Outsourced program management is frequently misunderstood; and explaining what an OPM (outsourced program manager) does is not any simpler than describing what affiliates do, or what affiliate marketing is. In fact, it is a little more complex of a task, because you first have to explain what is affiliate marketing, who are affiliates, what is an affiliate program, and only then… why advertisers often outsource the management of their affiliate program(s), and what it is exactly that OPMs do (recruit new affiliates, motivate them activate, police compliance with the merchant’s rules and policies, handle communication, and work on optimizing the program — yes, the five pillars).
To reflect the most common preconceptions/misconceptions, in line with the currently popular What Others Think I Do meme, and
among others using two actual pictures of myself (one from a fishing trip, and another one from a speaking opportunity), I have put together the following “What People Think OPMs Do” visual summary on outsourced program management:
Here is also the “legend” (with my best attempts to quantify the veracity of each preconception):
Neighbors — They don’t know what exactly I do, but do know that it’s “computer-related” and I seem to have cash falling on my head. 95% FALSE (the 5% of the truth is that I do work at the computer)
Friends — Judging by the stuff that I post on my Facebook wall, it appears I must be on a life-long fishing trip. 95% FALSE (I, honestly, wish I had that much free time!)
Mother — Well… If my mother doesn’t think that I’m a computer gamer of some sorts, my mother-in-law definitely does. 🙂 100% FALSE
Other relatives — They, probably, picture me working on a laptop, sitting in a comfy armchair, and wearing pajamas. 100% FALSE
Myself — I’d like to think of myself as of an educator, and contributor to the betterment of the industry. Essence – 100% TRUE; Time commitment – 20% TRUE
Reality — Multiple clients whose affiliate programs we manage, 12-hour work days, coffee, stress, lack of fresh air… 100% TRUE (but since I’m working for myself, it’s also 100% worth it!)
I am sure the situation is very similar with other options for outsourcing marketing-related tasks (be it search engine optimization, paid search marketing, banner/graphics design, web development, outsourced social media marketing, or conversion rate optimization); and the vast majority of my blog’s readers will identify with what I’m saying here.
Enjoy your weekend, shutting down that computer and Internet connection on your smartphone(s), and spending time with those who matter the most in your life!