When I was asked to contribute to the STEAK Digital Days series, my initial thought was that it would be an excellent chance to correct the myth that Affiliate Marketing is nothing more than vouchercodes, cashback, and yet more vouchercodes. Obviously, as an affiliate marketer, I love a good offer (where would we be without them? Paying full price for dough balls, that’s where) but my day-to-day life at STEAK also involves insight, planning, forging relationships and constantly building up knowledge of a dynamic and exciting industry.
After completing a degree in English Literature at Oxford, I worked in a number of different jobs before discovering affiliate marketing. I’ve now been in the industry for two years, and my role has changed a great deal to the one I started out in. At STEAK the different disciplines are enthusiastic about integrating and sharing knowledge; there’s always more to learn in a digital environment.
An day in the life at STEAK
After a treacherous commute from Willesden Green, my day begins like most people’s: checking emails and dealing with any urgent queries. I review the performance of my programmes each morning to make sure that everything is on track. The real-time reporting and immediacy of results is one of the elements I like most about my job; it’s fast-paced and every action and promotion is immediately accountable.
9.30 – 11.00
During the morning I do the bulk of my planning. This involves a great deal of analysis of past campaigns (for an English graduate I am now basically an Excel master!) and then creating campaigns that drive the best results for all parties – affiliates and clients.
I also keep up to speed with the most recent industry developments by reading Twitter industry forums, as well as chatting to the affiliate team over one of our many cups of tea. Knowing as much as possible about the wider concerns of the industry enables us to plan ahead for our clients as well as ensuring that we can give advice on how to prepare for events such as the e-Privacy Directive which came into effect on ‘Cookie Day’ a couple of weeks ago.
11.00 – 1.15
From late morning I contact affiliates to plan campaigns and negotiate coverage for our clients, as well as to provide them with any new copy or creative and discuss wider plans for their websites. Whilst Affiliate Marketing requires a full understanding of data and analysis of results, it is ultimately built on relationships of mutual trust.
1.15 – 2.00
Lunch: an overpriced but delicious sandwich or if I’ve been incredibly organised, something I’ve made the night before (this almost never happens). If it’s sunny, I’ll sit outside; otherwise I’ll spend time reading blogs and Twitter and trying to resist the siren call of the Daily Mail sidebar.
2.00 – 3.30
After lunch I often spend time recruiting new affiliates by looking for relevant blogs and content sites, as well as approaching affiliates we have previously worked with new campaigns. It’s also a good time to monitor affiliate promotions and ensure that copy and creative are compliant, something that’s imperative for finance clients.
3.30 – 4.00
Team Meeting: a chance to share what we’ve all been up to, any new affiliates we’ve been speaking to and how we can optimise performance across all accounts.
4.00 – 5.30
Towards the end of the day I deal with any outstanding client requests as well as writing my to-do list for tomorrow. During the summer my evenings are often centred around STEAK, whether it’s attending summer networking events, attempting to learn the rules to softball before STEAK’s games in the London Advertising League or, most frequently, heading to The Sun for conversation about our favourite vouchercodes.