Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=2358110
 
 

References (29)



 


 



Risk, Information, and Incentives in Online Affiliate Marketing


Benjamin G. Edelman


Harvard University - HBS Negotiations, Organizations and Markets Unit

Wesley Brandi


ipensatori.com

June 23, 2014

Journal of Marketing Research, Forthcoming
Harvard Business School, Harvard Business School Negotiation, Organizations and Markets Unit, Research Paper Series

Abstract:     
We consider alternative methods of supervising staff who have significant discretion and whose efforts are subject to both incomplete information and skewed incentives. Specifically, we examine online affiliate marketing programs in which merchants oversee thousands of affiliates they have never met. Some merchants hire specialist outside advisors to set and enforce policies for affiliates, while other merchants ask their ordinary marketing staff to perform these functions. For clear violations of applicable rules, we find that outside advisors are most effective at excluding the responsible affiliates ― which we interpret as a benefit of specialization. However, in-house staff are more successful at identifying and excluding affiliates whose practices are viewed as “borderline” (albeit still contrary to merchants' interests), foregoing the efficiencies of specialization in favor of the better incentives of a company's staff. We consider implications for marketing of online affiliate programs and for online marketing more generally.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 32

Accepted Paper Series


Download This Paper

Date posted: November 23, 2013 ; Last revised: August 5, 2014

Suggested Citation

Edelman, Benjamin G. and Brandi, Wesley, Risk, Information, and Incentives in Online Affiliate Marketing (June 23, 2014). Journal of Marketing Research, Forthcoming; Harvard Business School, Harvard Business School Negotiation, Organizations and Markets Unit, Research Paper Series. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2358110 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2358110

Contact Information

Benjamin G. Edelman (Contact Author)
Harvard University - HBS Negotiations, Organizations and Markets Unit ( email )
Soldiers Field
Boston, MA 02163
United States
HOME PAGE: http://people.hbs.edu/bedelman
Wesley Brandi
ipensatori.com ( email )
3101 Western Ave.
Seattle, WA 98121
United States
Feedback to SSRN


Paper statistics
Abstract Views: 1,215
Downloads: 610
Download Rank: 23,138
References:  29

© 2014 Social Science Electronic Publishing, Inc. All Rights Reserved.  FAQ   Terms of Use   Privacy Policy   Copyright   Contact Us
This page was processed by apollo1 in 0.313 seconds