Performance Marketing Agency Q&A: The Bastio Consulting Group - CAKE Google+
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Spotlight: Q&A With The Bastio Consulting Group

Performance Marketing Agency Leverages CAKE to Increase Performance Results by 25+ Percent for Expanding Customer Base


In this CAKE Spotlight, we’re excited to feature a performance marketing agency, the Bastio Consulting Group. The company’s founders – Brian and Serena Bastio – share their industry best practices with their clients to deliver affiliate marketing programs that thrive. This is accomplished by providing services for managing affiliates and structuring payouts, plus addressing issues with campaign performance in real-time for maximum ROI, and more.

Below Brian shares more details about their agency, plus results and insights into best practices for getting the most out of CAKE’s performance marketing solution to fuel their customers’ businesses.


Tell us about your performance marketing agency and what inspired you to start your own business?

My wife Serena and I launched Bastio Consulting Group in January 2019. Over the last ten years we have both held various roles with companies in and around the performance marketing industry, including formerly with CAKE.

Our experience in this industry (primarily on the technology side) gave us first-hand knowledge of the challenges many companies face in launching, managing, and sustaining a successful digital marketing program.

Like many in the consulting world we never really set out to do it full time. It wasn’t until we were presented with our first opportunity did we finally decide to take the leap of faith and consult full-time. We’re glad we did!


How are you using CAKE for your performance marketing agency?

From a day-to-day account management perspective, CAKE’s performance marketing platform is invaluable to our team at the Bastio Consulting Group.

CAKE helps us effectively and efficiently manage our clients’ daily operations with ease. What makes this possible is the amazing reporting console in the CAKE dashboard. I can log in and quickly review summary stats at a high level, but when I want to take a deeper dive into the data, CAKE’s data breakout reports become amazingly useful. I have never once had to export data from CAKE and run a pivot table which is a huge time saver.


What specific insights have your clients gained since using CAKE and actions taken because of these insights?

Performance increased by 25 percent with bot detection and bot management – As the digital marketing world evolves, so do the virtual machines that crawl and monitor the web. If not properly managed, the virtual clicks that are tracked as a result of these bots can have devastating effects on campaign performance. Since pretty much all digital campaigns are measured or can be measured by EPC (Earnings Per Click) it goes without saying that if your click numbers are unknowingly inflated then your overall campaign performance is affected. This can and will cause a chain reaction throughout the entire business.

Leveraging CAKE to analyze aggregate click data, our performance marketing agency quickly identified that our client was being inundated with bot traffic. Roughly 25 percent of all clicks being tracked were due to virtual (non-human) clicks. Once rules were put into place to identify and reroute these bots, overall performance increased by 25 percent.

If it weren’t for CAKE’s granular click reporting and data breakout reports we would have never been able to identify the immense impact these bots had on our client’s overall performance.

Traffic redirect strategy resulted in a performance increase of 20 percent – Rule Targeting and Automated Traffic Redirection are features available in CAKE and have proven to be very effective.

For example, one of our clients has many offers that allow/disallow certain states as a lead requirement. Step one was implementing rules to only allow clicks from the states which the offer allows. Step two was figuring out a monetization strategy on the clicks coming from the states the offer didn’t allow.

Following the implementation of both of these items across all offers for my client, overall offer performance increased by nearly 20 percent from an EPC perspective.

Countless hours saved by applying mass edits – As many performance marketers know, mistakes are inevitable. Common affiliate program management errors can include when a revenue share is mistyped, an advertiser posts an incorrect value, or end-of-month reconciliation requires changes to data that occurred in the past.

The CAKE mass edit tool makes applying mass edits to data and campaigns a breeze. These tools end up saving our performance marketing agency countless hours making updates that would otherwise have to be done manually.

Alerts enable quick identification and real-time resolutions – When managing dozens of offers with dozens of affiliates it can get challenging to monitor everything in real-time.

This was one of the first things I encountered when I started working with one of our new clients that had about 100 offers with live traffic. After a closer look, it was clear that there were performance and/or tracking issues with about 5 10 of their offers. Turns out the advertiser incorrectly placed postback tracking scripts on a few offers and various other errors were found on the offer setup.

After uncovering this we immediately configured performance alerts on all offers which were designed to trigger a message if any offer fell below a one percent conversion rate.

Since then, with the help of CAKE’s automated alerts, we have continuously been able to quickly identify offer-related issues and address them in real-time which has been a huge win for our client from an operations and revenue perspective.


What are a couple of best practices you can share about affiliate marketing?

Choose the right platform for growthWhen it comes to SaaS platforms there are dozens of items on your “must-have” list. These are the capabilities that are required to run your specific business, mostly all of which are feature and function related. From my perspective, there are two top priorities from this list – accuracy and reliability.

Next, if you are an affiliate, network, or advertiser that needs a platform to monitor and manage your digital marketing efforts, take the time to choose a flexible, scalable platform for your business’ short- and long-term needs. Figure out what your core requirements are today, but know that those requirements will change as your business evolves.

Like most software platforms, no one typically uses all the features right out of the gate. However, with a platform like CAKE, rest assured you will be supported wherever your business takes you in the future.

Go the extra mile with training and onboarding – It’s key to take advantage of the amazing onboarding and setup program CAKE provides their clients. Invest your time, ask questions, and depend on your CAKE customer success rep to help give you a sanity check anytime you try out something new.

Also, it’s important to understand that there’s a good reason CAKE’s support is called “customer success.” By understanding the user’s goals of a performance marketing program, CAKE then implements high-touch communications throughout the onboarding process to ensure that you have every question answered, feel confident in how CAKE works, and how to optimize your program.

Once onboarding is complete and if you need assistance with managing your performance program…give us a call. We’d be happy to team up with you to leverage the CAKE platform to ensure maximum ROAS for your performance marketing programs.


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