Anyone that has hosted a Thanksgiving dinner knows how much time and effort goes into the preparation. Your guests are expecting a great feast consisting of all of the traditional fare and if you drop the ball on just one of these items, your dinner could end up being a bust. It’s a lot of pressure and that’s why you really have to prepare ahead of time to pull off memorable meal that sends your guests home happy and impressed with your hosting talents. Let’s run down the players in this game and find the connection to Affiliate Marketing when preparing for a big event like Thanksgiving dinner. Let’s dive right in.
Turkey > Website. The turkey is always the star of the show. Whether it’s organic, free-range, or Kosher, you must do your homework and research before you buy. Check out some reviews and buy a trusted brand that has proven to be a winner over the years. Don’t just assume turkey is turkey.
Your website is the star in affiliate marketing. At the end of Q4 2013, do an audit on your website and determine what about it worked and what didn’t. Take stock of all of the misfires and get them corrected for 2014.
Chef > Manager. Your turkey day dinner is almost guaranteed to be a success if you have a seasoned veteran working the kitchen and cooking the Turkey and essential sides such as mashed potatoes and gravy. If you’re not a seasoned veteran make sure you consult with someone who is so you can get tips on secret recipes and cooking everything to perfection.
The person managing your affiliate program is crucial to your success. You’ll need someone who knows the ropes, has a secret sauce, and understands what it takes to bring your program to the next level in 2014. If you don’t have a person dedicated to this job in house, you need to consider getting someone in that role or hiring an agency/out-sourced program management firm to run the program for you.
Your Guests > Your Affiliates. You’re the host and your guests make or break your Thanksgiving dinner. Yes, I realize you’ll most likely have family over and things can get dysfunctional in a hurry with old family skeletons dragged out of the closet combined with all of the stress leading up to the big dinner. Just remember these are your guests and you need to treat them well and provide them with everything they need to go home satisfied customers.
Try to think of your Affiliates as guests of your program too, and treat them as such in 2014. No two affiliates are the same so make sure you stay in close contact with your active affiliates and find out what they need. Ask them for feedback on how the program worked in 2013 so you know in 2014 what you should keep around, what needs fixing, and which additions to the program would be the most attractive.
Food Supply > Budget. It’s Thanksgiving. People are coming over to eat themselves silly. This is an obvious one but you want to make sure you have an abundance of food on hand so everyone can reach their personal eating goals for the night. And don’t worry about having too much. Many people feel the leftovers are the best part of Thanksgiving with day after turkey sandwiches and other creative ways to use them up.
Review your affiliate program expenditures in 2013 and budget for bonuses, promotions, and advertising throughout 2014. Assuming you want to grow your program next year, you’ll need to allocate funds towards recruitment campaigns and special payouts to your affiliates based on performance and goals they reach.
Football Games > Conferences. Thanksgiving just isn’t Thanksgiving without football. If you don’t do it already, set up a game with family and friends and get a Turkey Bowl tradition going. Also, make sure you have the main TV in your house showing that day’s NFL games. It’s a tradition to watch the Detroit Lions get hammered on Thanksgiving Day every year.
Affiliate/Online Marketing conferences are a must-do. You can’t attend everyone so make sure you do some research now so you have a plan of attack for 2014 and the conferences that will provide the most value. Budget funds and time away from the office, have a pre-planned strategy going in for each conference ready before the new year starts so that you’re not rushing to put something together last minute. These conferences will be a big waste of time and money if you just show up not knowing who you want to meet, what you want to learn, and how you’ll get a good return on your investment.
So there you have it. Preparing for Thanksgiving dinner is just like prepping your Affiliate Program for a great 2014. Happy Turkey Day everyone!