How to Motivate Affiliates – Introduction

Today I have been reading articles on motivation and emotional intelligence published by the Harvard Business Review over the past four decades.  I was looking at all of them from the perspective of how I, as an affiliate program manager, could better motivate affiliates; and one of them especially stood out from the pile. It was the “Moving Mountains” article by Bronwyn Fryer reprinted in the “Harvard Business Review on Motivating People” (2003). Fryer wrote:

There’s no trick to motivating others. It requires a clear, unbiased understanding of the situation at hand, deep insight into the vagaries of human nature at both individual and the group levels, the establishment of appropriate and reasonable expectations and goals, and the construction of a balanced set of tangible and intangible incentives. (p. 158)

Do you, as an affiliate manager have (i) a clear and truly  unbiased understanding of the situation, and (ii) deep insight into what your affiliates want/need individually and cooperatively as an industry? Do you (iii) set realistic goals, and (iv) continuously motivate by tangible and intangible incentives? These are the questions every affiliate program manager should ask (him)/(her)self.

Fryer says: “It requires, in other words, hard thinking and hard work.” Add restless self-education and relationships building, and you’ll arrive at the bouquet characteristics of every successful AM/OPM.

Furthermore, Fryer proposes several practical techniques on how to make one a better motivator. Most of them hit the affiliate program management nail right on the head! Here are the ones that I picked out as immediately relevant for those of us that work with affiliate marketers:

  • Start with the truth
  • Appeal to greatness (once-in-a-lifetime opportunities, etc)
  • Make them proud
  • Stick to your values
  • Provide constant & consistent communication channel
  • Build trust
  • Care for the little guy
  • Set different incentive levels (pp. 159-172)

I will keep reading the learning more about the topic in the weeks to come, and I will definitely keep you all posted on the new things I learn (especially, the ones that I find to be directly applicable to the context of affiliate program management).

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