It has clearly show me which networks have progressed well and who have fallen behind. It also has been quick to establish (personal preference) which networks and advertisers are doing the hard graft when it comes to maximising their business in this very competitive industry.
Before I go into the things I've noticed, let it be clear I've only signed up to 4 networks as a publisher so far. More will come but I've seen enough to help highlight what other publishers may be feeling.
1 - Networks, make your interface device friendly and keep it clean
A couple of networks seem to have kept the interface the same for a few years,. They aren't device friendly and they certainly have a LOT of hyperlinks clogging up a page.
Numerous times I've been trying to get on with signing up to advertisers and build tracking links in a database and the amount of clicking I have to do is unreal.
I tried to use some networks on a mobile and have up upon seeing the screen after logging in.
2 - Advertisers, I'm cool with a manual approval process, but during the working week 72 hours plus to accept or reject is way too long.
In fact it's more than 72 hours in some cases. I've been waiting for 4 days to get approval and now it will go into next week.
That presents a problem, because like most digital marketing managers, I have other stuff to be doing and I schedule time to try and blast through work in a quick hit.
People work differently and I can multi task with the best of them, but I prefer to grab something when I have time and hammer out work in a short space of time. It ticks things of the monumental list and alleviates some workload.
Making publishers wait over a week for approval might not sound like a long time, but when publishers already have advertiser competitors on their website and now onto other work it's the advertiser missing out.
It also doesn't get a relationship off on the right foot.
3 - Advertisers understand that content and resource is key to success
The norm used to be advertisers would hurl themselves into the channel with little or no care to what was actually required to make it work.
That seems to have changed a lot.
Every advertiser I've signed up to actually has more than one 300x250 banner!!!!
They even have a nice detailed description of their company, products and services, and many of them have product feeds and deep linking options.
They communicate better by providing details of their offers, promotions and discounts. It helps everyone and I am pleased to see that advertisers are largely taking it a bit more seriously than years ago.
Next week I have a few more networks to sign up to and will be able to see how the landscape has changed overall and who is edging ahead (for me) and who haven't really changed as much as they should have.
I am enjoying getting back into the affiliate marketing arena and will hopefully make good on what I want to achieve.