米Seda CommunicationのCEO、Catherine Seda氏による、アフィリエイトがブランド企業に与える弊害についての主張。日本語訳がIT Proに出ているので一部引用すると次の通り。

「ブランドのオーナーだからといって、検索結果で最上位に表示されるとは思わないことだ」と警告する。「もしアフィリエイト参加者が検索結果の上位10位を占めれば、かなりのコミッションを支払わなければならなくなる」(「アフィリエイトはブランド企業にとって両刃の剣」、米社調査、IT Pro、2004年09月07日 15時39分)

この話はデジタルブランド保護(Digital Brand Protection)あるいはレピュテーションマネジメント(Reputation Management)の分野で語られることが多いのですが、要はオンラインにおいてブランドが消費者に与える影響が多大になってきた今日、企業はオンラインでも自社のブランドを管理する必要があるんだということです。

とりわけオンラインマーケッターはネット上に登場した新しいマーケティング手法にすぐに飛びつく一方で、Catherine Seda氏が指摘するような問題には目もくれないわけで。もっとSEMをブランド管理の視点から捉える努力が必要です。特に日本のSEMマーケッターはブランドなんて何も考えてないに等しいですから。

Why Your Best Business Partners May be Your Worst Enemies on the Web

Managing Affiliates Could Save Companies Millions

THOUSAND OAKS, Calif., Sept. 6 /PRNewswire/ -- Many branded businesses are discovering something alarming. When they type their name into search engines, they aren't listed near the top. According to one Internet expert, many companies' affiliates are legally marketing their trademarked terms, and reaping huge rewards.

In her book, "Search Engine Advertising" (New Riders Publishing 2004), Catherine Seda details a growing problem. "Research reveals," Seda writes, "that same-channel competition by companies' own marketing partners caused significant profit loss. And the heat is getting turned up. More offline partners are discovering the lucrative results of trademark advertising." According to Seda, these marketing partners are typically affiliates but can also include wholesalers, retail stores, catalog companies, comparison shopping engines and online auction sites.

"Don't assume because you're the brand owner, you're number one in the search engines for your trademarks," warns Seda. "If your affiliates dominate

top positions then you're likely paying them a hefty commission for sales you could have captured on your own. Plus, you could easily pay 10 to 20 times more per click than necessary to compete with them for paid listings."

"Merchants," she says, "can prohibit affiliates from marketing their branded keywords, while allowing them to fight for competitive generic terms. In this case, companies can ask their affiliates to sign a trademark protection agreement."

Seda acknowledges that some companies choose to do nothing because their affiliate relationships are widespread. Moreover, an affiliate network is the surefire way of paying only for results from a search engine marketing campaign -- a guarantee not offered by most ad agencies.

Seda explains that prohibiting the marketing of trademarks can put off many would-be or existing partners. The savvy Internet marketers will work for the companies that offer them the best payout potential without restrictions.

"Evaluate the competitiveness of the search engine space," advises Seda. "Then create an affiliate strategy that supports your top-performing partners while also keeping more profit in your pocket."

Catherine Seda is president and CEO of Seda Communication (, an Internet marketing and training company, and a popular conference speaker.

This press release was distributed by PRWEB (, a service of eMediawire.

For further information, please contact: Catherine Seda of Seda Communication, +1-805-551-1290.

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