Awin Talks: Referral marketing with Soreto, Awin Report 2020 launch and affiliate tracking discussion

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In our podcast we discuss Soreto's referral marketing solution, the Bounceless Tracking update and the launch of the Awin Report 2020 at Affiliate Summit West.

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On the February episode of Awin Talks, we speak to Ricki Jones, Chief Commercial Officer at referral marketing solution Soreto, an affiliate and new technology partner available now through the Awin Mastertag. 

Co-host Kevin Edwards then speaks to Awin’s Product Marketing Manager, Ed Chaput, for a product update and learns more about the network’s latest tracking release, Bounceless Tracking. The launch of Awin’s new tracking solution featured prominently in our affiliate predictions whitepaper this year. Read our Senior Product Manager, Stephen Short’s, prediction below which provides context behind the development, and explains how the browser updates that initiated it may impact digital advertising in the future. 

Rob and Kevin also discuss their respective speaking slots at the recent Affiliate Summit West conference in Las Vegas and the contents of this year’s newly launched Awin Report 2020, available for download right now. 

2020 Affiliate Marketing Trend - Browser tracking updates can help to build a consensus for consent – Stephen Short, Senior Product Manager, Awin

The intent of big browser companies over the past few years has been clear: to restrict how and what other businesses are able to track via their services. This presents obvious headaches for digital marketers looking to allocate their marketing budgets through multiple suppliers reliant on traditional tracking methods. 

There’s no doubt that, of the large browser companies, Apple has been setting the pace. With recent versions of Apple’s Intelligent Tracking Prevention, they have penalized so-called ‘link decoration’ where additional values (like a customer identifier) can be added to a final landing page when ads are clicked on and users redirected.  

At the time of writing, cookies on the landing page are stored for just 24 hours. A logical progression will be the removal of this daily window and completely inhibiting first-party cookies from third-party scripts if the consumer has navigated through an ad network tracking domain. This is problematic for most affiliate networks’ current solutions of placing a JavaScript tag on advertiser websites to create first-party cookies.  

Although Awin does not profile individual consumers by using the same tracking methods as more personalized marketing channels, we are caught in the crossfire. With Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox also pushing their own initiatives, the need to develop centralized solutions that mitigate a loss of tracking while operating within the intended spirit of our new privacy-centric age is clear. Awin explored several options before deciding to remove our ability to profile and track the same consumer across many different websites. 

We’ve done this by eliminating the traditional ‘bounce’ redirect consumers take through a tracking domain with traditional tracking. We call it ‘Bounceless Tracking’ and rolling this out in 2020 is a significant focus.  

But it’s not just the ability to attribute sales and fairly reward publishers that has been affected by browser tracking prevention updates. Who isn’t now numb to repeated cookie consent pop-ups on the same website? The same medium that can be used to profile and track consumers across the internet is also used for legitimate purposes like saving a consumer’s data processing consent regarding opt-ins and optouts. This is affecting the ability of websites to continue consumer consent between browsing sessions.  

Browsers have a role to play in helping solve some of the challenges their actions have provoked. Perhaps we will see them innovate in 2020 to tackle some of these. Developments in this space by any browser could set off a tidal wave of change for how data processing consent is managed on the internet.  

How might browsers solve this? They could provide a JavaScript API where sites set and retrieve consent, as in an individual blog enables consumers to obtain consent for one specific ad network but not another. Such a small dataset, enforced by the API, means it couldn’t be misappropriated to cross-site track a consumer, as is the case with cookies where large identifiers representing an individual consumer can be stored.  

In an era of second-guessing what the next browser developments will be, what is clear is that it is critical for us to continue to innovate with the dual aim of creating new and robust solutions with privacy-first intentions. 

Our podcasts are available on a range of platforms, including Apple, Spotify, Google and Soundcloud

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