There is a common misconception that an affiliate OPM agency cannot or should not be hired if you already have an in-house affiliate marketing team managing your affiliate program.
Today we are going to discuss why that’s a myth, and how an OPM (or Outsourced Program Management) agency can complement the efforts of internal affiliate teams.
There are five chief areas that I would like to highlight in connection with the subject of our conversation: experience, expertise, streamlining, toolset, and reporting. Let’s look at each of these one by one.
The main reason companies hire OPM agencies to manage their affiliate programs or to help complement their internal teams is because the professionals that work at agencies are experts who possess years of practical hands-on affiliate management experience. They manage multiple programs in the present and have managed many programs in the past. OPM agencies have had experience with all sorts of different kinds of e-commerce brands and, thus, they bring a unique perspective to every client/brand they work with.
Not to be confused with experience, though the two are certainly connected, expertise is about the agency’s competence in the field of affiliate program management. We are told that “expertise” is what you “get from experience, training, or study.” In case with OPMs, their expertise is based both on theoretical knowledge, and on empirical one. They live and breathe affiliate management, and this contributes to their ever-increasing competence.
When it comes to overall strategy, both OPM agency’s expertise, and their experience will be very valuable assets. An internal affiliate team works only on their brand. That is their 100% focus and sometimes this actually creates an environment where it becomes difficult to think outside the box or see things from a different perspective. This is a perfect example of where the expertise and experience of an OPM agency can help.
There is a long list of tasks (daily, weekly, monthly and yearly) that come with managing an affiliate program. An internal affiliate manager can easily get bogged down with these and lose precious time that could be being spent on identifying and recruiting new affiliates into the program along with working with existing affiliates and maintaining those strong relationships. In this example, if you’re working with an OPM agency, you can delegate various tasks to them. Like already mentioned, OPM agencies have lots of expertise and experience in affiliate program management and many of these basic tasks they’ve done thousands of times. Thus, they have systems and are incredibly efficient in accomplishing these tasks.
Some examples of tasks that affiliate managers handle could be application vetting, affiliate newsletters, and compliance policing among many others. It’s also possible to contract an OPM to specifically do specific tasks within your affiliate program thus creating more time for the internal team to focus on other efforts.
4. Technology and Tools
Many OPM agencies use a variety of tools that help them do their job better and more efficiently. One of the best reasons to work with an OPM agency even if you already have an internal affiliate team is to leverage these tools that they use on a daily basis that help them be successful and thus not need to invest time or resources into these tools yourself. If you were to invest in these various tools, you would also need to learn how to use them and train your people on them as well. By simply contracting the OPM agency, you can eliminate the need for all of that investment (both money and time) and leverage all these wonderful tools that are sure to help boost the health of your affiliate program.
Finally, another thing that OPM agencies are particularly good at is reporting. In online marketing, proper reports help tell your story and it’s nice to have an OPM agency on your side when higher-ups come calling asking for various reports on your affiliate program. This is another example of where the additional tools an OPM has at its disposal comes into use. A report that might have taken you all day might only take them an hour.
In the end, an OPM agency complements the efforts of an internal affiliate team by streamlining their efforts and making everyone’s job easier — ultimately, freeing up more time for the internal team to focus on additional efforts to grow their business. So be it full outsourcing of your affiliate program’s management to an agency, or working with one on co-management basis, keep the above advantages in mind, and good luck to you with your affiliate program management efforts!
Feel free to email us or comment below with any notes or questions.