In what will hopefully be a regular slot I’m going to take the opportunity to share with everyone the ongoing work of the Affiliate Marketing Council. The AMC has always met on the last Thursday of every month so first off a big thanks to everyone who was able to attend last week’s meeting in central London.
With around 40 people present the meetings are continuing to prove a popular draw, with affiliates, agencies, merchants and networks all in attendance.
February’s meeting was important for a number of reasons, the most obvious one being imminent changes to the structure of the Council and how we get things done.
For those who haven’t attended a meeting before I wanted to give a little bit of background and explain why changes are necessary.
The AMC has entered its fourth year and in that time it’s established itself as central part of the industry. Member network numbers have swelled to ten, accounting for the vast majority of industry revenue and key blue chip agencies, advertisers and affiliates are in regular attendance to lend their voice to the debate.
Ironically one of the consequences of this growing popularity is that the number of people who now attend has the potential to lessen the effectiveness of the previous format and direction of the Council.
Regular attendees will hopefully agree the regulatory directives and best practice guidance that came from the Council in 2009 were important on a number of levels; not least because we now all have common standards everyone can adhere to. Therefore any potential diminution of the Council’s effectiveness needs to be addressed before it becomes an issue.
With that in mind the AMC collectively agreed the bulk of the day to day work should happen away from the general council meeting and should instead be coordinated by two sub-committees that will comprise:
Comprised of all member networks with merchant and affiliate representation, this committee will be responsible for formulating regulation, best practice and codes of conduct; a crucial part of the Council’s role.
Promotion, Education & Research Committee
With representation from all sides of the industry this committee will be responsible for coordinating projects that will benefit us all such as industry research, events and case studies. The projects will be divided amongst individuals who show interest in that specific issue or topic.
Both committees will report back to the general Council and any changes or new developments will be discussed and (if necessary) ratified by everyone in attendance. One additional change with the general meeting is the whole AMC will now only meet once every two months.
It’s important to remember that the work of the two committees will be steered by the general Council. The agenda and projects to be delivered will be pre-agreed with responsibility given to each of the committees.
I think there is a collective belief that such an approach will help us all to achieve more and give the Council an even stronger position at the heart of the industry.
So what key projects have we agreed should be the priority for the first few months?
- Full rollout of toolbar guidelines with supporting documentation for merchants
- Affiliate accreditation and potential for a ‘stamp of approval’ for affiliates
- Best practice guidelines on APIs and feeds
Promotion, Education & Research Committee
- Formation of a project group to look into multi/value/influence attribution
- 'Size of Industry' research piece, including sector breakdowns
- Reaching out to new, non-CPA publishers/affiliates
These projects are pretty significant and require substantial work from all involved so I’m delighted so many individuals have volunteered their services. I think these projects represent a really good starting point for 2010 and I’m looking forward to seeing how they develop.
Clearly we need to communicate details about these as widely as we can. Only by doing so can we secure the level of engagement and buy in we’d all like to see. To kick off, the Council is now on Twitter so do follow the Council updates for the latest developments. I’m also keen to get a blog up and running as soon as possible to enable wider discussion and a central resource for all the agenda points and minutes.