While it might be easy to confuse the two, there is a difference between affiliate management and affiliate marketing. They are two separate but related aspects of a brand growth strategy.

To maximize their potential, businesses need to understand the differences between the two. Below is a comparison between affiliate management and affiliate marketing.

What Is Affiliate Marketing?

Affiliate marketing allows businesses to extend their reach by having affiliates recommend their products or services to others in return for a paid commission for each referral. Generally speaking, the process goes as follows:

  • An affiliate joins a marketing program for Business X
  • The affiliate markets and shares links to Business X’s store via blogs, social media, etc.
  • Potential customers who follow the affiliate use links to access Business X
  • Customers make purchases from Business X
  • Business X pays a commission to the affiliate for leads or sales made through the links

A successful affiliate marketing strategy requires the involvement of three major parties:

  • Business/Seller/Product Creator. The brand needs affiliates to market their products or services to a broader audience.
  • Affiliates. Paid affiliates make the product or service of a business sound enticing and have an audience likely to be interested in said product or service.
  • Consumers. Purchasers provide the revenue necessary to keep the business profitable and further power the affiliate marketing program.

The affiliate marketing model allows businesses to reach new customers without active involvement in marketing content. However, it involves many moving parts — such as recruiting affiliates and tracking their effectiveness — so it’s more likely to achieve success with rigorous oversight. This is where affiliate management enters the picture.

What Is Affiliate Management?

Whether it’s handled in-house or performed by a third party, an affiliate management program acts as the go-between for brands and their affiliates. Affiliate managers oversee the responsibility of recruiting affiliates and nurturing those partnerships. Additionally, they perform several affiliate management solutions and activities, which include:

  • Analyzing affiliate program success and identifying opportunities for improvement
  • Brainstorming new affiliate campaign ideas
  • Devising/delivering reports on affiliate marketing metrics
  • Managing affiliate campaigns in an attempt to maximize ROI
  • Overseeing commission payouts to affiliates
  • Tweaking affiliate strategies and incentives to drive sales

Through effective affiliate management, brands can steadily grow their affiliate marketing channels and optimize the results of their affiliate marketing efforts.

The Difference Between Affiliate Management And Marketing

Affiliate marketing uses affiliates to attract attention to products and services, while affiliate management is the guiding hand businesses use to ensure such programs are successful. As affiliates are not direct employees of the brand and exercise some autonomy in how they operate, affiliate marketing is more hands-off.

Affiliate management is something brands can exert more control over. They can handle this aspect in-house and set terms on how to develop campaigns, forge relationships, and perform other necessary actions to foster success from affiliate channels.

Wrapping up

While related, affiliate marketing and affiliate management are two separate concepts. 

New to affiliate marketing? LeadDyno provides a straightforward method of setting up and overseeing an affiliate program — complete with the ability to onboard affiliates and analyze program metrics.

Brands looking into affiliate marketing should consider working with a robust affiliate management platform. A streamlined tool like LeadDyno is a great way to get started with minimal hassle.