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Affiliate Networks and Tracking Platforms, The Best of 2020. Part 8: Partnerize

In my exploration of the best affiliate networks and tracking platforms of 2020, we have looked at a variety of needs that brands need to consider when selecting the right technology partner to track actions and partnerships. Questions around attribution, partner fit, vertical expertise, available resources, and team support all frequently come up.

In today's post, we are diving deeper into leading affiliate network and tracking platform, Partnerize!



A Brief History of Partnerize

Founded in 2010, Partnerize is a global partnership management solutions company that drives more than $7B in transactions and $600M in partner payments annually. The Partnerize Partnership Management Platform combines process automation, better tools for optimization and AI-powered insights for better results and outstanding brand protection. 

From the beginning, the company’s vision has been to turn partnership into a major profit center. The Partnerize founders were affiliate industry veterans who recognized the enormous potential of partnership and affiliate to drive profitable business growth, but believed that the affiliate network model was outdated and ultimately limited the industry.

*Screenshot of the Partnerize Partner Management Platform


Partnership is an ideal growth engine for your brand because it not only offers automation and scale, but also built on a pay-for-performance model, giving you the operating leverage necessary to compete/thrive in today's climate. These characteristics deliver great ROI and give you operating leverage versus CPM-based  media channels that are increasingly expensive and dominated by just a few large tech companies. 

While partnership has these great characteristics, it’s been inhibited from achieving its full potential as part of the marketing mix due to limited category knowledge and expertise, a challenge further exacerbated by legacy affiliate providers and their failure to innovate technology and educate marketers. With the Partnerize Partner Management Platform, the obstacles of manual workflows, limited options, missing data, and black boxes become relics of the legacy network model. Partnerize empowers you to eliminate those constraints with tools and technology that automate workflows, expertise to optimize performance, and a complete suite of brand safety and compliance capabilities to reduce fraud, protect your brand, and maximize return on media investment.

In order to better fulfill our vision and meet the needs of leading brands, Partnerize has acquired two businesses in 2020. In April, 2020, Partnerize acquired BrandVerity, the leading provider of search monitoring and web compliance solutions for the partnership and search industries. In July, 2020, Partnerize acquired Pepperjam, a leading technology and services provider in the affiliate industry in North America. By uniting these three businesses, Partnerize became an instant leader in the industry globally, and has significantly enlarged its client footprint in the United States and Canada.

The company now serves 1,750+ brands and 750,000+ partners in 218 countries and territories worldwide, and conducts business in 60 currencies. More than 1,000 leading retailers, 27 of the World’s top 100 brands, 12 international airlines, 10 of the largest telecoms, and hundreds of other global brands rely on Partnerize solutions to drive and manage more than $7B in partner sales and $600M in partner payments every year.

The original name for Partnerize was Performance Horizon Group.  In 2018, the company rebranded to a trading name of Partnerize to better reflect its focus and vision.


Key Features and Capabilities 

*Screenshot from the Partner Discovery Suite 

Partnerize automates and streamlines all aspects of partner management, provides transparency into partner performance, and enables marketers to optimize for more profitable growth through rich data access. Here’s a summary of how Partnerize improves efficiency and performance:

  • Discovery/Recruitment: Partnerize automates the time-consuming and error-prone processes of partner recruitment. All active partners are individually analyzed with machine learning to identify core strengths and “fit” with specific categories/brands. Our AI engine then makes recommendations for each individual client and provides an in-platform email communications suite to facilitate easier recruitment. In addition to these recommendations, clients and partners can explore the ecosystem on their own to recruit new partners and apply to programs.
  • Management: Partnerize enables brands to commission to their specific KPIs. Our platform can accommodate many different commissioning approaches including split commissioning, bonus commissioning, escalating commissioning based on basket value, LTV-based commissioning, temporary price reductions, commissioning by region, partner class, and specific partner, and booked versus consumed commissioning. We can also manage redemption and fraud protection for offline vouchers and coupons redeemed online.
  • Tracking: We offer a variety of tracking approaches and options for both PC-based and mobile traffic and transactions. For the web, we offer “ITP-proof” server-to-server tracking as well as methodologies based on 1st-party cookies and batch processing. For mobile, we offer a suite of free tracking solutions for mobile web and mobile apps, including our own SDK, server-to-server, and integrations with third-party attribution tools including Appsflyer, Adjust, Branch, and Kochava. We offer unlimited first-party data collection, including the ability to append any event or conversion with important basket-level data. 
  • Reporting: We offer the industry’s most flexible reporting suite so that you can get unprecedented insight into the particular needs of your business. In addition to prefab reports, you can review data based on any parameter, including any data points (e.g., size, color) they collect. You can also model profitability of individual partners and calculate partner scores that reveal their value to the business. Using this, brands shed unprofitable partners and focus time and resources on those partners that are more revenue- and profit-accretive.
  • Protection: Partnerize offers a comprehensive fraud detection and prevention suite that uses AI and machine learning to analyze all of your data in order to surface instances where results seem suspicious. We have also acquired and offer BrandVerity, the leading solution provider for search monitoring and brand compliance solutions to protect brands from trademark infringement, regulatory risk, and bad actor partners.


*Screenshot of the Fraud Suite in the Partnerize Platform


  • Pay: We offer an automated payments system that enables you to compensate an unlimited number of partners, in the currency they prefer, all from a single invoice for your Finance department. We deliver payments to partners in any of 220 countries and territories – more than any other provider. Plus, we make payment runs on every business day rather than once or twice a month like other vendors. We also help you manage the myriad tax regulations in different countries, including the most complex countries (China, USA, Brazil, and India.)

*Screenshot from the Payments Suite in the Partnerize Platform.

Advantages and Benefits

Our Value Proposition: Industry-Leading Software Plus Available Services

Partnerize offers agencies and brands a unique combination of powerful software and available, configurable services. In the past, our industry has offered you two choices: outsourced service providers like the legacy networks, and DIY software tools. The challenge with the former is that you don’t get the control, transparency, automation, and data-access you need to drive the best possible results. It also had the tendency to edge agencies out of the management role because of the one-size-fits all support model. The challenge with software-only solutions is that you or your agency are on your own, without the expert guidance you may need to get the best results from the platform.

Partnerize offers the best of both worlds. For agencies and brands, we offer the industry’s most advanced tech platform coupled with available, configurable services to suit your agency and/or internal team. Our goal is to make it easy for agencies and brands to get whatever support they need from a team of Partnerize experts. The intent here is to support according to the wishes of the agency and brand.

Other Key Differentiators

Any Form of Partnership: Unlike affiliate networks, Partnerize is designed to enable you to track, measure, and pay any type of performance partner, including affiliate, influencers, premium content publishers, referral programs, loyalty schemes, card-linked offers, and even brand-to-brand alliances. This makes partnership more efficient and enables you to scale the channel into a true profit center for your brand.

See how Partnerize defines and supports the entire partnership channel.

Process Automation: Partnerize Partner Management Platform simplifies and streamlines many of the manual and error-prone tasks of partnership, to make your agency or internal team more efficient and to free up time for more strategic work. 

Enterprise Capabilities: Many affiliate and partnership solutions were built to support SMB customers. They offer simple tools, but very limited capabilities. By contrast, Partnerize delivers the industry’s most feature rich platform with these specific advantages for enterprise businesses:

  1. AI-Powered Partner Discovery and automation
  2. Ability to commission to any KPI (new versus existing, AOV, LTV, split commissioning, etc.)
  3. Ability to track all traffic and conversions from any device and in-apps and append all tracking with unlimited parameters (e.g., size, color, brand, SKU, class of service)
  4. Ability to track offline coupons and vouchers
  5. Industry’s most flexible reporting

International Capabilities: Partnerize operates in 220 countries and territories worldwide. Most affiliate networks and tech providers are focused on a single country or, at most, a few key markets. Working with Partnerize, you can manage and grow your program virtually anywhere in the world, without having to rely on multiple providers or cobbled together reporting. In addition to platform availability in 28 languages and tech support available in 80 languages, we offer a payments solution that can deliver money to partners virtually anywhere in the world. 


Industry and Category Focus 

*Screenshot of the Creative Suite in the Partnerize Platform

Partnerize works with more than 1,750 brands worldwide. The top categories we serve are Retail, Travel, Telecom, Finance, Subscriptions, and DTC. We generally do not publish specific client lists, but here are some statistics on brands that use Partnerize solutions:

  • Top 100 Brands: 27 of the world’s top 100 brands 
  • Retailers:  More than 1000 leading online and brick and click retailers including 4 of the top 5 retail chains
  • Tech Companies: 3 of the top 4 tech companies 
  • Travel: 12 leading airlines, more than 40 hotel brands, and more than a dozen OTAs
  • Telecom: 10 leading global telecoms


To learn more about our services to Retailers, watch this two-minute video:


To learn more about our services to Travel Companies, watch this two-minute video:


To learn more about our solution for Financial Services companies, watch this two-minute video:


Publisher Relationships 

The Partnerize Partnership Management Platform is designed to accommodate any type of performance partnership.

* Screenshot of the Partner Discovery Suite in the Partnerize Platform.


This means you can use a single platform to manage a broad range of partners. Our company works with more than 750,000 partners including:

  • Traditional Affiliates: All classes of traditional affiliate partners, including the leading affiliates in major markets worldwide.
  • Premium Content Publishers: Partnerize is unsurpassed in integrations with leading premium content publishers worldwide. This class of partner is the fastest growing on our platform in terms of publisher counts and revenue growth.
  • Influencers: Partnerize accommodates the influencer programs of many brands, and also has pre-built integrations with leading influencer platforms (e.g., Sideqik, Zine) for those brands that want to combine performance reporting with traditional social-centric influencer metrics.
  • Card-Linked Offers: We work with leading providers in North America, EMEA, and APAC in this fast-growing partnership sector.
  • Ambassador/Loyalty Programs: A number of clients leverage Partnerize to manage and compensate their networks of employees, brand ambassadors, and loyalists. 
  • Leading Brands: Dozens of leading brands leverage Partnerize to simplify forming and executing brand-to-brand alliances worldwide.

Partners that work with Partnerize gain access to hundreds of exclusive campaigns and our advanced technology platform that makes earning commissions and getting paid faster and easier.

Platform Advantages for Partners

Our platform offers powerful benefits for Partnerize partners.

  • Partner Team: Dedicated partnerships team for training, support and growth ideas
  • Recruitment: Partnerize Brand Discovery tools that make it easier to find and join campaigns
  • Relationships: Ability to form direct relationships with brands versus working through network middlemen. 
  • Intelligence: Richer data and insights for targeting and performance optimization
  • Faster Payment: Money in their bank accounts within 24 hours of client authorization
  • Priority Support: Partner tech support has the same priority as for paying clients


Attribution Capabilities 

*Screenshot of the Campaign Management Suite in the Partnerize Platform


Partnerize helps clients perform two varieties of attribution based on their needs.

In-Channel Attribution: Some companies are focused on ensuring that all partner touches are understood/compensated in the customer journey. Many people don’t realize that often there are multiple partner touches in an individual customer journey. In partnership we generally talk about three kinds of partner touches - initiating, contributing, and converting. Initiating describes the first partner touch in a customer journey. Contributing describes all partner touches between the first and the last. Converting refers to the final partner touch before conversions. 

The Partnerize platform accommodates first-touch, last-touch, and rules-based multi-touch (split) commissioning/attribution. We also enable clients to override split commissioning for leading partners that do not accept partial credit for conversions. In addition, the Partnerize platform enables commissioning on any “metadata” so as to deliver on precise brand KPIs.Partnerize reporting offers multi pivot capabilities to understand customer journeys on an individual or aggregate basis. 

Multi-Channel: Many brands have purchased or developed multi-touch attribution toolsets to gauge the impact of different channels on customer journeys. 

Unfortunately, many brands that still use networks cannot deliver sufficient data to these tools in a timely manner, so partnership and affiliate are not part of the analysis. That makes it difficult for partnership teams to advocate for additional budget and make partnership a profit center for their businesses.

Partnerize makes it easy for you to port data and insights into multi-channel attribution tools. We are an API-first platform and offer complete API documentation to make it easy to incorporate your partner data into company tools and BI systems.

Partnerize Owned Companies 

Partnerize has made two major acquisitions in 2020, in order to fulfill its mission of turning partnership into a profit center for brands.

In April 2020, Partnerize acquired BrandVerity, the leading provider of search monitoring and brand compliance protections for the partnerships industry. The acquisition of BrandVerity enables Partnerize to offer these solutions to all clients worldwide. They represent a key part of our brand protection offerings, in addition to AI-powered fraud detection and prevention. 

In July, 2020, Partnerize acquired Pepperjam, a leading affiliate management tech platform and services provider in North America. Pepperjam is a leading provider of affiliate technology to the retail sector, supporting more than 1,000 top retailers.

The combination of the companies’ technology platforms and service expertise empowers brand leaders to maximize business growth from partnerships, diversify their revenue streams, and offset escalating costs in primary sales and marketing channels. The combined business will serve more than 1,750 enterprise and mid-market clients worldwide, driving more than $7B in transactions via their relationships with an ecosystem of 750,000+ partners, including 250,000+ influencers. 


To learn more about Partnerize or request a demo, please click here.


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Affiliate Networks and Tracking Platforms, The Best of 2020. Part 7: CAKE

With three more features to go in my analysis of the leading affiliate networks and tracking platforms of 2020, today we are featuring US and UK based CAKE.

A Brief History of CAKE 

Throughout the organization’s decade-long history, CAKE has served as a stable core of the industry with a consistent company mission – to deliver trusted, innovative performance marketing technology solutions that create the best revenue opportunities for our customers worldwide. 

As part of its enterprise technology solutions, CAKE’s Affiliate Marketing Software measures, manages, and optimizes partner campaigns for the highest performance. 

As of today, we have onboarded thousands of customers, including advertisers, networks, and publishers across 50+ countries. CAKE’s reliable affiliate marketing solution ensures data security, accurate measurement, and unrivaled support to attract new partners and foster profitable relationships. 



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Affiliate Networks and Tracking Platforms, The Best of 2020. Part 6: TUNE

Today I have the pleasure of introducing you to a partner platform that believes in "partnering the way you want to."  In Part 6 of my Best of 2020 series (that has explored LinkConnector, Impact, Awin, ShareASale and PartnerStack so far), we will take a deep dive into the world of TUNE.








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Affiliate Networks and Tracking Platforms, The Best of 2020. Part 4: Awin

In the continuation of my series called "Affiliate Networks and Tracking Platforms, The Best of 2020" (in support of my good friend Leenie), I have the great pleasure of introducing you to Global Affiliate Network, Awin!



History of Awin

Part of the Axel Springer and United Internet Groups, Awin is a global affiliate network with 20 years of experience in the industry. Together with ShareASale and the recent acquisition of Commission Factory, the Awin Group is comprised of 1,000+ employees, over 211,000+ contributing publishers and 15,200+ advertisers, connecting customers with brands in over 180 countries. Operating across the retail, telecommunications, travel and finance sectors, Awin generated $12.4 billion in revenue for its advertisers and $915 million for its publishers in the last financial year.

Following the acquisition of one of North America’s largest platforms, ShareASale, in 2017, the Awin Group’s most recent acquisition of Commission Factory now grants partner reach into the much desired Australia, New Zealand and Southeast Asia markets - which play a crucial part in the Group’s mission to become the partner of choice globally for affiliate marketing. 

Awin emerged in 2017 when consolidating zanox and Affiliate Window operations, both of which had been driving sales for affiliate partners since 2000. zanox grew from a Berlin, Germany, tech startup while Affiliate Window started as a small operation in London, UK. Throughout their histories, zanox and Affiliate Window were repeatedly awarded for innovative affiliate marketing solutions and exceptional service… and now a global community of people, technology and business intelligence insights. No matter what type of partner, level of service, or tools needed to achieve business goals, Awin provides solutions to drive sustainable growth.


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Affiliate Networks and Tracking Platforms, The Best of 2020. Part 2: Impact

As a continuation from Part 1 of my Affiliate Network and Tracking Platform Series to help raise funds for my friend Leenie, and to help educate the world more about the options and variables when selecting an affiliate network or tracking platform, today's featured Affiliate Tracking Platform is Impact!

Impact: Bringing automation to affiliate partnerships 

Affiliate marketing has advanced and evolved significantly since the 1990s. Increased internet access and the advent of new media channels have forever altered customer behaviors and habits, while ecommerce has grown tremendously. Needless to say, these advancements have brought change to the affiliate manager’s job as well. More potential shoppers and more channels for delivering offers have made managing and scaling affiliate programs more complicated than ever. Affiliate managers need a partner solution that handles the nuanced requirements of a modem program.

Impact is a technology company that has pioneered an entirely new way of approaching performance marketing across the whole spectrum of partnerships. Impact accelerates enterprise growth by providing automation to discovering & recruiting, contracting & paying, tracking, engaging, protecting & monitoring, and optimizing all types of partnerships. This is not only true for traditional affiliates, but across a larger spectrum of partners including influencers, business-to-business, media houses, mobile apps, ambassadors, social causes, and more.

Impact has grown and evolved from its initial entry in the performance marketing space more than 12 years ago, incorporating new businesses and capabilities to become the market-leader that it is today. With 12 offices in eight countries, more than 500 employees and 1,200 customers worldwide, Impact is the global leader in partnership automation.


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Affiliate Networks and Tracking Platforms, The Best of 2020. Part 1: LinkConnector

Every day I get questions about which affiliate network or tracking platform companies should launch and grow their performance marketing programs on. With a multitude of considerations from attribution capabilities to partner types, client support and compliance monitoring, it became clear to me that this is a topic that needs a deeper dive, and that getting it right is an essential part of a program's ongoing success.

In looking further, I also realized there is no easy way for people to understand what options are out there and which network or tracking platform could be the best fit for them, so I decided to do something about it.

In conjunction with a GoFundMe campaign I'm running to help my friend Leenie, I decided to do a series of posts on SarahBundy.com called "Affiliate Networks and Tracking Platforms, The Best of 2020." The participating networks and tracking platforms will be featured in full detail one at a time on this blog in the coming weeks, and will then be featured again in a larger ebook called The Definitive Guide to Affiliate Networks and Tracking Platforms launching later this year. (more…)

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Getting Started with Affiliate Marketing Attribution in 2019

As we get further into 2019, Marketing Executives are trying to better understand their buyers' journey and which marketing channels are contributing sales. They are trying to determine where and how to spend their marketing dollars in a way that drives the highest possible ROI, the most well defined cross channel transactions, and where their new customer acquisitions are really coming from.

In an effort to provide more clarity around what attribution strategies Marketing Executives should be looking at, I spoke with attribution expert, Anthony Clements, about what attribution really is, and how companies should be thinking about investing in it this year.


What is the difference between multi-channel and omni-channel attribution? 

It’s worth saying from the outset that these two phrases are used quite interchangeably in many aspects of digital marketing, which often creates a bit of confusion for marketers. The real difference between multi-channel and omni-channel from an attribution perspective is in the outcomes.

Multi-channel attribution seeks to measure how effective an individual marketing channel is at driving a conversion. By definition it’s conversion orientated, and helps marketers understand how important each channel is at getting customers to buy their products or services. It does this either by algorithmic or ‘place-in-the-chain’ models. Multi-channel attribution thinks more in terms of marketing channels like Display, Search, Affiliate etc than it does about the customer.

Omni-channel attribution seeks to measure how customer’s engage with a business, including different types of marketing, platforms like desktop or mobile, and will also generally look at offline engagements. For businesses that embrace the theory of omni-channel marketing – creating a single, unified commerce experience across all points of customer engagement, omni-channel attribution will help to properly understand customer journeys and also help to understand how the best / most profitable customers like to engage with a business.    


Example of a Click-to-Consume Path Analysis using attribution. Source: Impact


Why do you feel companies need to invest in attribution today?

Attribution feels like one of the slowest-burns in digital marketing. The technology and principles have been around a while, but adoption has been gradual. Adoption of digital attribution has accelerated over the last two years primarily because database technology has facilitated the advent of algorithm-driven attribution which uses data modelling to ‘score’ the effectiveness of channel engagement rather than the original ‘place-in-the-chain’ concepts which were ultimately quite biased. If a marketer favoured upper-funnel traffic then a first-click model would give them the results they wanted to see. Attribution is now more scientific and less open to individual bias.

Marketers are now being asked to invest their budgets in a range of large media platforms that all operate their own, siloed tracking ecosystems. Facebook Ads runs its own event and conversion tracking, as does Google Ads, as does LinkedIN Ads. It’s vitally important that marketers have the ability to scrutinise the results from these platforms using independent technology that helps them understand their relative importance to driving conversions, rather than simply analyse the results in isolation. Throw in a host of other marketing channels like other Display platforms, Affiliate, Email and then a variety of ways for customers to transact be it desktop, mobile web, mobile app or in-store…then the need to measure fractional contribution in ever-more complex customer journeys becomes obvious.

The industry also has a much greater handle on using attribution analysis to deliver meaningful results. Attribution doesn’t generate new traffic, and that often meant it was difficult for advertisers to justify the budget. Now, it isn’t uncommon for advertisers to redistribute up to 30% of their total spend based on new insight from an attribution model, so the outputs are powerful and actionable in a way they were not a few years ago.


Example of an affiliate attribution analysis, looking at "Initiator" (Top of Funnel), "Contributor" (Mid Funnel) and "Converter" (Bottom of Funnel) affiliate contributions. Source: Partnerize
Example of an affiliate attribution analysis, looking at "Initiator" (Top of Funnel), "Contributor" (Mid Funnel) and "Converter" (Bottom of Funnel) affiliate contributions. Source: Partnerize


What recommended next steps do you think companies should take in order to get true attribution set up correctly?

Like many digital marketing initiatives, setting up a data-driven attribution model is an iterative process. A company’s online marketing needs to be of a certain size and scope to really benefit from multi-touch attribution. This is primarily because a company needs to be ready to implement the spend and tactical marketing changes that should result from attribution analysis. We normally ensure a company is running at least three online advertising channels concurrently and is already using an online analytics solution like Google Analytics to collect and analyse customer journey data before we’d advise them to invest in attribution.

It’s also important to go into attribution work free of bias as to what channels or platforms are most valuable. This can be difficult for marketers with many years experience, but an open-mind is vital to ensuring attribution analysis is actionable.

With these things all in place the next step is to find a provider. Google and Adobe operate well-known enterprise level cross-channel attribution solutions, and VIsualIQ are highly regarded at the top end of the independent market. But these solutions are cost-prohibitive to many businesses. The market for independent attribution providers is growing fast with Fopsha, AttributionApp, Conversion Logic and in the affiliate space Impact and SingleView by ROEye all doing good things.

For businesses new to the space it can be resource intensive to find the right provider and then implement the right attribution model. Consultancy services like ours help companies navigate the ever-expanding vertical of digital analytics and attribution.


If you wish to contact Anthony for a full review of your multi-channel and omni-channel attribution options, you can contact him here, or contact All Inclusive Marketing for a full list of affiliate specific attribution solutions for your program this year.

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Improve Your Attribution Strategy and Keep Up With Your Customers

Are you an affiliate marketer looking to grow your search, affiliate marketing and attribution strategy? Do you want to drive consistent profitable sales growth for your business, and learn from the top online marketing experts?

Welcome to the Digital Strategy Insights podcast brought to you by All Inclusive Marketing, hosted by Sarah Bundy. Attribution tracking has changed dramatically for both brands and their affiliates, and for those who have kept pace with the changing landscape the rewards have been spectacular.

This week’s guest is Todd Crawford, the co-founder and VP of Impact Radius, a previous VP of business development at Digital Rivers and a specialist in guiding industry relations and strategic initiatives. He is also the proud winner of the Marketing Legend Award, which he won back in 2007.

Listen this week as your hosts discuss how to get the most of your affiliate marketing and attribution engagement, which platforms are the best for your business, and how to utilise them to their full potential.


Easy Peasey Attribution

Having a good hold on where your company stands with its attribution tracking and affiliate marketing is important in the digital marketing world. With Crawford being a household name in this field his advice is full of gems you can trust to help you with your attribution struggles. Affiliate marketing and attribution tracking is constantly changing and evolving, so if you want to keep up with your consumers demands and increase conversion it is important you jump in.

Do you have a company goal in mind with regards to attribution? If not, you need to. Being able to master attribution and successfully interpret data analysis will benefit your business. Fully understanding marketing touch points and the value they hold will ensure you keep up with demanding consumers and developments in technology.


Evolution is Key

Attribution is always evolving because consumers are demanding more. This means you need to keep on top of your affiliate marketing strategies and really understand how attribution affects you and your business. By having a clear goal and open dialogue with your third parties, agencies and marketing team means you will have a clear understanding of your attribution data. In this week’s podcast, Crawford will clear up common questions like:

  • Can you explain what attribution marketing is?
  • Why is attribution so important for my business?
  • Which elements of attribution tracking should I be paying most attention to?
  • Which click models should I focus on?
  • What best practices are there for attribution, and who needs to know?
  • Which is going to be the best platform for my business?
  • How is attribution evolving, what will it look like in 5 years?

These are questions even seasoned marketing pros want answering in order to boost their attribution tracking and affiliate marketing. Listening to all the advice Crawford has to offer will ensure you engage with your desired demographic and optimize your search and digital strategies through attribution.

Even the first baby steps with attribution marketing make a difference to your business. These wobbly steps are imperative to ensuring you and your business fully understand attribution changes and how they help your business. As your strategies develop, your attribution will become unique to you, which will in turn build a stronger relationship with customers and improve sales.

Do you want to optimize your attribution strategies, ensuring you reach out to the biggest audience you can? Are you tired of struggling to get to grips with attribution tracking? Get in touch with Todd Crawford at todd@impactradius.com, or visit their website at www.impactradius.com.

Invest 20 minutes now and learn how you can improve your performance with search, digital and attribution strategies with Sarah Bundy and Todd Crawford of Impact Radius. Want to reach out, engage, and convert new customers? Contact us at www.allinclusivemarketing.com or Facebook.com/trusttheexperts and Twitter @trusttheexperts.

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Attribution Today: What Advertisers Need to Know

Attribution Tracking in Digital Marketing

Source: Adobe Attribution

Studying 11 different advertisers in the retail sector, here are some common "how to" best practices around attribution tracking strategy and execution:



  • Last click (still dominant)
  • Algorithmic
  • First click
  • Hybrid model


What's included in the attribution model?

  1. Paid search/display
  2. Organic / non paid / social
  3. Affiliate / referral


Attribution timeframes commonly tracked:

  • 30 mins
  • Less than 6 hours
  • 7-24 hours
  • 25 hours - 7 days
  • 7-29 days
  • 30 days+

Only 8% of advertisers factor in viewability.


Attribution tracking has three parts:

  • Campaign management - tag management systems, ad servers, ad view-ability measurement.
  • Analytics - web analytics, attribution pure players (adclear, encore)
  • Consultants - agencies and management companies who interpret and manage this data effectively.


Alternative methods:

  • Second opinion (about 15% of advertisers use this)
  • A/B tests (about 28% of advertisers you this model)

Mobile came sooner than anticipated by most. It breaks the tracking continuums thus making it difficult or advertisers to accurately report user behaviour.


Here are a few additional thoughts:

  • Companies are used to last click models and find it hard to move away from the internal systems that support this. Companies are forced to build a business case to showcase the reason behind moving to a different model all together.
  • Companies struggle with fitting the advanced tracking technologies with older internal technology integrations. The change is accepted and needed, but time and cost for technical transition remains a barrier.
  • Companies need to understand that in order to remain competitive this change is inevitable. Gradual analysis per channel is the way most companies are dealing with this.
  • There seems to be a disconnect between theory and effective execution and real life comprehension of data. Affiliates have to prove their value which could make them earn less, but on the flip side, if they can prove their value, then they can earn more.
  • Unless you're accurately testing the data and understanding it correctly, you're taking a gut feeling guess from one channel and putting it into another channel. With the time commitment to proper attribution tracking, the guess work is removed and true ROI realized.
  • More effort needs to be put into AB testing affiliate sites and advertiser landing pages and campaigns.
  • Companies need to consider the differences in tracking mechanisms, such as the accuracy of cookie tracking, and what alternatives need to be considered.
  • Mobile tracking and desktop tracking are VERY different from each other and we need to consider the behavioural and technological changes to accurately track new buyer behaviour.
  • Even though both advertisers and publishers would benefit from transparency around attribution data, both affiliates and merchants tend to keep the information to themselves. This mindset will eventually need to shift if the affiliate industry is going to be successful long term.
  • How do we bring offline data into the mix? This is an ongoing challenge people are still trying to understand industry wide.

What are your thoughts on attribution tracking and affiliate/merchant participation in data sharing?

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Mobile Ad Network Evolution

Mobile App Downloads Metrics and Attribution Tracking with Mobile Ad NetworksAt the HasOffers Postback event held in Seattle this week, Fred Shu of Manage.com, Paul Cushman of Drawbridge, Hanno Fichtner of Applift, Paul Longhenry of Tapjoy and David Diaz of SponsorPay speak on the evolution of the mobile ad network.

The panel covered where the market was in the mobile ad network space a year ago and where they are today. Here are my key take-aways from this discussion.

  • A year ago bundling was the biggest thing in mobile, specifically in gaming, and this year "gifting" is the hottest thing. This has been beneficial because the user doesn't feel they are being disturbed, they feel it's just part of the game.
  • Banner ads don't really work (as multiple people have said), so more creativity is seen right now in full screen formats of marketing.
  • Get rid of 350 x 250 banners and focus on  320 x 480 and other "mobile" friendly, larger sized banners that impact a larger part of the screen. These still have up to a 21% conversion.
  • The use of bots has decreased significantly and competition has increased exponentially across the board. Segmented targeting is becoming more prominent.
  • Anything that has ROI positive campaigns is what people are focused on, which right now seems to be happening most in androids.
  • If you're a seller that has a low CPI (Cost per Install), be careful with expectations because you will not likely get a high amount of installs.
  • Pay per Engagement (PPX) models are now becoming more common and creating a new level of interest with publishers which are creating more success than seen in the past.
  • When it comes to retargeting, start with your homepage and understand and test it. Then work your way through your site systematically to measure the success of each page. Whatever works best after testing each systematically, run with. Then test more.
  • Target and test segmented users regularly to understand their lifetime value and true loyalty. Then segment those groups more.
  • Anyone who's not focused on data is going in the wrong direction.
  • Twitter is staring to move into the field - social media is getting very active in mobile. Facebook announced about 50% of their profits came from mobile / app revenue. Social data is huge and entirely relevant to mobile. Social graphs in apps are useful. Use app cross promotions and "refer a friend" models for mobile app development and growth.
  • More large brands are going to spending more money on mobile and SMS such as American Idol Texting and Apps for voting to drive more sales and consumer engagements now that proven models have been made.
  • Anyone who's focused on targeting with rewards (driving a person to a point of sale experience and offer them an incentive or reward) has tons of opportunity right now.
  • More apps are starting to deep-link into the app directly, which is becoming more common especially with big brands.
  • "Lookback" windows are generally 48 hours to 30 days. The majority of engagements happen within those windows.



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