Thursday, 12 July 2007

Hotel Chocolat US landing page

GET READY FOR A SENSUAL JOURNEY. We have launched our US Holel Chocolat site with a landing page. We aim to bring our gourmet chocolate gifts to America for Autumn (Fall) 2007.

Watch this space for more information on Hotel Chocolat's launch in America our for email alerts please register to keep upto on all things chocolate

The fantastic striking Cocoa Pod image is shot by photographer J├Ârgen Ahlstr├Âm and is from the 2nd harvest 2007 of Hotel Chocolat's Rabot Estate in St Lucia.

Internet Retailing Speaker Event

I've recently been asked to speaker at the Internet Retailing Event on the 2nd October at the Novotel Hotel in Hammersmith

Internet Retailing Speaker Event, Chris Bishop

I will be presenting a case study on Hotel Chocolat's affiliate programme and my approach to affiliate communication and our successful affiliate strategy so far. Or as taken from the website:

Case Study: Hotel Chocolat

Has the industry reached Affiliate 2.0? Hotel Chocolat will discuss next generation affiliate marketing developments and how the chocolate retailer works with affiliates on a global scale while concentrating on carefully targeted, seasonal promotions. It will explain how it utilising new media such as podcasts, magazine and web-based content to achieve an uplift on performance, including 15% of mail order revenue from affiliate marketing.

Chris Bishop, Online Marketing Manager, Hotel Chocolat

To register for the Internet Retailing Event please follow the link. I am sure it will be a great event and I'd best get to writing my presentation!

Update 2008 - click to view the affiliate marketing strategy casestudy or if your are interesting in affiliate marketing advice or consultancy.

Wednesday, 11 July 2007

Scare-mongering' is damaging affiliates

Below is an old letter I submitted to Marketing Week magazine, I found last night on my laptop. It was a furious reply to an article featured in the previous week in June 2006.

I am thankful to see even in just a years time the reputation of Affiliate Marketing is continuing to improve and I feel this is thanks to affiliate agencies, the merchants but most importantly the affiliate themselves.

Anyway, hope you enjoy the read.

Thanks, Chris

Scare-mongering' is damaging affiliates
Source: Marketing Week Published: 15 June 2006

When are people going to realise affiliate marketing (AM) is not about "them vs us" and give affiliates the recognition they deserve?

I was disappointed to read yet another article portraying AM in a negative way (MW June 1). The article entitled "If you liked that, you'll like this" explained that AM is not all "win-win" - and that badly managed, it can damage your brand equity.

From my experience working for a leading AM agency and now managing the affiliate programme at Hotel Chocolat, I agree whole-heartedly to this message. My disagreement is the unnecessary level of scare-mongering within the article.

This obsession is damaging the marketing channel and harming growth. Most worryingly, it is harming the acceptance and credibility of AM within marketing departments, which results in it being considered as an "add on" to a campaign, instead of being fully integrated.

After using only vague, top line statistics about AM the article develops the message of the need to manage and protect brand equity. The use of emotive words to describe affiliate marketers such as "old Wild West", the need for "policing" and affiliates' habits of "hijacking" paint dreadful character images. I feel it is more the case of a few bad apples, which can surely can be re-educated, or could be suspended from a programme.

The report highlights two case studies, which is where the article really does not do AM justice. The first talks about the recent highly publicised legal action with the Tesco affiliate programme, a clear A-list company and high profile brand, which every reader instantly recognises and identifies with.

On the flipside, to sing the praises of AM it mentions a small online consumer offers site, Pigsback. Why not use a similar like-for-like A-list brand? Why not mention how many sales or percentage increases Apple achieved last year due to its phenomenally successful affiliate programme? Or state how well all the financial services companies have performed, even with the FSI compliance issues?

AM seems to be portrayed as the "underworld" of marketing and is not taken seriously. There is never a mention of how important it is for AM to be integrated into the whole marketing mix of organisations, to harness its huge potential.

There is reams of evidence which highlights AM as an equal or superior to other "traditional" methods. This is due to the highly measurable nature of AM in terms of return on investment. In an era when demands to demonstrate accountability have never been higher, AM is clearly the future and anything but "the old Wild West".