Semantics can be a tricky thing, especially when it comes to job titles. In one industry or company, a role might mean one thing, but in the context of another the responsibilities might be entirely different.
When talking to business owners (especially small to mid-sized companies) I sometimes see a disconnect between two different roles: The role of an Affiliate Marketer and the Role of an Affiliate Marketing Manager.
Many companies often think: I need someone to manage my affiliate program. Therefore, I need an affiliate marketer. If they are a good Affiliate Marketer, they must know how to manage an affiliate program.
Now, this is not uncommon to find an Affiliate Marketer turned Affiliate Marketing Manager. However there are distinguishable responsibilities between the two. For example, not all car mechanics know how to run the shop, right?
So let’s look at what an Affiliate Marketer is or does:
Affiliate Marketer Roles & Definition:
- Expert Marketer; often can promote/market a product or service better than the merchant (or in different ways to show more than one value proposition).
- Responsible for driving traffic to an offer/product/service; “packs the store” so to speak.
- Can be a Teacher/Educator; shows how or why a product or service is used for a particular vertical or audience.
- Often operates his/her own web properties that relay the traffic on to the merchant.
- Usually (but not always) a customer of the product or service he/she is promoting.
Now let’s look at Affiliate Marketing Manager:
Affiliate Marketing Manager Roles & Definition:
- Opportunity seeker & affiliate program marketer; Finds the right affiliate partners that could be a good fit for the merchant.
- Is a relationship builder; Works between merchant and Affiliate Marketers to find the best outcomes for both (more customers and products/service sold for the merchant and more $$ commissions for the Affiliate Marketer).
- Logistical Operator; Is behind the scenes ensuring tracking/attribution is working, affiliates are getting paid on time, driving new affiliate promotional campaigns/contests etc.
- Gatekeeper/Policing; ensuring affiliates that are not a good fit for the program don’t get in as well as affiliates that might be breaking terms and conditions with how they are promoting.
An Affiliate Marketing Manager could be a good Affiliate Marketer and vice versa; no doubt, that could be a possibility. Nonetheless, there are defined roles and developing backgrounds of experience for each.
So the next time you are looking to hire or get involved with an Affiliate Marketer or Affiliate Marketing Manager – remember they are different!