August 2, 2022

Why Should I Work with an Affiliate Marketing Agency?

Alisa Crowley

Affiliate marketing agency team of account managers doing a group fist pump.

We get it. With many opposing viewpoints and endless how-to articles, it's hard to know what is best for your brand. To help you decide if an agency is right for you, continue reading. In this post, we break down the difference between managing your program in-house and the benefits of working with an agency.

What is an Affiliate Agency?

To answer this question, we need to know what affiliate marketing is and where an agency comes into play.

Affiliate marketing is a digital channel in which two parties or more enter a partnership that is beneficial to everyone involved.

A typical scenario is an advertiser (or merchant) has a product they offer. A publisher (or affiliate) promotes the advertiser's product to their large audience. An audience member is influenced by the affiliate and makes a purchase. The advertiser benefits from the sale and pays a small commission to the affiliate.

Now multiply this scenario by a thousand. Who will manage these relationships, find more publishers, or track conversions? The affiliate marketing agency does this and more.

What does an Affiliate Marketing Agency Do?

An agency manages the affiliate program. The role of the agency involves a variety of tasks such as:

  • Program Strategy
  • Initial setup, launch, and daily management
  • Affiliate and publisher recruiting
  • Tracking, monitoring, and reporting KPIs
  • Ad creative and marketing material creation
  • Compliance monitoring
  • Optimizing

In-House Affiliate Management vs. Affiliate Management Agency

In-house affiliate management can be a good fit for some situations but not all. An experienced affiliate marketing manager can deliver good results for smaller affiliate programs. In the long term these results may be underwhelming. At a certain point, the organization should seek out an agency to grow the program. Typically, a good time to seek support is once performance has peaked and progression stalled.

Serious ROI comes from leveraging a wealth of knowledge, connections, and a dedicated team. To put it straight, an in-house team cannot compete with agency-level management.

In-house affiliate managers often work alone. They cannot rely on a centralized team the way an agency can. Instead, these team members are often in different departments. As a result, the affiliate channel falls by the wayside in a sea of competing initiatives.

Agencies have experienced teams focused on delivering results. While some companies are guilty of burying a single manager with dozens of accounts, a good agency knows this approach does not work. At ParterCentric, for example, we have an entire team dedicated to the program's success. We dedicate 6-8 experienced departments to each account. This approach brings 6-8 unique perspectives, solutions, creativity and more to the table.

Advantages of Working with an Affiliate Management Agency

In the performance marketing world, agencies only succeed if the client succeeds. Many affiliate agencies will have some performance-incentive (PI) component. This translates into a dedicated team doing everything they can to help their client thrive.

The advantages organizations see with agency management are not to be underestimated. An agency can help in the following ways.

1. Leverage their Affiliate Relationships and Network Connections

Agencies have a wide net of partnerships that give their clients a great advantage. This is done by identifying and recruiting the right affiliates and negotiating the best rates.

Affiliate marketing agencies have cultivated thousands of partnerships and connections with affiliates, publishers, and other content creators. A diverse portfolio helps maximize results at every stage of the customer journey, reaches a larger audience, and broadens revenue streams. An in-house team would have to start scratch and need to build connections over several years. Even the most connected in-house managers would be unable to match the level of reach an agency has at its disposal. 

For example, PartnerCentric touts thousands of partnerships and knows how to leverage those relationships to help position organizations at a favorable advantage. Because agencies have these existing relationships, they are uniquely qualified to negotiate the best rates.

Another advantage is the agency's network connections. Affiliate marketing agencies can have relationships with several network platforms. This means they are not tied down to any one platform the way an in-house team would be. For example, PartnerCentric works with over 16 different networks globally. We have earned the coveted Preferred Agency distinction with some of the largest networks, such as CJ Affiliate, Impact and Awin. For this reason, partnering with the right agency with the right relationships is one of the many benefits of working with an agency.

2. Access to Historical Data

Good agencies have years of experience in the affiliate marketing space. Which means they have access to historical data. Agencies have benchmark data on every affiliate partner, client vertical, and paid placement opportunity. An in-house team is unable to reference such benchmarks. Benchmark data is used to optimize partner conversion rates, improve Return on Advertising Spend (ROAS) and negotiate lower-cost paid placements.

3. Expert Affiliate Managers

Affiliate marketing is a competitive landscape, and expert knowledge is a must. Hiring an untrained affiliate manager to run an in-house affiliate program is a recipe for disaster.

Agencies offer a robust team that invests time and energy into maximizing the client's affiliate program. A desirable affiliate marketing agency will have seasoned account managers that have seen the space evolve and have evolved right along with it. They know what it takes to succeed and understand that it's often a team effort driven by research, data, insights, and tech.


Organizations often believe it is cheaper to hire an in-house team. However, consider the resources required to launch an in-house affiliate program–is it really saving you money?

For example, with ParterCentric, the client gets the expertise of 6-8 departments and access to proprietary technologies for protecting margin. No onboarding, employee training, planning meetings, or hand-holding is required. Affiliate agencies like PartnerCentric offer immediate expertise, faster launch, and higher ROI.

If this is something you are considering, get in touch