What do Affiliate Networks actually do?

Babalu: Rickshaw Pilot and Affiliate extraordinaire

Mooch Marketing currently makes its way in the world by producing affiliate sales. We point people to the merchant with the cheapest price for a given product, they buy it and the merchant gives us some money.

If you've ever sat in a bicycle rickshaw in Delhi and ended up at the best 'Government Approved' sari shop in India you will know that the concept is global.... payment for introduction / sale.

However, unlike India in this market we introduce a third party who sits between the sari shop and the rickshaw pilot and takes some of the proceeds of the deal.... but for what?

To date, apart from one notable exception (which is the main reason for this post) our only contact has been to ask them to help us with problems we're encountering with merchant and network technology. Almost universally this has resulted in our chasing them 2 or 3 times as the Chinese whispers start, the complication ramps up and the problem remains static.

In every one of these cases we would have preferred to speak directly to the merchant because when we do things happen.

But earlier today I had a teleconference with Sophie Metcalfe of Affiliate Window and Martin from one of our mutual merchants. The whole thing was set up by Sophie who had identified both parties as having the potential for a closer working relationship and had clearly started to consider what and how was possible.

In one sense this is pretty straightforward but as we are a price comparison site who aren't prepared to promote or suppress prices (you know who you are) the opportunities can, at first sight, appear pretty blunt. Despite this we spent 40 excellent minutes learning about what each other did, finding some common ground and seeing if we could make something of it.

And we can - the potential for mutual benefit looks really promising.

So thank you Sophie for doing what we kind of hoped Affiliate Networks would do and for actually doing better than we had hoped. 

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