Re-targeting to the detriment of Affiliates?

Re-targeting to the detriment of Affiliates?

Before our summer holiday my Wife was speaking about how comfortable Havianna flip flops were and recommended a pair - having scouted around for the best price and visiting a number of retailers including Office - I eventually purchased a pair from Stand Out.

And for those who are vaguely interested they are very comfortable! - Stay with me - now as I was watching Liverpoool get thrashed at home for the first time in two years in the league - I was intrigued by the banner placement on Digg.

Retargeting by Criteon

Re-targeting banners on digg.com

Now it gets serious - This re-targeting of said Havaianas for Office is enabled by a company called Criteo - and its something I’ve been observing for a while now on a number of websites and with a number of merchants.

To the marketeer its a great idea, serve banners to the user with similar products to the last pages viewed on the clients site, even offer a voucher code to those basked abandoner’s.

However what does concern me with the uptake of such technology is whether Affiliates who first introduced the consumer to the product or brand are losing out on valuable commissions.

This naturally depends on the retailers de-duplication policy against other marketing channels and the sophistication of tracking and analysis employed by the merchant.

This is one element of the merchant transparency which ultimately affects conversion is something that the IAB Affiliate Council has been highlighting recently - indeed their recent ethical merchant charter includes the following statement:

“Deduplication

Many merchants will deduplicate between affiliate networks and/or other online sales channels, eg PPC, SEO, display, direct partnerships. Providing information to affiliates on which channels you deduplicate against and the logic that is involved (eg last click wins) is a good idea as it enables affiliates to optimise their campaigns accordingly”

Whilst a good start Id say, it’s more than a good idea - it’s a must.

This all raises more questions about the commission strategy employed by each merchant and the possible allocation of commissions to those who have influenced the sale along the purchasers journey - whilst this could have a negative affect for some channels in Affiliate Marketing who are closer to the end of the sales journey it could boost affiliate revenue who are nearer the start - is that fairer?

If merchants de-dupe affiliates against what is effectively an elaborate CPC method of re-targeting - is that fair on the affiliate or indeed other marketing activity? especially when some research suggests that 90% of re-targeted traffic should be credited to other channels.

I can foresee the arguments that the affiliate failed to convert in the first instance, that last click should always win -  that its not just affiliates who are part of the sales journey - so rewarding just the affiliate would be difficult to justify.

Personally I feel all of this needs discussion as evolution occurs and its a key factor in the future of Affiliate Marketing and finally we should also debate whether affiliates should be able to retarget using affiliate links!

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The emergence of the Maximising Consumer as Voucher Codes usage Surges

The emergence of the Maximising Consumer as Voucher Codes usage Surges

An interesting week for the world of voucher codes it seems. After reading a piece in the Sunday times about Mark Pearson, who has built a £30m personal fortune from his site myvouchercodes,  Hitwise have just released some fascinating facts and figures about voucher code usage online - something that Internet Retailing is calling the emergence of the ‘maximising consumer’ - I quite like this as it shows consumers are not just looking for the cheapest price from often biased shopping comparison search engines but taking longer to look around.

This trend will certainly have implications on Affiliate Marketing as more cookies are dropped along a shoppers journey to the basket and adds to the debate on both de-duplication and allocation of commission.

It also rightly does point out that the market is still a little murky, due to some historical and present  spammy and rather volitile methods used by some sites to acquire traffic over user experience - something I think Google will take action on at some stage.

Despite the mass of voucher codes sites in existence and I’m talking over 200 - I can see a core handful of companies taking this channel by the horns followed by a number of syndicated and white label offerings and thankfully a total clean up of this internal channel.

Also good news for our wee’ project Restaurant Vouchers though, as the report states that searches for the term have increased by 226.3% over the last 12 months.

More stories from Google News.

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Mobile App’s and Affiliate Marketing

Mobile App’s and Affiliate Marketing

porter-appOver the last couple of weeks we’ve seen the launch of a number of new mobile applications for retailers, Oasis being one who falls short of transactional payment via the application to Net A Porter who go the whole hog; big respect for them.

According to e-consultancy its a decent app too that’s been specifically designed for the iPhone.

So how can Affiliate Marketing get a slice of the pie here?  As we’re talking about a Mobile Application rather than a browser enhanced experience it could be difficult unless retailers opt for the simple CPA on download and tag shoppers to that download for a period of say 180 days or more.

In my mind though, the biggest opportunity here is the ability for affiliates to build 3rd party mobile applications and push data or products to consumers directly from a range of retailers. This certainly is not beyond the reach of many nimble and technically minded affiliates out there right now, however we fall down with the networks and retailers ability to track such sales through performance marketing.

Hopefully we’re on the verge of an announcement that some networks have ploughed some money into such innovation and R&D from some of the cash piles earned from affiliate brand, cashback and voucher code activity into something more sustainable and exciting. Who will it be? or will we see a Start-up steal the thunder?

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Need to add to my AM Blogroll!

Need to add to my AM Blogroll!

Randomly checking in on the web after ordering some ‘attire’ for a mates stag party, I realized that I’ve not put anyone on my blogroll here on my personal blog.

So if we know each other, and if you’d like to exchange links on your blogroll let me know on this thread and I’ll add you! My only requirement is that you have a blog dedicated to Affiliate Marketing and are not a spammy affiliate marketing e-book affiliate! (or similar)

Cheers,

Matt

Flickr credit: martinstabe

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Ragga Ragga, Rum and Fun in Barbados

Ragga Ragga, Rum and Fun in Barbados

It’s been rather hectic few days after Barbados, an awesome event, well planned and organised by the team at AffiliateFuture.

Barbados itself was a treat – it was less developed than I had imagined, that’s a good thing.

It was great to get back into diving, after a 4 year gap I was a little rusty, but it all came back to me quickly – Thanks to Hannah for convincing me to go!  The nights at Harbour Lights and the Boat Yard were great fun.  Both were all you can drink evenings! Yes, that was a little messy for some – James do we have pictures of the ‘Worm’? - and who has the photo evidence of Dwight Yorke heading off with the Columbian Hooker?

The Rum Ball Rally offered a great opportunity to explore the Island, our jeep consisted of Jim Mansfield from Intel, his wife Erica and James - we managed to blag a 7ft rum bottle cutout on our scavenger hunt - somehow it managed to get back to London to bless the AF walls!

Thanks to Tom Quinn for organising the fishing trip, sadly we didn’t catch anything but least we had rum and coke to hand and the sun shining! Don’t know how MagicFreebies Tom managed to survive the trip with a dislocated shoulder after a ‘Shark Attack’ the night before?

Finally my activities were rounded off with a round at Sandy Lane Golf Course, sadly not the $4000 a round Green Monkey, but the equally impressive Sandly Lane Country Club course – its pretty neat as you get a local caddy with insider knowledge of the greens and fairways.

I hear James is looking to potentially increase the numbers again next year with up to 100 people flying over, and looking at a hotel with direct beach access which would be I believe, welcomed.

Thanks to everyone who made the trip so much fun, and to anyone who is thinking about heading out next year – I’d definitely would recommend it!

Other thoughts:

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Surviving Barbados & Incentive Structure

Surviving Barbados & Incentive Structure

Well, this Sunday I’m heading off to Barbados with 53 or so affiliate folk from the UK courtesy of Affiliate Future and Foxy Bingo - A huge thank you to both!

Having never been to this part of the world (except for the Bahamas for the now defunct Affiliate Force cruise back in 2001) does anyone have any tips on surviving the week? I’ve heard all sorts of stories from alumni from the incentive over the last 3 years!

I’m looking forward to dusting off my PADI card and getting some diving in and exploring the Island a little with the Rum Ball rally!

For anyone looking to structure an affiliate incentive you’d be wise to take a look at how James and the team have handled the promotion to not only reward the very top affiliates who drive huge volumes but the up and coming affiliates who work equally hard for their merchants.

Structured incorrectly these incentives can do more harm than good so it’s nice to see someone getting it right.  These extra  incentives ranged from best use of creative, best increase in performance, top affiliate and PR i.e talking about the merchant on blogs, twitter and forums and other social media platforms.

I’m looking forward to spending some decent time with everyone next week, something which is often very difficult at our own events!

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I'm an Affiliate Marketing Addict of 12 years, Entrepreneur and founder of Existem, affiliates4u, a4uAwards and a4uexpo Affiliate Marketing Conferences.

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