I just got back from Affiliate Summit West in Las Vegas. I had a great time, learned new stuff and meet some interesting people. One evening I was invited to a partner dinner with other merchants other than Magazines.com. The dinner was amazing and the conversation was engaging. One topic of conversation was around a newly hired CMO and their expectations. This had me thinking, what does my boss really want me to know about my channel/role/affiliate marketing? Here are 7 things the boss wants an employee to know about affiliate marketing. 1. Are we winning or losing? Since affiliate marketing does drive revenue I regularly get the question, “Where are we at?” I know what this means without asking additional questions. My boss wants a quick, short and confident answer with the Monthly sales total, YOY variance and what my plans are to change any decline or what is working as a result to the increase. Keep it simple but know your numbers! 2. Are our efforts profitable? Affiliate marketing has a lot of moving parts and can be expensive. Make sure you can break down your media spend to show profitability. Start off by knowing the partner baseline and how does a media spend change this trend (incrementality). 3. Do we have any new key partners? There is a lot of churn in the affiliate industry so new valuable partners are popping up in the online space everyday. Make sure to keep your boss in the loop on any recruitment efforts so when you successfully find the next million dollar partner he will verbally recognize your hard work. Or maybe give you a high five. Key to this role and affiliate marketing: ALWAYS BE RECRUITING! 4. Plans for the year not just that week. Most directors, CMO’s, or VP’s have goals for the year. As the affiliate manager or director you want to make sure your goals are aligned with his/hers to ensure your channel will be supported. Once the goals have been set, create channel specific goals to help prioritize time and efforts. If your boss doesn’t share his/her goals make up your own and share them with him/her. You want to be able to speak to the yearly goals and exceed expectations. 5. Your Decisions are based on data. Every boss that I’ve ever known loves data. Data can drive your decisions and steer you away from a sinking ship. Base your media spend, creative direction and share of time all on data. More than likely if your boss knows you value the data and is paying attention to the details in the numbers they will not question your every move. 6. You understand affiliate marketing more than he/she. Your boss wants to be confident you are the expert in affiliate marketing and that is why he/she hired you to work in an affiliate role. 7. Your brand is being represented by quality affiliates. The boss wants to know your brand is being represented by the right partners who drive quality traffic. Does the partner have a targeted audience aligned with your target audience? Does the partner convert? Does the partner cookie stuff? Does a partner have a good reputation? Don’t just accept anyone in your program make sure they are reputable and good for your brand. BONUS: The boss wants to know your affiliates like you and lasting relationships are being built. Affiliate marketing is based on relationships. If you are communicating regularly, responding to issues, and upholding a superior level of customer service your partners will trust you and lasting relationships will be made.