content and marketing. Content can be a web text, article, infographic, video, vlog, case study, blog, e-book, webinar, statistics, review, or news story.
If you thought that content marketing always comes out in the form of a blog article, then you are wrong. The word ‘marketing’ means that we use the content for marketing a product or service. We, therefore, use the content instead of, or in addition to, advertisements.
In practice, content marketing comes down to a blog on someone’s website or a YouTube channel full of instructional videos. In almost all cases, it concerns free, accessible content to reach as many people as possible. The goal is to help, advise, and bind the potential customer by providing free content.
Content marketing example
If we had to put content marketing in a marketing funnel, it would be somewhere at the beginning. To explain that, I give you an example below.
“Imagine you sell hairbrushes. Then your content marketing strategy could look like this. You have an article or a video explaining how to get tangles out of the hair. In it, you give all the useful free tips. When a potential customer suffers from tangles, they search on Google ‘How do I get tangles out of my hair?’.
Your article or video on how to remove tangles will then be found. The potential customer reads the article or watches the video and finds the tips useful. Then he finds out that you not only have good content but also sells brushes (gosh, what a coincidence!). Because the potential customer is grateful for your tips and feels connected by reading or watching, they decide to buy from you.”
The above example is how content marketing is applied in most cases. That is also the case on this website. I provide all the free information that I know is valuable to my website visitors. If they then want to know more, they can proceed to purchase a product or register on my mailing list.
For whom is content marketing (not) interesting?
Not every company can apply content marketing. But for 99% of the cases, content marketing is applicable and effective. With content marketing, you can show in an accessible way that you are the expert in what you do. In many cases, setting up is relatively cheap, and not applying it is, therefore, a shame. Many entrepreneurs find it difficult to figure out how content marketing can be applied within their company. Therefore, below are four specific examples of how this can be done.
Example 1: From funeral chapel to dormer
A company that sells dormer windows offers an e-book on its website called: “How do you ensure that your dormer window does not become a funeral chapel?”. Website visitors can download this e-book free of charge in exchange for their email address. After reading the e-book, they will be followed up by email. Super smart because, in this way, you split a big decision (buying a dormer) into small steps. The e-book also helps to inform the potential customer, who most likely has no understanding of dormer windows.
Example 2: Flower arrangement videos
A company that sells flowers has a YouTube channel with a weekly video about flower arranging. Those interested will find these videos and become connected with the woman who gives the free flower arrangement tutorial videos. They then no longer buy their flowers from the local florist, but from ‘the woman they know from the videos’.
Example 3: Blogs about depression in the workplace
A company that offers to coach employees struggling with depression has blogs online with topics such as “Ten Ways to Deal With Depression in the Workplace”. Employers find these blogs in their search via Google. They find the information useful and then turn to this coach to help them further.
Example 4: Press release about birth announcements
A company that sells birth announcements makes a press release about the most common baby names of that year. They send this press release to newspapers and are published with their name—a good way for such a company to build brand awareness without having to pay for it.
Don’t forget the call-to-action
Depending on your business, you can see which content marketing strategy fits best. If you want to start with content marketing yourself, you must include the ‘Return On Investment ‘. When I looked back at how I started with content marketing, I saw that I got a lot of website visitors, and only a single customer came out. I was then able to learn that, no matter how much you give away for free, you do well to ask people if you can help them further actively.
You do this by placing calls-to-actions. You can do this by asking if someone wants more information if they want to subscribe to your mailing list or directly refer this person to your sales page. In any case, always make sure that there is the next step around your content. This naturally leads to a higher return.
Why content marketing has so many benefits
Besides the fact that content marketing is free or relatively cheap compared to advertisements, there are even more advantages. Of course, by sharing free content, you will come across as an authority in your field to your potential customer. But not only your potential customer will see you as an authority. Google does that too. And that has the significant advantage that when you share more content, Google will place your entire website higher in Google (including your sales pages). Content marketing is, therefore, the best way to work on your SEO / ranking.
Outsource content marketing
Now that you have a clear idea of what content marketing content is, you can get started. If you don’t like it yourself, you can also outsource your content marketing. Self blog I for multiple companies, and get massive results there (often 1000% more website visitors).
Content marketing is downright trendy, and that sometimes requires creative solutions. What works great in one market won’t work elsewhere. Do you have no idea where to start? Read more posts on our blog.
Focus on the essentials with key performance indicators. Developing KPIs is not easy. There you are. You have to determine suitable indicators or adapt to the existing ones. How you should approach, that is much less. As soon as you delve into the problem, more and more questions arise.
How do I find suitable KPIs?
How do I know if existing indicators are still useful? When does it make sense to work with key performance indicators, and when is it useless or even counterproductive? And what degrees of freedom do I have when developing a performance measurement system such as a Balanced Scorecard?
These are not easy questions, and there is not always an unambiguous answer. In this article for ManagementSite, we discuss several common problems and how to tackle them based on some real cases from our practice.
Placing your own accents within a larger whole
A subsidiary of an American multinational has developed a series of KPIs in recent years. Management somewhat euphemistically called this their ‘Balanced Scorecard’.
But in fact, it was nothing more than a patchwork of numbers that had once proved useful. It concerned more than 80 indicators that were kept on six different PCs in all kinds of spreadsheets. There was actually no ‘system’ for dealing systematically with those indicators. Some indicators had even fallen into disrepair and were no longer properly tracked.
The usefulness of others was increasingly questioned. On the other hand, no indicators were available for certain, strategically important activities and developments.
The management team, therefore, decided to build a new system from scratch. The starting point was the question: what is essential to know whether you are doing well as a company? We initially focused on the indicators that each management team member should be aware of and which should also be regularly discussed in the management committee.
First, we critically examined all quantitative information that had to be passed on to America’s parent company. Every month it concerned dozens of figures, mainly of a financial nature.
We could use two figures as KPI: the headcount and the total turnover per quarter.
Based on the other figures, we created five additional key performance indicators that captured its essence.
We also developed our ‘own’ mission, vision, and strategy for the subsidiary. Of course, this local strategic framework was consistent with that of the parent company, but was much more specific and had its own emphasis. And above all: it lent itself well to attach a number of specific indicators, for example, about its own innovation capacity and about the contribution to the group’s European turnover.
This exercise yielded sixteen indicators, mainly related to activities and results that should evolve in the coming years.
2 questions to all services and departments about KPI’s
The third source of indicators resulted from the bottom-up approach. We asked the same two questions to all services and departments – production, sales, administration:
(1) “On what basis will you be able to say within a few years that the effectiveness and efficiency of your service/department have improved?”; and
(2) “How can you prove that you have met set goals and externally imposed requirements?” Based on these questions’ answers, the number of key indicators was determined for each service and department. The number varied between two and eight. This also formed the core of their own dashboard for each group. Some of these key performance indicators (for sales and production) were also included in the executive committee’s set of indicators.
KPI – Examples of Key Performance Indicators
End result: a dashboard of 28 indicators for the executive committee. Of these, 11 are discussed monthly, 13 per quarter, and 4 once a year. The four executive committee members now have a joint overview of all important developments in the company.
Common insight has grown, and the management team comes to joint decisions more quickly. In addition to the common indicators, each board member also has his ‘own’ set.
This consists of the indicators of the services and departments that report to him. This has resulted in a coherent system in which all critical aspects of business operations are covered with a reasonable measurement effort.
Building a barrier against the abundance of information
Some time ago, there was some grumbling within the board of directors of a large university of applied sciences about a large number of figures the governing body was confronted within just about every meeting. At meetings, agenda items were lined up with full pages of tables on student numbers, details of income and expenditure, lists of projects, etc. Once a year followed the annual report, peat of 150 pages chock-full of data.
In fact, the board members were inundated with information that they could not always properly interpret. Therefore, the board of directors asked the management to compile a dashboard that would contain a maximum of 20 indicators, focusing on the strategic challenges of the university college. The administration asked a project group to work on this.
In the working group, we quickly established that our assignment was anything but obvious. A limitation to 20 indicators meant that choices had to be made about what was a priority and what was not. It implied that not all important aspects of a particular theme could be covered with indicators. Take the theme of ‘internationalization’.
Before that, six indicators had already existed in the university college for a long time. But there was only room for two in the dashboard. Which one to choose? That was not an easy discussion, but in the end, we settled it.
The working group also discovered another problem: in the different services and departments, there were already a lot of figures and indicators in use, but often with slightly different definitions and calculation methods.
That is why those figures could not simply be compared with each other. So there was not only a need for focus at the highest level, but also for more coherence and mutual comparability of data at the lower levels in the company.
The exercise eventually took a whole year. In the end, we succeeded in clocking down on 23 indicators, slightly higher than the number that had been set by the board of directors. But the qualitative objective was achieved: a clear set of indicators that were very relevant to the management level of the university college.
We were guided by a number of principles in the development of the dashboard with KPIs.
What to consider when choosing Key Performance Indicators?
- First and foremost: make a clear distinction between indicators for the board of directors and the other (additional) indicators for internal use. In practice, this led to several mutually consistent sets of indicators in the university college. If you want an example of key performance indicators, many indicators at the board of directors level are an aggregation of the indicators used at the level of the training courses. The calculations for both types of indicators are now done in exactly the same way (and even by the same person).
- A second important principle was to establish the regularity with which the indicators should be discussed. After all, not all indicators need to be discussed at every meeting of the board of directors. In addition, some can only be calculated once or twice a year. Our exercise resulted from the 23 indicators, 15 are calculated and discussed only once a year, and most others, only 2 or 3 times. By dividing the annual key performance indicators’ discussion over several meetings, only 5 to 8 indicators are covered at each meeting. This leads to meaningful discussions and also ensures that all indicators are thoroughly discussed at least once a year.
- The third principle: always compare each indicator value with previous values and present this time series graphically. This place facilitates a discussion of the trend evolution: Are we on track? Is the trend going in the right direction (and if not, why not)? Does it look like we will meet our medium-term goal? This principle’s application required that past values had to be (re) calculated retroactively for all new indicators. That was not an easy job; for some indicators, it was also not possible due to lack of data. But the effort was worth it and was greatly appreciated by the board of directors.
- The fourth principle was that the dashboards of the services and departments should always contain the relevant KPIs from the set for the board of directors (usually after ‘disaggregation’: if the indicator at board level contains a total value for the entire university college, then the departmental indicator is the departmental total). Dashboards for services and departments can also contain specific indicators; that are even encouraged. By implementing this principle, all related indicators are calculated identically. This has resulted in more transparency and even less discussion about the redistribution of resources between the programs.
The fact that many KPIs from the board of directors’ dashboard are already available ‘disaggregated’ provides an additional advantage in practice. Suppose questions arise about certain evolutions, e.g., the increase in absenteeism. In that case, it is often sufficient to look at the lower levels’ indicators to determine whether this is a general problem or whether it is mainly situated in certain services.
The system has been in operation for about one year now. Not only the board of directors reaps the benefits. The development of the dashboard has also led to more focus on strategic issues and more transparency in the operation of the university of applied sciences.
Avoid long lists of KPIs.
We conclude this contribution with a common problem: indicators that relate to short-term realizations. It concerns many examples of key performance indicators, the start-up or completion of (mutually different) activities, the production of (each time different) outputs, the launch of (different) initiatives, etc. Businesses or services in which these types of activities are central and have to develop KPIs tend to determine one or more key performance indicators for each of those activities.
This leads to endless lists of indicators, which are often both trivial and virtually worthless once the activity has been completed. There are companies, especially in the public sector, where hundreds of such indicators have been introduced “Because we simply need to have KPIs for our activities.” It is then (rightly!) Complained that there are far too many indicators and that they provide little insight.
If you are confronted with dozens or hundreds of activities and need to develop an insightful set of KPIs for them, don’t fall into the trap of creating an indicator for each of those activities. The operationally engaged people in those activities do not need an indicator that is trivial to them.
Those directly responsible also know that an activity has been completed. And those a little further from the operational does not care about long lists of binary indicators.
Then what can you do? In such situations, the most meaningful approach seems to be to work with ‘meta-indicators’. The key is to group related activities and then indicate how many of them have been realized that meet a certain common criterion (timely, flawless, according to specifications, etc.). Suppose you have to deliver nine different reports within the year.
You could create two KPIs for each report separately, one that indicates whether the report is ready on time and a second that indicates whether any further corrections were needed. This method creates no less than indicators.
A better alternative appears to be two meta-indicators, which then lead to indicator values such as ‘7 of the 9 reports were ready on time’ and ‘8 of the 9 reports did not require any subsequent corrections’.
Meta-indicators, therefore, provide a general picture of a situation. They have the added advantage that they also last for several years (“Last year we reached our target for 10 out of 12 campaigns, but this year it is only so for 7 out of 11”). If negative trends are observed, it is possible to zoom in on those groups and activities that cause less good overall results.
Conclusion KPI – key performance indicators
Targeted implementation of indicators in your business can deliver real added value: better insight, greater internal cohesion, and faster and better decisions. But when used inappropriately, it causes annoyance, bureaucracy, and even perverse and evasive behavior.
So work in a focused way and always keep focusing on the essentials: what information we need to make good decisions or be sufficiently sure that we are evolving in the desired direction.
1000’s, if not tens of millions, of on the web webmasters and entrepreneurs are turning to affiliate advertising and marketing to receive extra money from the net. Affiliate marketing and advertising give the best way for the particular ordinary person to cash in on the billions of product sales produced on the web every 12 months.
But is Affiliate Marketing and advertising appropriate for you? Or is programmatic advertising better?
Is it one thing you need to investigate and go after further if you genuinely want to monetize your website or articles? As a solution and to get you pondering about affiliate marketing and advertising, I would like to provide some of my personal encounters as a total-time online affiliate marketer. I would also like to give you some advertising guidelines and a few pit-falls you must try to keep away from.
Truth be told, I did not like the strategy to turn into an affiliate marketer. It just transpired, mainly by accident, as I struggled to promote my first internet site on Net marketing some ten years back now. My authentic strategy was to re-sell some software program items with hopes of making my fortune on this new factor named the World wide web.
Properly, to make a protracted Tale limited, most things never really switch out as we originally program. Instead of promoting my possess goods, I grew to become considerably far more fascinated by studying “how to market place online” and analyzing. “How marketing programs worked” then, in fact, selling my very own things. I was a lot far more fascinated by the “nuts & bolts” or “marketing equipment” behind these on the internet advertising and marketing systems than earning a few pennies.
I was captivated explicitly by a new look for a motor called Google. Of course, many entrepreneurs have been researching Google because it initially began. And I believe it was Google and its AdSense System in specific that sort of legitimized the “complete thought of generating money online” for me. I turned my interest to other ways of monetizing my sites, especially with affiliate packages. And the rest, as they say, is historical past…
But ample about me, what about you?
Do you have an internet site? Are you interested in earning extra earnings from your website? Are you striving to generate an entire-time income online? A lot more importantly:
Is Affiliate Advertising and marketing Right for you?
1st, you have to comprehend Affiliate Advertising is when you market and sell affiliate products from your site or websites. In fact, an offering is not really the correct phrase since you Will not actually promote anything at all from your site. You simply refer or ship buyers/fascinated customers to the affiliate web sites you’re selling by way of your affiliate backlinks.
Think of me. At times, this idea is very hard to explain to shut loved ones and buddies. But what do you offer on the internet? Don’t you have everything to offer? How can you make funds?
To repeat, with affiliate advertising, you will not offer anything at all straight on the internet… you deliver clientele and buyers to online organizations or merchants in which they purchase stuff, and given that they’re coming from your site’s affiliate links, you get credit rating for sale.
I don’t straight offer Dell Personal computers on my sites. I basically send out prospective clients to Dell exactly where they can purchase Dell products. Since they arrived from my affiliate backlinks, I get a credit rating, additionally a little fee in return if they purchase something. The same goes for Amazon or hundreds of the other companies and goods I promote with my web sites.
Now Affiliate Marketing Fits Me to a Tee! Here’s why…
You will not handle any product sales transactions.
You do not take care of any shipping of merchandise.
You will not have to deal with client grievances or operate buyer help.
You don’t have to deal with staff or work for a company.
You don’t require a workplace, inventory, or any bodily merchandise.
With Affiliate Advertising and marketing, all the selling and enterprise functions are completed by the organization you happen to be promoting. This saves you from many headaches and troubles that come up from operating your possess business or building your very own merchandise. It’s all carried out for you.
Moreover, on the internet, Affiliate Marketing and advertising does have some great advantages:
Your websites and affiliate links are operating for you 24/7, 365 days of the calendar year. You generate income/commissions, although you are sleeping, eating, watching television, or doing everything we individuals do!
You receive cash even when you might be on Vacation. This happened to me very last year when I went to Florida to see Bruce Springsteen in live performance. Sadly, a band member died, so I did not get to see Springsteen, but I did make more than ample on the web to shell out for my whole journey. While I was in Orlando. It was also the 1st time I didn’t have access to my personal computer or sites for a lot more than several times, but they manufactured my income.
As soon as you get your affiliate backlinks set-up, they will continue to receive your revenue instantly. All your on the internet advertising can be automatic and run from your property business office or wherever you select.
Preserve in the brain, your articles and web sites hold creating and developing. Perform you did compose that wonderful write-up two several years in the past is nonetheless bringing in affiliate sales nowadays.
Furthermore, with Affiliate Marketing, all your advertising materials (banners, income copy, videos, advertisements, hyperlinks…) are all presented for you by the Affiliate Network or Business.
There is certainly little pressure with affiliate advertising because you’re your personal manager, and you can perform at the house: no workplace politics or all that foolishness. No commuting. Besides, there is an extremely tiny capital investment; for several hundred bucks or significantly less, you can have a website up and operate on the net.
Even so, Affiliate Advertising does have some true negatives:
You can typically earn considerably more if you develop and promote your possess products. You’re not truly obtaining the optimum return on your site’s content material by selling other people’s stuff. The earnings margin can be much, considerably higher if you promote yours possess products.
There are also missing commissions and theft of product sales; you can never be sure you receive credit history for all your site visitors and referrals. In most situations, you happen to be not.
There are numerous times there is rigid opposition from other affiliate marketers promoting the same stuff and using the same advertising resources… even though many leading affiliate marketers create their personal marketing materials, they stand out in a crowded marketplace.
Because I am an entire-time online affiliate marketer, the positive aspects much outweigh the handful of downers linked with this excellent way of life. Mostly due to the fact it is just that: a lifestyle fairly than a task. I, by no means, consider it as an occupation or operating. Perhaps, because I am my possess grasp, I can perform from home and set my own several hours. I can take time off, I can go on vacation, or I can dwell wherever on the planet, exactly where you will find Internet access. These days that’s just about wherever. The feeling of flexibility is truly intoxicating, to say the minimum.
If you do find Affiliate Advertising is one thing that you would like to pursue, even component-time if not complete-time, here are some of my very best tips for raising your affiliate revenue and revenue:
Concentrate your marketing and advertising attempts and attention on plans and goods which give you recurring or residual income. Make one particular sale and get compensated for a long time to occur.
Develop your personal websites and advertising and marketing supplies to stand out from the other affiliate marketers. Develop your very own exclusive promoting place even if you’re not technically marketing the products. Give further bonuses if they acquire from your backlinks or internet site.
Develop affiliate tracking software for buyers who are interested in the goods you might be selling. Develop your own listing, as properly as that of the affiliate firm you’re selling. You will usually have these subscribers, and you can market other similar items to them.
Concentrate on targeting “lengthy tail keywords” with your material and internet sites. These multi-worded keyword phrases are simple to rank higher for and typically have much better conversion prices.
Cloak your affiliate links to cut down on affiliate theft. For illustration, ClickBank has a basic HTML code that will hide your website link. Use it.
World wide web consumers and especially buyers want basic useful info to make their buying conclusions simpler. Give them with worthwhile data they can use in their process, and they will reward you with a sale. Also, supplying absent discount codes and online reductions will improve your income and commissions.
Use the major affiliate networks like Fee Junction, LinkShare, ClickBank, Amazon, Shareasale… I have identified these networks as extremely easy to use and extremely efficient. Additionally, their checks by no means bounce!
Preserve a close eye on your month to month revenue; with several companies, if you go more than $25,000 or $fifty,000 in revenue for the month, you get added bonus incentives. I have discovered these can significantly improve your regular monthly income, so look at your revenue stats closely.
If you do locate that Affiliate Advertising and marketing is right for you, odds are virtually a hundred% particular that you will in no way regret it. Affiliate advertising and marketing deliver one of the minimum stressful techniques of earning a dwelling on the earth. The way of life can not be beaten. Anybody can change their life with affiliate marketing and advertising. I did, and you can too!
How to get more customers in affiliate marketing? The cold acquisition is not what many entrepreneurs are enthusiastic about. Cold calling or emailing customers often brings quite a bit of pressure. And that is quite a shame, because cold acquisition, both by telephone and by email, can be the way to acquire new customers quickly.
The result compared to other marketing channels is much more direct.
I regularly write cold acquisition emails for companies, and I am active in telephone sales. This article will find an in-depth look at cold acquisition and how you can apply it successfully.
What is Cold Acquisition?
Let’s start at the beginning. The cold acquisition is approaching potential customers. Essential to cold acquisition compared to warm acquisition is that customers do not know you at that moment and are, therefore, most likely not waiting for your offer.
The forms of cold acquisition discussed in this article are acquisition emails and acquisition calls.
Why do many people hate cold acquisition?
We all know them, those phone calls from companies that want to sell you something.
Or those marketers who want to make an appointment with you because they ‘ can mean something ‘ for your company, when in fact, they just want to send a high invoice. You would say that not the finest forms of acquisition. And that may also be why we all hate it so much and prefer to avoid doing cold acquisition ourselves.
But the cold acquisition also has another side. When you can bring in thousands of euros extra turnover in a short time, that sounds quite attractive.
That is why it is good to look at cold acquisition through different glasses. One where we do not primarily try to sell, but try to help people. In this way, cold acquisition gets a positive charge, and it becomes more fun to work with. Also, I can already reveal that you will also sell more that way, but more about that later.
From seller to the angel of salvation
When I got a side job in a call center when I was sixteen, a script was pushed into my hands. I was going to call people to sell them phone plans and just had to read a script.
I don’t know who wrote that script, but it didn’t do me any good. Apparently, there was something in my voice that didn’t seem genuine. Logical, because I was not enthusiastic about the product and was not interested in what I sold.
The gains to be made in cold acquisition originate insincerity. Don’t sell things you don’t want yourself and be helpful instead of selling.
Nowadays, when I write or call a cold acquisition email, I don’t start with what great things I have to offer. I try to offer a listening ear to the customer. I focus on the problem that occurs within a company or with a person and go deeper into it.
When I have a sense of mutual understanding, it is only time to move on to how I could solve this problem for them.
That sequence is essential for good cold acquisition results. And that is why I have incorporated the sequence for both an acquisition email and telephone follow-up in a step-by-step plan under the next heading.
A step-by-step plan for the cold acquisition
Whether you are approaching people by email or acquisition call, the order of the conversation or email is quite similar. Use the steps below to make your cold acquisition a success.
Step 1: Analyze the problem
Starting your sale is not going to work. No one wants to feel like something is being sold to them without asking. That isn’t very pleasant. In addition, you probably don’t need the product or service at that moment, or at least you feel you don’t need it. As cold acquisition marketers, we must therefore first ensure that there is a reason to want the product or service.
Do you remember the scene from “The Wolf Of Wallstreet” where they try to sell a pen? Rather than promoting the pen, they first create the need for a pen. It should be the same as your product or service.
We will first zoom in on the problem that the product or service solves in the email or conversation.
Finding out the problem you are solving is the basis of marketing. Not sure what problem your product or service solves? Then now is the time to find out. When you know that, you will not only process it in your cold acquisition but in all your communication.
The problem is the trigger of why people do want to have something. To give you some examples of what such a problem entails, below some recent parties I have worked within the cold acquisition and the problems they address.
It helps enormously to explain the problem so that suddenly there is a reason for interest. The need is thus created. Often the prospect is not yet aware of the problem or is playing in the background. Describing the problem (in an email) or discussing it (by telephone) can then be decisive.
What is your company’s problem statement?
Feel free to be a little creative with this. Sometimes it can be a bit difficult to identify the problem immediately. It may be that there is not an immediate problem that you solve.
Then it is important to understand that you can also emphasize a problem based on your distinctiveness.
Being able to identify the problem is an important part of making cold acquisition successful. If you don’t have a problem that you are solving, you will do well to look further or come up with a problem.
Step 2: Show your expertise when making the cold acquisition
People often don’t know you when you make the cold acquisition. The chance that people will trust you in advance is therefore small. Once you have bonded by discussing the problem, you will need to show that you are the person or company that can solve it.
Three things are required for a successful sale. These are the trust in the product, in the company, and in you as a person. If you score well in all three areas, you probably have a successful sale.
You can gain confidence in yourself as a person by having the conversation and showing personal interest. Furthermore, you can deepen this and the confidence in the company by showing that you have expertise. For example, how long have you been in the profession, or what kind of results have you achieved before?
Using statistics or facts in cold acquisition ensures that the prospect has more confidence in you and the company’s expertise.
You could even choose to give something away for free and thereby substantiate your expertise. Think of an article on your website with tips. Or you give away an analysis, consultant conversation, e-book, or online mini-training for free as long as it shows your expertise. This way, the prospect knows that you can be trusted and good at what you do.
Another reason to give something away for free on cold acquisition is that it uses the law of reciprocity. It is human nature to want to give something back when you receive something valuable from someone.
Step 3: Make sure the prospect has confidence in the product
Then it is a good time in your cold acquisition, to specify exactly what you are offering. Ensure that you do not become a salesperson at once, but stay in the same tone of voice. You are still there to help someone.
Emphasize how your service or product solves the problem you discussed in step 1. That keeps it relevant and ensures that the conversation or email flows smoothly.
To further promote your product or service, you can name the USPs (Unique Selling Points). If you have no idea what those are, don’t worry, I’ll explain that with examples below. But naming the USPs can help you distinguish the product from other providers in the market. These are extra reasons to buy something from you instead of someone else. This is your chance!
With USPs, you bring distinctiveness and show why prospects should choose you as a provider. You show that your product or service is the best in the market and give extra reasons for wanting it.
Step 4: Complete the sale in the cold acquisition
Time for the next step, on to the call-to-action. Another marketing term. In fact, this is nothing more than the next step, but it’s super essential. If you don’t take this step because you’re afraid of being a salesperson, you’re bound to miss out on customers. Make it clear to the prospect what the next step is so that they can take that step effortlessly.
When you make cold acquisition, this step is different than with warm acquisition.
Asking directly for sale goes too far with a cold acquisition. The recipient only knows you, your company, and the product and will have to think about it anyway before making a decision. Do not aim for a direct sale, but for an appointment on location, an analysis, a quotation, a telephone appointment, an investigation, or the sending of a brochure.
This way, you make the next step manageable for the prospect, and it is more likely that they will respond to it.
Step 5: Measuring is knowing
However, the chance that if you get started with an acquisition mail, you will immediately have a sparkling success is small. You will have to do some trimming here and there if this is the first acquisition email you have ever written. Therefore choose to send the mail first to a select group and not your entire mailing list and then evaluate based on statistics. With a professional mail program, you have insight into who opened the mail and who clicked on a link in the mail. Has nobody responded? Then check whether the many people have opened the email whether you have ended up in the spam.
The same applies here for telephone acquisition. Look at how you think the conversations are going and whether you are satisfied with how people respond. If you keep hearing the same objections, see how you could best disprove them. One learns by doing.
Common Mistakes in Cold Acquisition
To make cold acquisition successfully, you will have to go through a lot of trial and error. It often does not hurt to call in a professional for this part ( I feel called upon). But if you do get started yourself, keep the following pitfalls and points in mind. I come across them too often, so please share them with you.
- Use (almost) always ‘you’ instead of ‘you’ as a tone of voice; this comes across as more personal.
- Use your normal voice and write an acquisition email in spoken language, that makes it pure.
- Avoid formal language.
- Keep it long. Time is needed to generate interest. My best converting emails are at least one whole A4 page.
- Put yourself in the spotlight and think of what you would like to hear from that perspective.
- Use a lot of enters for readability with an email.
- With telephone acquisition, it is good to mirror your speech to the prospect.
- Use statistics to optimize.
- Do not expect results from your first contact, you will be inconvenient for many people, and it can take a few days before action is taken.
- Think about the objections and how you can refuse them.
- Use the triple yes strategy.
- Make it clear what the next step is for the prospect.
- Use a professional marketing mail program such as Enormail for good statistics.
Outsource cold acquisition
In some cases, you would do well to outsource the cold acquisition. This can have the advantage that the highest possible conversion is achieved, and you get the most out of it. After all, not everyone likes marketing and sales. And I guarantee that everyone does what he or she does best.
Unfortunately, confidence in marketing leaves something to be desired. Year after year, in the poll of the market research firm GfK, marketers end up in the bottom echelons regarding the trust people have in professional groups. Many organizations feed this result with their practices.
Food watchdog Foodwatch has even created its own Wheel of Five variants for this purpose, namely that of deception. Number 1 is ‘nonsense marketing’. It often goes further than deception, such as deliberately avoiding agreements.
For example, some food companies evade advertising agreements about unhealthy food targeting children by petting them in with computer games. But adults too fall prey to misleading affiliate marketing. Think of customers who are persuaded to purchase complex financial products that they do not understand and of which they cannot foresee the consequences.
Is fair affiliate marketing – an illusion?
In many of these cases, affiliate marketing is still mainly seen as an instrument to make a product or service known to communicate to stimulate sales. It is not without reason that affiliate marketing evokes the association with advertising and sales in many people. Although we all know that this is too limited a conception of marketing, it does color the image.
The examples cited make critics wonder whether fair affiliate marketing is an illusion. In many cases, affiliate marketing is also aimed at the short term, and its effects are not or insufficiently demonstrated. Related to this, the marketing function appears to be relatively limited at the top of organizations.
The marketer threatens to end up in a vicious circle: because he adds too little value, he is seen as less valuable, which reduces his impact and allows him to add less value. And voilà, the critics are right: affiliate marketing has little or no value. Even reputable companies with a lot of marketing expertise fall into this trap.
Think Starbucks. Until 2007 a very successful company and very popular among investors. Until it went wrong. Starbucks had become more and more a sales-driven organization in order to please the investors. This resulted in “over-marketing,” whereby the primary focus on the customer was lost, as well as the value that Starbucks initially wanted to offer it: a nice cup of coffee in a pleasant environment. Coffee making was no longer traditional but automated. And the place where it was consumed was more a shop aimed at selling all kinds of stuff than a pleasant meeting space. The magic was gone, and customers turned their backs on the company.
Only after Howard Schultz returned the company to the focus with which it had grown big was that success returned. The Starbucks case illustrates that too narrow a view of affiliate marketing — focusing more on communication and sales than offering and realizing value — leaves the long-term value of affiliate marketing untapped. Opportunities are missed. Even after initial success, as we saw at Starbucks.
As a result, affiliate marketing doesn’t matter.
That is why it is important for marketers and those affected by affiliate marketing — whether as consumers or as stakeholders — to understand how marketing has value. What does that value mean, for whom, and how can it be realized? As we saw at Starbucks. As a result, marketing doesn’t matter.
Value to all stakeholders
Consumers pay a fair price for ‘real food’, and suppliers receive fair compensation. No price pressure and the associated “squeezing” of the chain. This vision, which goes beyond value for the customer and the own organization, is in line with the increasing importance of systems thinking. After all, value is increasingly created in and through a network of stakeholders.
It is not without reason that the authoritative institute American Marketing Association defines marketing as:
Activity, set of institutions, and processes for creating, communicating, delivering, and exchanging offerings that have value for customers, clients, partners, and society at large.
Marketing today creates and realizes demonstrable value for all its stakeholders. It does this in close collaboration with all parties, internal and external, that are necessary for this.
Companies such as Home Depot in the United States and Woolworths in South Africa set explicit goals that they want to achieve among their stakeholders and report annually on their progress towards achieving them. The value that Starbucks delivers to customers cannot be without an eye for supplier, shareholder, and employee.
Thus, the focus of affiliate marketing has broadened considerably, and the marketing function is no longer limited to a single department. That department can indeed steer value creation and value realization, but the underlying processes’ actual implementation affects all those involved. Therefore, affiliate marketing has become too important to be left to the marketer alone but must be done together with that marketer.
This requires the marketer and organization to transcend the level of flat marketing, as demonstrated by the examples as mentioned earlier. And the short-term focus must be exchanged for a longer-term vision on value creation and value realization for all stakeholders.
Marketers, therefore, have an important role to play, and that role is changing dramatically.
Affiliate marketing as a director of value
Increasingly, the product or service as a “carrier” of customer experience is central. The product or service itself is only part of that total customer experience. Starbucks understood this all too well when it saw its customers leave in droves after the customer experience was increasingly reduced to a transaction.
Think of Hilti, which was able to innovate the sale of construction equipment by introducing subscription contracts whereby the professional customer has the latest equipment available at a fixed cost, together with Hilti’s support.
Or in healthcare, where Jan van Bodegom founded the Alexander Monro hospital, which is specialized in breast cancer, based on the needs and experiences of patients.
In these cases, the role of affiliate marketing changes from a consumer-oriented provider of products or services to that of a facilitator of co-creation of customer value. Value is defined based on the intended experience of the customer, and the account is taken of value realization for all interested parties. All parties in the system play an important role.
That is why the marketer must know well, which goals the parties involved are pursuing and evaluate the extent to which these are achieved. To this end, affiliate marketing should have a broader perspective than just a focus on the customer.
Then her role can also be broader. In that case, affiliate marketing is no longer a department that operates fairly isolated from other functions and the top of the organization, but a function that directs the value process (creation and realization) between organization and environment.
Affiliate marketing is the pivot in the internal web of business functions and the external web of stakeholders and knowledge providers. The logic of value creation and value realization is the basis for the efficient and effective management of these networks.
The marketer continuously monitors this logic and plays a leading role in it. That is to say that he or she others, internal and external, stimulates, motivates and mobilizes with a view of this process and, where necessary, makes adjustments to achieve the goal of customers, organization, shareholders, and stakeholders.
In this way, it is monitored that activities goal-oriented, for whom these goals are pursued, and the extent to which the organization is on track to realize them.
This requires a business model that makes the logic of value creation and value realization very transparent. And that is precisely what marketing has an important contribution to make.
Empower marketing at the top
Research shows that an influential marketing department is a good news because it improves business performance. However, the influence of affiliate marketing still focuses mainly on the domain that we traditionally attribute to marketing: target group choice, positioning and communication, and maintaining the customer relationship.
Nothing wrong with that in itself, but as I said before, that is no longer enough today. Markets are changing too quickly for this, and a number of developments are occurring, including in the technological, social, and cultural fields, which require modern affiliate marketing to take on a new role.
Faced with a new reality, marketing must develop new skills that are more diverse and flexible than before and extend beyond the mere marketing function.
For example, organizations must be increasingly able to deal with complex (big) data, respond to heterogeneous customer requirements, understand and serve complex customer journeys, orchestrate unique customer experiences, monitor and satisfy changing customer needs, anticipate new competitors and offer innovative solutions.
This requires quick learning and application of knowledge from sometimes completely new angles.
The field of marketing is, therefore, broadening. After all, the customer can enter the organization in many ways and create value with the organization, whether or not in collaboration with its partners. A marketing function that is mainly concerned with communication and sales is missing the boat. Especially when the more strategic aspects of marketing are not or insufficiently covered at the top level.
Ironically, the marketing function has slipped further and further into the organization, while the need for marketing thinking at the top of the organization has only increased. Without a strategic vision on marketing, it cannot fulfill its role in the value creation and value realization process. This is a far cry from the traditional marketing department that mainly deals with marketing tactics.
Modern organizations are embracing marketing as a function that helps guide value creation for its customers and stakeholders and enables it to demonstrate its success in doing so.
Modern marketing creates value in a way that is accountable, sustainable, and desirable. In many cases, it will not be assigned this role of its own accord, on the contrary. Marketers will have to fight to play that role.
For the sake of their organizations and stakeholders and for themselves. Because if they don’t do it, their position will only come under more pressure, and marketing will eventually become a really dirty word. And that comes at the expense of everyone.