After the binge watching of the Game of Thrones series recently came to an end, the novelty of being attached to the programme has gradually warn off.

Although, we may think we know everything about the TV show, thinking outside of the box when watching the show can really give you some good tips for your affiliate marketing strategy.

Below are five of the best that can be taken from the show and transferred into your day-to-day work as an affiliate manager.

1) Nothing is sacred except your main mission

Your strategy is everything. You need to build a clear plan of action for when you launch your affiliate program, and know what you want to achieve, before you begin. Setting SMART targets is a crucial factor as it gives you something you can measure to and also against as you launch and scale. Stick to the main mission. Ensure you are recruiting new affiliates, segmenting your database and looking outside of the main keywords to find new sites to be present on, and deals to get done. Focus is easy to lose site of but if you plan for success before you start, you’ll find it easier to watch your program grow and not get distracted by the competition around you.

2) Hard times are always coming

The affiliate industry is hard, competitive and fierce, in an industry where only the fit survive, its vital that you surround yourself with the right expertise and support infrastructure. Seek experts who can help you get the best deals negotiated. Look, listen and learn from industry experts at the major events. Read a lot. Stay abreast of what’s happening in the affiliate space and keep on top of industry news. The market is getting tougher and your job as an affiliate manager – is to ensure you are keeping your head above the fray – and focussing on how your brand can innovate effectively.

3) Having a common vision will always beat plain skill

Having a plan, and working with the rest of the digital marketing team in your business, which includes country managers, who will be fighting for the brand recognition alongside yourself in the affiliate team, is vitally important. Understand the global objective and then play that vision back to your affiliates and get their buy in on it too.

Use your partners as part of your own affiliate team. Keeping them at ams’ length and not being inclusive in the strategic driving of your affiliate program will definitely impact the level of skill you have at your disposal to innovate and understand the competitive landscape better. Know thine enemy and use quick wit to get ahead.

4) Power isn’t always wielded by the hand

No matter how small you think an affiliate is, tomorrow they could be huge. Build your relationships and your network as well as your personal brand as an affiliate manager –  as it all helps to make your affiliate program really grow. People buy people at the end of the day and you are representing your brand at every single event, and networking opportunity. Be polite, answer your emails on tome and treat your affiliates well. Every bit helps to build solid relationships. If you are the head of the department, remember to help your junior affiliate managers to get the skills development they need to get better at what they do. Ongoing digital training is now a necessity in this business.

5) It comes back to doing just one thing – being the best you can be using the tools at your disposal. 

The affiliate industry is fast changing, and it needs a clear and concise program strategy that can adapt fast and move accordingly. By focusing on a few core things that make you unique is a good way to start. Nobody has time to remember complex bonus offers or marketing messages that are fancy. Keep it simple, be the best you can be at building trust with partners and use the tools you have at your disposal to deliver a great service. Sometimes you need to just forget about everyone else, and just be YOU.

If you want to learn more about the latest digital marketing trends and how to find new opportunities and build new affiliate relationships register now for the Digital Marketing Forum on the 18th September in London.