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Managing Affiliates: Using Data to Make Informed Decisions

As digital marketers it is easy for us to become overwhelmed with the amount of data available at the click of a button. Within CAKE’s platform marketers can easily track more than 30 different data parameters on a single transaction. That is a lot of data! Once you have gathered the data points the real challenge comes when it is time to apply that data in a meaningful way. Overcoming the challenge of leveraging data to make effective, efficient and intelligent business decisions is the key to successfully enhancing the performance of all digital campaigns.

To begin the process of implementing data into your decision-making, it is always useful to segment your approach to data by reviewing how it is best utilised at each point in the purchase process:

  1. Targeting consumers at the initial purchase point
  2. Acquiring data from the actual sale
  3. Leveraging data and feedback from the advertiser
  4. Implementing fraud management

Targeting Consumers with Data

One of the most beneficial ways in which advertiser’s can greatly impact ROI is targeting consumers based on their preferences through the use of data insights. With the ability to leverage information regarding location, purchase behaviour’s, devices used and other parameters, advertisers can target these consumers in real-time with messages that resonate with them in that exact moment. Furthermore, leveraging data and purchasing patterns to target consumers with offers and discounts can help push consumers through the purchase funnel and continue to make them repeat purchasers.

Leverage Attribution Data from the Sale

Developing an understanding of your attribution data is key to future decisions about how to best utilise your marketing spend. When it comes to attribution, there are a few questions you will want to ask yourself.

-Do you know how much your affiliates contribute to the sale compared to the other channels the consumer is interacting with?

-What role do these additional channels play in the customer journey?

-Do you know the different types of affiliates who are contributing to the sale?

-Are there affiliates who are contributing to the sale but never rewarded?

-Are there ways that you can amend your commission payouts to reward these partners differently?

Implementing an attribution strategy can dramatically transform both the customer journey from the initial click to the final sale, and also incentivize your affiliates to provide quality traffic targeted directly at the end consumer for the promise of greater payouts.

Implement a Feedback Loop

One of the most important steps in the data cycle is to implement a feedback loop. Once the actual sale has been completed it is imperative to evaluate what happens to the customers that have completed the sale. Doing so will provide the opportunity for upsells and greater profits.

Let’s look at an example. If a customer has purchased a TV, it would be wise to begin targeting the same customer with relevant accessories for that TV such as a sound bar, speakers, mounting bracket, etc.

Furthermore, implementing a feedback loop will determine which customers are more valuable to you and will allow you to create a strategy for pushing these customers back into the purchase funnel. As the advertiser, you can offer higher CPAs for affiliates who drive the best performing traffic as an incentive.

Ensure Sales are Valid

Proper data management and optimisation also requires an agile and proactive approach to managing fraud in real-time. Fraud management has the power to ensure the sales that are acquired are authentic, valid and profitable. Furthermore, it enhances advertiser and affiliate relationships by building trust and transparency. Best practices for managing fraud include understanding your data to determine what could be key identifiers of fraud, plus evaluating IP addresses, browsers and trends that could help you identify fraud at the source. One example of fraud is short lags between the click and conversion.

Ultimately data is the key to increasing the value of performance marketing campaigns from the initial click to the final conversion. Without insight into data at every step of the purchase funnel, advertisers are potentially losing profit, jeopardizing affiliate relationships and missing opportunities to turn first-time customers into repeat customers.