For years the affiliate industry has been premised on relatively standardized insight, usually defined by the suite of reports hardcoded into an affiliate network’s interface. As advertisers are increasing investment in the channel, it is inevitable their reporting needs become more sophisticated. This is something advertisers are both demanding, and able to help facilitate. By sharing additional data parameters with their affiliate network, it provides the visibility and flexibility to report on metrics that are most relevant to them.
Custom parameter tracking has two core benefits. Primarily it allows advertisers to report on the metrics that are most important to them. It allows them to better understand their program and use the rich data insights to further drive growth and to better target the most profitable customers. Additionally it also allows for more comprehensive benchmarking across a sector. The more advertisers passing us back custom parameter data within a sector, the better our ability to benchmark becomes and the more powerful the overall picture.
With access to a multitude of data points, combining these with standard transactional data helps to build a profile of the customers being referred through each partner. This in turn helps to tailor their strategy for each to target the relevant customer segments.
For example, an additional data point could be the customer number or ID to understand repeat purchase. More in-depth product information or additional data points that are relevant to a sector can also be shared; delivery details for a retailer or stay dates for a travel advertiser, for example. Bundled in real-time, this data can be used to create customizable reporting dashboards, so the advertiser is both empowered and challenged to build more strategic relationships with their affiliates.
Think how powerful this data can be when additional metrics are added into the mix. Product information overlaid with customer demographics and repeat purchase information can help advertisers build up a profile of a customer’s lifetime value through each affiliate.
Are certain customer demographics more likely to have more products in their basket? What are the promotional triggers that can encourage new customers and increased spend? Who are the affiliates that can drive more immediate bookings to undersold inventory? All of these questions can be answered by combining additional data with powerful business intelligence tools.
Armed with this information, advertisers are better positioned to implement individual strategies across a number of key partners, understanding the customers they refer and how to better attract the most profitable customer segments. It is possible to uncover the affiliates that are selling certain types of products as well as gain an understanding of products that are typically bought together in order to be more effective at upselling and cross selling.
One high street fashion retailer has recently started passing us back additional data for each transaction. Product details including size and quantity and further information around the delivery type (and cost), as well as the customer’s location. This has enabled them to run targeted campaigns based on product categories and customer demographics.
Tracking additional data points through the affiliate channel becomes a powerful means to unlocking observations, previously hidden or misunderstood. The affiliate channel is often claimed to deliver a certain type of customer, often incorrectly. Using these data parameters is a clear enabler for affiliate enlightenment.
Only by combining additional data alongside more standardized transaction data and then presenting it in an accessible, visual and empowering insight tool, is it possible to profile the affiliates on any given program and ultimately create truly rewarding partnerships.