Affiliates are a critical and cost-effective channel to drive incremental revenue. You know this. We know this. And the good networks align their goals with their customers so everyone wins.
But as a post from BrandVerity points out, this isn’t always the case, highlighting an example of an affiliate skimming commissions from the customers organic search results with an ad that had an egregious typo (“00% satisfaction guaranteed”). This points to the (awful) possibility of affiliates creating advertising copy that makes unauthorized promises on behalf of the advertiser.
The BrandVerity post shows how an affiliate created a rich ad with misspelled copy that looked like it came directly from the advertiser. Rich ads in search allow integration of deeplinks, images and even video. Some affiliates have used these rich ads in a way that water down an advertiser’s brand.
However, these sorts of cases should empower — not scare — advertisers to leverage tools and expertise to garner their desired results. And it should remind merchants that they need stringent policies to lay the ground rules and, if needed, enforce penalties on the violations.
Strong backend monitoring tools will be your best bet to combat less than savory affiliates and keep non-compliant promotional methods out of your program. Not to mention making sure your marketing team remains vigilant. The machines don’t catch everything.
ROI·DNA uses tools like BrandVerity to keep laser sights on what kind of SEM ads are being run on our clients’ brand terms. This ensures affiliate compliance — which builds perhaps the most critical ingredient of any affiliate program: trust. Advertisers have to know that affiliates are following their policies and acting for the betterment of their brands.
Let ROI·DNA help you build that critical ingredient.