Affiliate Marketing Vs Network Marketing – Similarities & Differences

Affiliate Marketing vs Network Marketing – Are they the same? Or do they have any differences? Many people tends to get confused between the two, or think that they are of the same thing.To start off, let me first give you the definition between the two (extracted from Wikipedia):Affiliate MarketingAffiliate marketing is a marketing practice in which a business rewards one or more affiliates for each visitor or customer brought about by the affiliate’s marketing efforts. Examples include rewards sites, where users are rewarded with cash or gifts, for the completion of an offer, and the referral of others to the site.Network MarketingMulti-level marketing (MLM), (also called network marketing, direct selling, referral marketing, and pyramid selling) is a term that describes a marketing structure used by some companies as part of their overall marketing strategy. The structure is designed to create a marketing and sales force by compensating promoters of the company’s products not only for sales they personally generate, but also for the sales of other promoters they introduce to the company, creating a downline of distributors and a hierarchy of multiple levels of compensation in the form of a pyramid.What I’m going to share with you in this post are the similarities, as well as differences, between affiliate marketing and network marketing:1. CommissionsIn affiliate marketing, you work directly with the merchant and you’ll get paid whenever someone purchases the products and/or services you recommend from your unique affiliate link (which is used by the merchants to identify which affiliate generated the sale, thereby allowing him/her to pay the affiliate accordingly).However, in Network Marketing, you work not only with the merchant, but also with the person that’s immediately above you in the network hierarchy. You’ll get paid whenever someone purchases the products and/or services from you. Not only that, you’ll also receive a cut of the commissions generated by your downlines (meaning those that are under you in the network hierarchy).2. TrainingIn affiliate marketing, you are not responsible in training other marketers to promote the merchant’s products and/or services – It’s the merchant’s responsibility to provide affiliates with the information necessary to promote his/her products and/or services.However, in network marketing, in order for you to be able to generate more income from your downlines (which is where most of your income should come from), you need to help them with their marketing efforts.3. Recurring PaymentsAs far as affiliate marketing is concerned, most of the products that you promote are single payment products (where you’ll only receive one-time commission for every sale you refer), unless you are promoting membership sites where, in order for one to remain as a member, he/she is required to pay membership fees on an ongoing basis.With network marketing, as most of these products require people to buy again and again (such as vitamin pills, weight loss products, skin care products, etc.), you’ll receive commissions from your customers over and over again (as long as they keep on purchasing these products).4. Cost To SignupIn affiliate marketing, there’s no need for you to pay to sign up as an affiliate for the merchants (I know there’s a very small minority of merchants that requires you to pay a sign up fee to be their affiliate – I would advise you to move on and promote for other merchants that allow you to promote their products for free instead).However, in network marketing, you will need to pay a cost to join their company – Where you’ll get their “Starter Kit” with product information, as well as other company information that you need.5. Marketing TechniquesAs far as marketing techniques are concerned, you can use the same techniques to promote products and services for both affiliate marketing, as well as network marketing.6. Monetization PotentialBoth networks, in my opinion, are great potentials for you to generate a substantial income from, as long as you follow proven step-by-step instructions.I hope that with this article, you now have a clearer understanding of both affiliate, as well as network marketing, along with the similarities and differences between each of them.

Is it ethical for Organizations to Monitor Employees?

Is it ethical for companies to monitor employees? It’s a question that many people are asking themselves these days, and there are likely to be differing opinions on the subject.

Some believe that companies should not monitor their employees as they do not have the right to invade privacy. In contrast, others argue that monitoring can effectively prevent company secrets from being leaked or stolen.

As per Gartner, 16% of employers use employee scheduling software to monitor their employees’ activity.

So let’s Get Started.

Ethical and Unethical Concerns For Employee Monitoring

Monitoring employees in secret
In the past, employee monitoring was a practical way to ensure that information didn’t leak from inside a company. In most cases today, employers who monitor employees without their knowledge or consent can get into significant trouble.

With high-tech surveillance and hacking, it may not be as easy to monitor employees without their knowledge in today’s modern world.
Many people argue that companies already have too much access to the personal data of their customers and clients.
Employees feel betrayed by employers they trust with all aspects of life, only to learn later how they are monitored.
It can even ultimately lead to the breakdown of a company as it causes staff morale and productivity levels to drop.

The most excellent way to avoid this is by always having your employees aware of employee scheduling software. If possible, create a policy including consent forms that will explain in detail what you monitor and where it’s stored (i.e., company servers).

Monitoring employees outside of working hours
The after-hours monitoring of employees is a massive problem in the work-from-home environment. Plus, it’s not uncommon for employees to use their laptops when on break or at the end of shift, and if you’re using employee monitoring software during these hours, you can get yourself into trouble.

The most excellent way to avoid this is to either allow employees to turn off their trackers while they’re on a break and at home or prohibit the usage of company-owned laptops for personal use.

Collecting personal data through monitoring software
With employee scheduling software, you can take screenshots of your employees’ computers and record their keystrokes. You might not want to do this because it means collecting personal data about when they’re browsing social media or banking sites which could be considered inappropriate.

The most excellent way to avoid this is by capturing limited screenshots by using software that will allow only work-related applications & websites. Also, it goes the same for all other intrusive features, so you can use such productivity software to keep an eye on employee work-related activity.

Collecting data but not for business improvement.
The ethical use of employee monitoring software is a lot more than simply the ways you collect data from employees. It also involves how they’re being used. Like, If you are using it for business improvement, then it’s okay. But if you are using it like other things(spying on your employees), you are wasting your time.

So, don’t just monitor your employees, have a plan for what you want to get out of it. Figure out why you are observing them in the first place and set up some goals with data collection.

For instance, if you are using productivity software, make sure that you track the daily time they spend for work and then utilize that data to increase employee productivity.

Major Ethical Consequences of Employee Monitoring

Breach of Privacy and Personal Data
Monitoring employees without their consent is an invasion of privacy. Not only is it against company policy, but some people feel that monitoring employees’ personal lives means you’re not respecting them as individuals.

Even if they violate your policies (like lying about sick days), using technology to monitor what they do outside of work may be crossing a line. Some companies choose to draw a line between life and work, while others expect workers to separate life from work.

So, when in doubt, get permission first. This way, everyone’s clear and respectful of each other’s boundaries and rules. It also ensures no one feels like they’ve been spied on or treated unfairly or disrespectfully at work—which can build morale and improve productivity at little cost.

Reduces Employee Morale and Trust
It can be intimidating for employees when they know their actions are being monitored, mainly if there isn’t transparency in collecting or using data.

According to Cisco, monitoring can make employees feel like they aren’t trusted.

This loss of trust can result in an inability of an employee to perform at optimal levels, hurting their productivity and potentially your bottom line.

Moreover, if workers don’t trust that your organization will protect them against unfair treatment, why would they bother working hard on your behalf?

Most importantly, maintaining open communication with employees about what kind of surveillance you’re conducting—and why—is vital for keeping morale high.

So, if you have a transparent process in place for gathering feedback from workers about whether these programs are helpful or not, then chances are good that it won’t undermine trust.

Tips to Maintain Employee Monitoring Ethics

Create a Standard Employee Monitoring Policy
The initial step to ethical employee monitoring is creating a detailed policy with your company’s help. Here are some things you should include:

=> Reasons why you will be tracking employees; what tools/solutions can you use?

=> What will you monitor; emails and private messages, workscreens (for example, their computer screen), social media account updates, or browsing history.

=> Type of monitor you will use audio, video, or digital monitoring.

=> Show the number of hours you will monitor, like whether it be working hours or after that.

Adhere to Country and State Laws
While creating an employee monitoring policy, you must follow the national and state labor and privacy laws to avoid extensive unethical issues. For instance, an employer can monitor their employees’ company devices in the US, but checking their emails is a big NO.

Help Employees Understand the Need for Monitoring
Before you can monitor their actions, employees must understand your expectations and why they’re essential. Explain what you’re monitoring and why, be clear about how it will help them do their jobs better, and invite input from everyone on what data is most valuable.

Doing so will make compliance with company policies less like a burden and more like a value-added feature of work life.

Use a Secure Employee Monitoring and Productivity Tool
Using efficient monitoring tools like employee scheduling software can give organizations actionable information they otherwise might not have had. For example, companies that closely monitor their employees’ work hours and productivity can be aware of discrepancies in hours worked.

Similarly, if an employee uses social media during work hours, an organization can use an employee monitoring tool to be aware of their online behavior. Thus, using tools in such a way will not violate any ethical laws and instead boost employees’ productivity.

Final Take

So it was all about whether it’s ethical to monitor employees or not. By following the steps to maintain this type of monitoring, you’ll be able to reap all the rewards that come with it.

For instance, by using an efficient tool like employee scheduling software or social media monitoring tools that don’t violate any laws and boost productivity, your organization can see improvements in morale and trust among employees at little cost.

So, which step has been most valuable for you? Let us know, plus what other needs we should address related to your query.

Experiential Marketing Trends Expected To Dominate In The Coming Days

The primary purpose that experiential marketing serves is to connect the brands with their customers by creating relevant personal memories through live experiences. What was considered to be an afterthought in traditional type marketing has now become a key component in a growing number of advertising campaigns and is predicted that this number will continue to push up in the coming days. Here are some of the trends those are expected to dominate the world of event marketing in the coming days.

As modern event marketing technology primarily focuses on meaningfully impressing the customers for real conversions that a brand can count upon – quality is now preferred upon quantity and this focus upon quantity is certainly one of the major drawbacks of traditional type marketing techniques and methodologies. There is absolutely no doubt that traditional marketing tools can potentially reach a very large number of customers, but that hardly happens in reality and the number of potential customers actually reached could never be exactly counted. In contrast experiential marketing provides the marketers a realistic impression count that is based upon direct engagements and gives them a chance of increasing those numbers by improving the quality of the engagements. No doubt, expectations regarding the realm of this type of marketing are going up and that is certainly a challenge that experiential marketers are going to face in the coming years.

There is a major change in the behavior of the new generation of customers and as they are expected to spend more than 100 billion dollars this year they are certainly the main target for most brands. But at the same time they are also pretty choosy as customers and are certainly a lot more impulsive than the previous generations. It has now become extremely important for modern event marketing strategies to consider the fact that these Gen Y customers are also more inclined to become a part of a brand if they are provided with a chance of direct interaction and naturally more emphasis should be put upon experience as a necessary and primary marketing tactic for the companies. This year experts are also expecting to see increased collaboration between experiential marketing and public relation companies as creating a better awareness and growing popularity of social media platforms is also heavily contributing to this technological evolution.

If we consider our personal experiences and also the way the industry is currently moving on, experiential marketing is expected to be the new form of market research in the coming days. As marketers and brand ambassadors will be directly interacting with the consumers – quickly gathering live information from those engagements will be much easier for the companies that will play a vital role in better understanding consumer behavior in the long run. Leveraging marketers and brand ambassadors to data collection through experiential marketing campaigns is no doubt a valuable addition to modern brand and product promotion technology and in comparison to traditional research methods it is also incredibly more affordable. As a matter of fact this type of event marketing technology offers numerous new and different opportunities to real time market research and this is certainly expected to grow to higher levels in the coming days