Should you let your Affiliates Bid on your PPC Brand Terms?
Posted in Copywriting by Click Consult on 7th of November, 2008
Why do some companies that I deal with allow affiliates to bid on their PPC brand terms? I just don't understand why they would be willing to pay commissions to affiliates when they would usually be guaranteed the conversion anyway. However, there are times where clients of mine have agreed to a select few affiliates to bid against their brand and it is something I have always been against. Some advertisers will use affiliates in this way to protect brand terms and keep possible competitors from being able to afford to bid on the brand terms. Like any marketing decision this needs to be measured accurately in terms of return and performance. The potential benefits are increasing traffic, conversions and revenue but this is offset by the amount of extra cost/commission being paid to the brand bidders. There is also the fact that there is a cost involved in measuring and tracking the performance of the affiliate. Most of the time none of these are even properly considered let alone set up to be tracked and measured accurately to be able to determine the performance, there is also the fact the measurement increases from the data can be inherently difficult to gauge anyway due to the number of factors involved. But even more so with a closed group the merchant needs to be completely sure that tracking is accurate because quite feasibly an affiliate can set it up however they wish. There is no way of seeing whether every branded advert is being tracked separately. Merchants also need to be checking how the affiliate is representing their brand to ensure it is consistent with the image, values and messages they want to portray. Multiple adverts representing one brand can also ultimately confuse the searcher. Other advertising mediums can also effect brand terms i.e. a series of TV adverts would probably result in more searches for your brand terms. Affiliates would reap the benefits of this for free. All in all the disadvantages are many without much in the way of advantages. That's why I always recommend that my clients don't let their affiliates bid on their brand terms.