The IAB AMC and the need for a renewed sense of purpose

On mention of the words IAB Affiliate Marketing Council (AMC) I can almost hear the groans as I write this. I feel partly responsible for that, hence why I felt obliged to write this blog in support of the AMC, but also perhaps with the objective of trying to relight the fire that once was.

I took up the IAB AMC Chair back in 2011 and I’ve not been shy in saying that I found it an extremely difficult task. It’s one that I still look back on with some frustration that I did not perhaps do the best job I could and I feel that this may have impacted the last two years.

 When I took on the role there was a transition happening at the IAB and the support level changed a lot over that year and was significantly less than it is today. However, that was corrected in 2012 when Clare was appointed to manage the Lead Gen and Affiliate Councils, a step in the right direction and as such the support structure is in a much better place than it was back in 2011.  My frustrations in my time as Chair however were not just with the lack of support from the IAB but also the lack of support from the members of the AMC. I’m sure that current and past members will have experienced the same.  Don’t get me wrong, there are some fantastic people on the Council that really care about the industry and strive to work hard to help drive it in the right direction.  However, there are also some people that enjoy the privilege of sitting on the council but don’t deliver very much at all.   Let’s be realistic, this is just life and business but my worry is that this lethargy has crept into several areas of the AMC and has been quite damaging.

What we need in the AMC is bright, young minds.  People that want to do well for themselves, their company and the industry.  People that strive to push boundaries, ask the right questions, fight when they feel it is necessary to do so.  Not people that turn up, listen and go home without adding any real value.  We need more publisher and advertiser voices, we need agencies to step out of their comfort blankets and join the networks in leading the industry.  We need a shake-up and perhaps we need to get rid of some of the old guard and bring in the new.

Despite my frustrations, I’m thoroughly supportive of the IAB AMC and still believe that it can be the driving force behind growth and development within the affiliate channel.  I am still committing my time when I can and affilinet are supportive in time and membership fees for the next year as well.  But let’s stop seeing this as a boring, autocratic body, let’s bring some life in to it. I call for all those involved to have a real think about people from their companies that can be involved.  We need to ensure that the AMC has the right balance and decision makers are well represented, but lets get in some fresh faces.  When the AMC started we were a room full of 20 people, all passionate and willing to go that extra mile for the industry. We need to recapture some of that spirit.

 I also think it needs a new industry leader, someone who can be the spokesperson for the channel and harness some of the old passion that the AMC used to have.  I believe that nominations are going to be taken in December and would be great to see some good candidates step up to the task. The IAB AMC can still be a force for good, but it needs to recapture its sense of purpose. And it can’t do that alone. As individuals working in the industry we have to be prepared to stand up and be counted. The reward is the opportunity to shape the future of affiliate marketing, what more motivation do you need?

Helen Southgate

Helen Southgate

Helen Southgate joins affilinet from BSkyB, where she was responsible for the broadcaster’s online marketing planning and strategy. Southgate has eleven years experience in performance marketing and in 2011 was the IAB Affiliate Marketing Council Chair. Her primary focus is to grow business in the UK, but she will also work alongside other country managers to grow the network at a European level.
Helen Southgate

One comment

  1. As a fairly long term affiliate, what I find “amusing” from the affiliate companies is that they dont seem to include their actual affiliates as part of their “team”.
    I have worked with one particularly good example, but the other affiliate marketing companies, which better remain nameless, have never particularly got in touch with me, and even when I’ve had a question they take months to answer, by which time I have moved on.
    And…….another company seems to see us as someone to sell to. The latest wheeze is we can enter an Advent draw. That might be fine but quite a few of their offers are things like discounts in hotel chains and I get the feeling they are trying to sell that to us as opposed to trying to get us to promote the offer.
    Without us affiliates you are nothing so come on…….!!
    However another thing is the impact of recent Google changes.
    Yes it could well be the end of small operator affiliates. The big companies have now upped their game and their websites and I suspect the game might be up for the small operator. Or perhaps this is just where niche operators can now flourish now that many poorly operated websites with poor information for customers have been cleared out.

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