Tony Wright has an excellent post up at SearchEngineLand on establishing search marketing rules for working with franchise organizations. Since affiliates are in some ways franchisees (and plenty of ways not), some of his guidelines are quite useful. He provides three rules:
- A heavy hand at the beginning saves heartache down the road. Set your rules early on and make sure to enforce them. If you are lax initially or don't have rules in place your partners are going to build their businesses around expectations that you don't necessarily share.
- You can't please all the people all the time - pick a strategy and stick with it. Create consistent policies and enforce them consistently. Franchisees (and affiliates) have an innate sense of fairness and become upset when they perceive unfairness.
- You have limited resources. Realize this and plan accordingly. Don't create rules that are overbearing or difficult to enforce.
Overall, Tony's post is great and we would highly recommend affiliate managers read it as well. He strikes on an aspect of franchisee marketing and affiliate marketing that is typically an afterthought. His personal blog can be found here.