Last night was opening night for the new Transformers Revenge of the Fallen movie. A couple of the middle school guys that I mentor really wanted to go to the midnight showing so I decided to take them. Maybe it’s the fact that I didn’t get to bed until 4am last night, or that we were out of coffee this morning, but I’ve been thinking about how there are a lot of similarities between the Transformers and affiliate marketers.
If you haven’t seen it, don’t worry, I won’t give away the movie (although there wasn’t much of a plot). So how are there similarities between a bunch of alien robots and affiliate marketers?
In the movie, there are 2 types of Transformers. The first are the Autobots which are the good guys. The second are the Decepticons which are evil. When you boil it down, both the Autobots and Decepticons and considered Transformers, but each have very different ethics. One is all about doing good and helping people, and the later are all about getting power no matter what that means they do to others. To me this is similiar to affiliate marketing.
The term affiliate marketer looks different depending on who you are talking about. Some affiliates are like the Autobots in that they are eithical in their practices, help people as they go along, and are doing good things for the industry. Then there are affiliate marketers out there which are the spammers and guys who are doing things that are less than ethical in order to make as much money (power) as they can despite who they hurt along the way. They are the Decepticons of the industry.
In the movie there is is a guy who is the National Security Advisor for the US named Theodore Galloway. He believes that ALL of the Transformers should be banished from the earth. He lumped all the Transformers together, both Autobots and Decepticons and believed it would be best if they were all gone. To me, that’s how affiliate marketing is at times. Us good guys are lumped together with the spammers and deceptive marketers and are given an unjust label for something we are not even involved in. This can be frustrating at times as though we are both considered affiliate marketers, we have different goals and ethics.
So what would others consider your affiliate business to be? Are you an Autobot or a Decepticon?