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The New Mobile Publisher Army (HasOffers Postback Panel)

Mobile Publishers and Affiliate Performance and TipsAt the HasOffers Postback event, mobile and attribution leaders gather to discuss the future of mobile performance marketing. On the panel is Cameron Stweard of HasOffers, Mattias Lesch of CROBO, Edan Portaro of USamp, John Cosgrove of Tapit, Florian Lehwarld of KissMyAds and Pepe Agell of Chartboost.

The questions asked are around how customers, publishers and networks are responding to the changes and advances in the mobile space.

 

Based on the feedback from the panel, here are some of the major take aways from this particular panel:

  • Publishers have become a lot more transparent these days, and they are more about adding true value then they have in the past. They have become more data savvy.
  • Starting to learn which countries monetize the best and work with publishers within those countries to optimize campaigns even more.
  • Deferred traffic is one of the payment models used to reward publishers (affiliates) which has led to more successful programs long term.
  • It’s important to understand how things are performing on your own platform. You should know and understand all your own numbers before trying to understand someone else’s.
  • Rate your traffic sources and classify them based on their value score that you create.
  • Know where mobile publishers are running their ads and how they are driving traffic. There should be a level of expected transparency that helps make better business decisions and attribution value.
  • The main KPI is revenues, for both sides (publisher or advertisor), and in many cases CPM / CPI are the most important metrics to track in order to fully understand progress and success. Measuring impression, clicks and installs is essential to success.
  • Transparency is important to understand traffic sources so better economic models can be run. We rely on our platforms to report accurately on those metrics so we can make smarter decisions for our business and program growth.
  • People can either become overwhelmed by data or take it and use it by breaking it down. Use data as a resource tool to keep your publishers happy while growth for your programs healthily.
  • Relationships are some of the most important parts of our business, even on the mobile side, and it’s what fosters transparency which leads to more success.
  • The Publishers are the creative guys, so let them be creative and drive traffic and measure as best you can. They are the ones who can often reach targeted audiences others cannot.
  • Mobile banners don’t seem to convert very well for many. Mobile publishers seem to have more success from a variety of means. Since they are able to drive better engagement and more conversions and because it’s performance based, working with mobile publishers is extremely low cost and low risk.
  • Transparency is good, but at the end of the day it comes down to “is the campaign working.” Again – revenue / profits are and should always be your main KPI.
  • There are some more advanced publishers who use tracking platforms for re-engagement campaigns.
  • The most common tracking model for mobile is CPC (Cost per Click) and CPI (Cost per Install).
  • What networks are doing to prevent fraud is still very limited, though they are always on the lookout for it and always trying to find ways to test and help prevent it. It’s still very young and solutions are still being created and improved every day.
  • It’s not always black and white for fraud – sometimes transparency, tools or technologies are just not there to measure it or understand it accurately.  The good news is you have the control to block and stop anything you need to when it feels right for you.
  • Both publishers and advertisers can stop campaigns if it’s not working for them. But it’s essential to test, measure and track to truly understand performance before deciding a campaign is working or not.

 

What have your experiences been working with or as a mobile publisher?

Tag Management and the 5 Gears of Marketing Velocity

This is a live blog post from the Online Marketing Summit (#OMSummit) – Presented by Erik Bratt , VP Marketing of Tealium

tag management 5 steps best practices

What are tags?

A “Tag” is a javascrip code that allows you to integrate third party serves into your digital platform.

The average enterprise web site has 14 different vendor tags!. Tags are a huge problem:

  • Costly, time-consuming to manage
  • Slows down website performance
  • Slows down marketing efficiency

 

Tag Proliferation – common types of tags:

  • Web analytics
  • Search marketing
  • Ad serviing
  • Affiliate marketing
  • Testing
  • Behavioral targeting
  • Etc
Tag Management allows the marketer to manage a tagging platform without having to go to IT. Check out Tealium Tag Management Platform.

 

The 5 Gears of Marketing Velocity

1. Increased Marketing Agility 
  • No waiting for IT dev cycles
  • Marketers control their own destiny
  • Launch more revenue – generating campaigns, faster
  • Enhance web presence through information
2. Reduce Costs
  • Save on valuable IT resources
  • JavaScript-trained web developers no longer required
3. Improved Site Performance 
  • Replace many tags with one
  • Employ tag best practices (conditional tag loading, slow tag killing, asynchronous tag loading)
  • As much as 50% increase in page load speed
  • One second delay in page load time = 7% loss in conversions (Aberdeen)
4. Lower Opportunity Costs
  • Tagging is non-strategic
  • IT is one of the most important in-house resources
  • IT has more important things to do than tagging
5. Work with the Best Vendors
  • Pick vendors based on ROI and fit
  • Don’t be locked into any one vendor
  • Use best of breed solutions for all your marketing needs (A/B test vendors)
Bonus One: Actionable Data Source! (The quest for clean actionable data) – DoubleClick, Omniture, Linkshare, ExactTarget, Fetchback, Etc.

Why Impact Radius is Impacting Tracking

An integrated marketing suite. That’s what they are. They are an affiliate marketing platform, tag management system, media measurement tool, pay per call solution and much much more. Why is this important to internet retailers? Because with their system you can make and save more money.

Here are 5 cool features Impact Radius has to offer.

 

1. Tag Management

One of Impact Radius’s main features is extensive and flexible tag management. You can add and remove tags anywhere you want. You can manage multiple affiliate networks within it so you don’t get hit by double pay outs. You can track re-targeting ads. You can track and measure all media. If your ad campaigns look anything like this then Impact Radius is right for you:

  • Organic Google
  • Affiliate Program
  • PPC Ads
  • Re-targeting Ads
  • Email Campaigns
  • Social Media Campaigns
  • Shopping Feeds

The tagging system then calculates all your costs and ROI metrics in one place, plus it’s more accurate than Google analytics by correcting the discrepancies between marketing channels reported in analytics. It’s best to use both. Google analytics can’t capture the level and depth in accuracy that Impact Radius can. For example, analytics do not have rules that match up with your program terms in your affiliates program (ex. 30 day cookie period) and consequently do not accurately credit the affiliate channel, but can help give the user a better understanding of on site issues Impact Radius can’t.

 

2. Set Up Marketing Channels and Properly Measure Them

Impact Radius STARTS with accurate data tracking. They do not replace analytics, but they give you a stronger idea of how your marketing channels work outside of your website performance. You can set up rules within the platform specific to each channel, such as “I want to track click throughs with a 14 day window from this source”.

Merchants can credit affiliates properly based on rules set in the platform. This means you can create a system that says “if these two things happen, affiliate X gets paid” or “if these two things happen, I know to credit it to my re-targeting ads” or email campaigns, or SEO efforts and so on. Analytics alone is not able to understand that. This means, Impact Radius is all about successful attribution tracking down to every dollar spent.

 

3. Partner Management Solution

Impact Radius offers a lower cost tracking solution than most of the affiliate networks out there including CJ, Linkshare or Google Affiliate Network.  For example, if you are paying out $100,000 per month in affiliate commissions, your network could be adding an additional 30% ($30,000) fee. Tracking those same partners on Impact Radius might only cost you $1,000 – $3,000 resulting in a significant cost savings. This allows you to then spend the savings on ad buys, hiring a good outsourced affiliate program manager, or put it back into profits.

Strategy Tip: Take your top 10% of affiliate performers driving 90% of your profits and work with them directly through Impact Radius instead of the network. You’ll get better tracking and at a much lower cost.

Impact Radius is generally 15-40% more accurate in affiliate tracking than other affiliate networks because of its unique tracking methodologies. It has the ability to  cross check standard cookie tracking with “fingerprint” tracking which means sales are not lost when cookies are not set.  For internet retailers, Impact Radius helps with coupon management as well. You can assign promo codes and set rules around them so coupon codes will stop getting credited to the wrong affiliates and people who should be credited for sales using an exclusive code regardless of the affiliate tracking link will get credited accordingly. Impact Radius coupon tracking also works in direct mail, social channels such as Facebook and Twitter and across any other touch point on or offline.

 

4. Attribution Reporting

Impact Radius shows the exact touch points associated with every sale, including every touch point within the affiliate marketing channels. For example, if Affiliate A is the first touch point, Affiliate B gets touched half way and Affiliate C closes the sale – you can model the media costs and sales revenues across all three partners so you get a more accurate representation of each partner’s contribution. This works across multiple channels and with every touch point, so you can assess the true cost of acquisition and which channel contributed the most value to the sale.  By being able to determine your true CPA per touch point, you will be able to  determine how and where to spend future marketing dollars for greater ROI.

 

5. Pay Per Call Solution

If you need an alternative to Ring Revenue for pay per call tracking, Impact Radius offers a tracking solution as well. If you’d like to use this within marketing channels where you are buying media, or within your own affiliate program, this will give you a complete integrated solution to track calls and sales from phone number tracking as well.

 

What’s the bottom line? if you need a fully comprehensive tool that allows you to track your efforts more accurately for smarter marketing and higher ROI then Impact Radius is it.

Understanding Attribution 101

attribution tracking

Source: PMA Blog on Attribution Part 4: The Numbers

The conversation about who to attribute which sale to  in the online world is an ongoing one. It’s extremely complex and there are an incredible amount of variables to consider, not to mention how to understand of the data once it’s properly collected. Not only do we need to consider different affiliates (especially if you run your program on multiple networks) but also which marketing channel actually contributed to the final sale.

Do you reward an affiliate if it was your PPC ad that closed them? What if your email campaign or a facebook contest ultimately won the customer over, even if the affiliate was the reason they found out about you in the first place? How do you measure that? Do affiliates get the same amount of commission if two or three affiliates were involved in the sale? How do you split it up, since your margins are on the line?

There are so many questions and even the most experienced people in the industry are still trying to figure out how to properly manage attribution. That being said, it’s at least important to understand what it is and some of the elements that impact it.

Lisa Picarille of the Performance Marketers Association wrote a great 5 part series about it. Here are the links for quick reference.

Part 1: The Concepts

Part 2: The Pros and Cons

Part 3: Selling the Concept to Your Organization 

Part 4: By the Numbers

Part 5: How it Impacts the Perception of Performance Marketing

An example of why attribution in affiliate marketing is important is from part 2.  “Affiliates who often drive a sale to a merchant’s check-out page are faced with customers who see a discount or coupon box. That customer will typically leave the page and do a search for a coupon. If they find one at a coupon affiliate site and then return to make the purchase, the coupon affiliate will get credit for the sale. Some affiliates say that is not fair since they believe they did the upfront pre-selling job of getting the customer to the merchant’s shopping cart in the first place.”

This in itself should be a reason to look into this and better understand it. Are you crediting the right channels and the right affiliates to your sales? If not, how can you measure the success of each touch point? How can you successfully attribute budget to the highest profit or highest converting channels for new customer acquisitions?

By understanding attribution more clearly you will be able to make better decisions as to where you spend your advertising budget and learn which affiliates to focus your attention on. But being able to make decisions based on data rather than “gut feelings” your bottom line will be better protected and you will have opportunity to really grow profitable sales.

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