Affiliate marketing is a partnership between a website publisher or sales organization (otherwise known as an affiliate) and a vendor or advertiser. This revenue-sharing model allows both parties to make money based on the number of clicks, registrations and transactions that occur on the salesperson’s website. Affiliate marketers manage the relationship between their companies and affiliate partners to help drive sales revenue for their firm.
The primary job of affiliate marketing professionals centers on planning, developing and executing marketing programs that support and recruit new affiliates. Affiliate marketing personnel interface with product marketing, information technology and marketing communications to roll out different affiliate marketing initiatives. Some of these activities include performing marketing research on potential affiliate partners; monitoring affiliates and enforcing company procedures around affiliate programs; reviewing affiliate contracts, nurturing relationships with external vendors, affiliates and partners; and creating campaign reports that show progress and return on investment.
Employers prefer candidates with a bachelor’s degree in marketing, advertising or a similar field. In addition, employers usually require one to three years of affiliate marketing experience for this position. Students interested in pursuing a career in affiliate marketing can take courses in sales, online marketing, advertising, psychology, economics, computer technology and communications.
Affiliate marketing professionals should have previous experience purchasing and negotiating pricing for various media, including email, banner and Web pop-up advertisements. They should also exhibit analytical and database technology skills, which play an essential role in maintaining campaign management applications and generating marketing reports. Candidates should be proficient in Microsoft Office programs, as well as cold-calling and marketing analysis. Other skills that prove helpful in this position include project management, website management and strategic planning.
According to a June 2010 PayScale report, the average salary for an online affiliate marketing manager in the U.S. ranged from $38,931 to $63,636. Bonuses for the position fell between $1,221 and $8,199. Salaries for the position vary based on factors such as location, industry, company size, years of experience and education level.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics “Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2010-11 Edition" marketing management jobs should increase by 12 percent during the decade between 2008 and 2018. Employers will look for professionals who have creative talents, advanced technology skills and a firm grasp of the latest marketing trends and developments. Marketing managers with these abilities will remain in high demand as the economy grows and more companies are forced to compete with marketers in the global marketplace.