One of the biggest concerns of the mobile marketing ecosystem is that affiliate advertising tracking technology has become archaic and one which poses as a roadblock in keeping up with the growth of the industry. In India, the affiliate marketing industry is expected to touch USD 835 million by 2025, from around USD 300 million currently.
As more advertisers and publishers turn to alternative advertising inventory to diversify their traffic and revenue from Google, Apple, Facebook and Amazon (GAFA), it becomes even more imperative that the advertising tracking technology available reflects the current affiliate ecosystem. Ad agencies rely on tracking platforms for accurate data, publisher management, and campaign optimization to help them reach their client’s targets. The potential for tracking platforms is that they would be able to provide greater transparency in performance and assist ad agencies in detecting weaknesses and surface revenue optimization opportunities There are five essential ways tracking platforms need to innovate to help affiliate marketers reach their targets..let’s understand how.
Making critical analytics consistently available on the marketer’s dashboard
It should be a standard practice for tracking platforms to display all of the critical data on marketers’ dashboard. This should include their gross profit, performance metrics comparing yesterday to today, and quick access to their hourly/daily/weekly/monthly progress. Top offer and bottom offer performance should be viewable by offer level, publisher, advertisers, and country so that marketers can see the critical areas that require fast action. However, many tracking platforms fail to display everything affiliate marketers and publishers need. Analytics software can solve this industry-wide issue by surfacing the essential data on a dashboard, making it easier and faster to view performance and take action when necessary. For marketers of varying data mining skill levels, it is vital that the most critical information is available without needing to use CSV files. At the end of the day, insights should be accessible by all.
Scannable Tracking Links Without a Third-Party Vendor
Although it is logical to check tracking links to ensure they are fully functional, a common problem for affiliate partners is that occasionally they cannot remove an offer from the feed once the cap is reached. As a result, they will not get any return after this point. To address, ad agencies work with a third-party vendor to scan tracking links to see if they are redirected to an MMP (Mobile Measurement Partner) or a store. However, this requires them to share data with a third party, which is less desirable. Ideally, affiliate marketers should have access to an integrated tool that enables them to scan tracking links without sharing data with a third-party. When an offer is active, links would be repeatedly scanned to ensure they are hitting a store — saving money by avoiding sending traffic that is not doing anything by going to a broken link. A recommended success tip is to ensure that the enabling link scanning is made available during the testing process while marketers are approving offers from a network.
Know Your Best Performing Publishers for Optimization
Without knowing the best-performing publishers, it can be challenging for marketers to know where to invest and who to drop confidently. This is just one example of how limited data insights can affect their ability to make critical decisions. These insights are commonly learned by pulling CSV files from their tracking platform, which takes time and resources that could otherwise be spent on analysis and optimization. The holy grail is data insights in real-time. Having a transparent solution that lets marketers choose what they want to filter, split and measure so that they can gain critical insights and optimize performance is the golden standard. For example, a marketer would be able to see which publisher performed best within the last 30 days in a single country, based on total revenue. They can then also see how much traffic is discarded based on certain rules, such as mismatched targeting or if the publisher was not approved. Moreover, marketers would have greater visibility with greater granularity at any time.
Attain Transparency and Visibility With Network Integrations
Another common problem with tracking platforms occurs during network integrations and offer approvals. When integrating a network, marketers may not have an option to select certain offers: they are required to choose them all and put them on their platform. This is too limiting for marketers, who may want to be selective about which offers to advertise. Affiliate marketers really want the ability to integrate networks and then decide if they want to approve offers for that network automatically. Further, they want to view a feed of offers, see how these offers from another network have performed on their platform in the past, and then select the ones they want to approve. This would provide greater transparency and empower them to be more selective with the offers they approve and save time with auto-approvals.
Automation is a critical component of tracking platforms, simplifying processes to give marketers more time to spend on analysis. As automated processes become more advanced, it is essential to use them to stay ahead of competitors. Tracking platforms can help account managers by automating anything and everything related to daily operations. They can approve and block publishers, set click budgets, conversion budgets, and plan payouts. With the right technology, all of these tasks could be done autonomously by defining certain conditions to allow more focus on the strategy moving forward.
Affiliate marketers and publishers are seeking the transformation of affiliate performance and tracking technology in 2022 and beyond. Their demands are crystal clear – more transparency on performance, deeper insights available at their fingertips, better integrations with networks, and automation when needed. While the affiliate marketing ecosystem is complex and layered, the ecosystem can all rally behind these calls for change and innovation to develop solutions that benefit this rapidly maturing industry together.
Views expressed above are the author’s own.
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