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AffliateBenchmarks Survey Insights: An Infographic

Affiliates & Advertisers Encouraged to Participate by August 25

The AffliateBenchmarks Survey is the largest and most-comprehensive annual report on affiliate marketing. Already, more than 4,000 advertisers and affiliates have participated in the study, which gives us a better look at industry trends and best practices.

Participants who complete the survey will receive a free copy of the survey data ($3,000 value) within 2-3 weeks of when the data collection period ends.

So, what insights can you learn by participating in the 2012 AffilateBenchmarks Report?

[Infographic compiled by Peter Figueredo & designed by Corbin Nakamura]

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Attribution Management: We Need Industry Standards

By David Herscott

Attribution Management is the latest attempt by marketing technology companies to provide advertisers and their agencies with a solution for tracking and valuing the slew of advertisements that lead up to an Ecommerce sale. Attribution Management has a more complete definition, but beware: this site is a ClearSaleing blog, one of the early technology leaders in the space.

Currently the default methodology is “last click,” meaning that regardless of the marketing messages that a consumer is exposed to, the last click – whether it be search, display, affiliate, email or other – gets the credit for the sale. In some ways not much has changed since the advent of modern advertising – brand marketers are still fighting it out with direct marketers to get the kudos (and the lion’s share of the budget). However, thanks to technology we can now create an entire picture of brand interaction prior to sale – well, sort of.

The technology has come a long way in a relatively short period of time, and attribution management can be an effective tool for Ecommerce marketers on the hook to show ROAS/ROI. However, the current challenge has less to do with technology and more to do with developing industry-accepted methodologies.

If you look at the early leaders – ClearSaleing (now a GSI/ebay company), C3 Metrics, Convertro and Adometry (you can even check out Visual IQ and Atlas) – you’ll notice that they all use similar attribution models. These models loosely include last click, equal attribution (eg 25/25/25/25); and a weighted-model that looks something like this: 60% credit to first exposure, 30% split among the second, third and/or fourth exposures and 10% to the last click. These companies also offer “custom models” which are algorithms based on prior results.

A Weighted Attribution Graph
Attribution Management companies often use a weighted model to track a buyer’s steps to make a purchase.

Whats wrong with the current models? Last click provides no real value – any basic web-analytics solution will give you that. Equal attribution is not based on anything other than indecision. The weighted model is interesting but I have yet to see any compelling consumer-behavior data that supports this model. The custom model obviously has the most promise but I think that technology providers need to be more transparent about how the model works so that we, as marketers, can make better decisions.

David Herscott is a Managing Partner at NetX. Contact David at David@netx.com.

Don’t Miss The Latest Headlines In The NetX Industry News Update!

Steve Jobs passes away while experts predict growth for this year’s holiday sales.  You can find these headlines and more in this week’s industry news update!

Apple Co-Founder Steve Jobs Passes Away
WashingtonPost.com
Steve Jobs, a co-founder of Apple Inc., has sadly passed away at the age of 56.  An original thinker who helped create the Macintosh also reinvented the portable music player with the iPod and reordered the cell phone market with the iPhone.  The introduction of the iPad also jump-started the tablet market, and now it dominates the field.

Holiday Sales to Rise 2.8% to $465 Billion
MediaPost.com
The National Retail Federation says it expects holiday spending to rise just 2.8% this year, to a total of $465.6 billion.  While that gain is far less than the 5.2% gain retailers saw last year, it is still above the 2.6% average of the last 10 years.  Retailers have posted sales gains for the last 14 months but ongoing concerns about the economy have them worried.

Google Analytics Adds Real-Time Traffic Data
Mashable.com
Google for the first time is providing a window into real-time web traffic with Google Analytics Real-Time.  Real-Time reports are available in the new version of Google Analytics, and administrators with Analytics accounts will get Real-Time reports.  For users trying to gauge how a campaign or post is performing, Real-Time will track the immediate impact to site traffic.

Mobile Ad Spend to Hit $1 Billion
SearchEngineWatch.com
According to eMarketer, mobile ad spending could reach $1.23 billion for U.S. advertisers by the end of the year, up 66% from last year’s $743 million figure.  They also predict that this figure will continue to see escalating growth, reaching $4.4 billion by 2015.

Google Launches Trusted Stores Program
InformationWeek.com
To ally doubts about the legitimacy of the e-commerce sites, Google has announced a new program to highlight exemplary online merchants.  Google Trusted Stores aspires to help shoppers recognize online stores that offer compelling shopping experiences.  Google has already begun admitting merchants into the program, which will require participating sites to share shipping and customer service data with Google.

Flash-sale E-mails Spark More Purchases When Sent Late in the Afternoon
InternetRetailer.com
Flash-sale e-mails sent after 3 P.M. generate more transactions and more revenue than e-mails sent out earlier in the day, according to an Experian CheetahMail analysis.  The data reveals that messages sent after 3 P.M. have an open rate 90% greater than e-mails sent at mid-day.  Late-day messages stand out more in consumers’ inboxes because fewer e-retailers send messages late in the day.