Tell us about your role and the team/technology you handle at Trackonomics.
Trackonomics is an Aggregation and Automation platform for the Affiliate Marketing industry. It’s a web-based platform that consolidates data from multiple sources, providing customizable reports and tools—like content discovery and link management—to help businesses extract the maximum value from Affiliate Marketing.
The growth of Trackonomics is driven by a fantastic, innovative, and hard-working team. We are 28 people now across four locations in Tel Aviv, London, New York, and San Francisco. I’m a Co-founder at Trackonomics, along with my business partner Kfir Barnea.
How much has the Affiliate Marketing technology landscape evolved in the last two years?
It is a really exciting time to be in Affiliate Marketing. Technology innovation has had a real renaissance over the last couple of years, hopefully to some extent led by the work we are doing at Trackonomics. First and foremost, we have seen a large number of really big media companies embrace Affiliate Marketing as a major part of their revenue generation strategies. BuzzFeed, Time Inc, Business Insider, and CNN now use Affiliate Marketing daily to monetize uniquely-produced content.
Rapid technology evolution in Affiliate Marketing made this possible. It allowed media publishers to operate their affiliate campaigns in a more automated, intelligent, and KPI-driven way. The growth of the Affiliate industry will be based on its ability to use technology to streamline practices and create monetization opportunities for high traffic media publishers.
How do you leverage your In-app Data Management and Content Discovery expertise at Trackonomics?
The core function of Trackonomics is data consolidation for publishers. In Affiliate Marketing, the impression, click and conversion data is often spread across a variety of different networks. Clients use Trackonomics to consolidate and aggregate that data for a unified view of their affiliate campaigns. Data management is the underlying expertise of our business.
We have used this core expertise in data management and to act on really interesting feedback and requests from our clients. The results: we have built features that help them drive more value from their Affiliate Marketing.
Content discovery is one of the examples. As we work with so many different publishers and advertisers in Affiliate Marketing, we have a unique view on what products people are linking to and buying. Helping publishers find the right products and advertisers to match their content is one way we have been able to utilize our unique position in the market to add value to their campaigns.
How is Trackonomics different from other MarTech companies?
We are the only company focused on developing technology that brings the world’s largest and most highly trafficked media companies to Affiliate Marketing. Trackonomics started out solving a basic problem in Affiliate Marketing, which was data consolidation. We developed a valuable core business around that strategy. We have evolved into a Marketing Technology platform that creates content monetization opportunities for media companies in the U.S., Europe, and APAC. We open up marketing revenue streams that were previously closed off due to challenges that technology had not solved.
How can funnel relay measure ROI by connecting traffic acquisition channels to conversion? How can it provide a complete view of affiliate user journeys?
Publishers in Affiliate Marketing have always lacked an end-to-end view of customer journeys, making it hard for them to optimize their own traffic generation. A publisher generates traffic to its content (like a digital article) and then sends that traffic to advertiser websites—normally some of the biggest e-commerce companies in the world. And while the publisher knows how many Sales it drove for that advertiser, the publisher cannot connect its own traffic acquisition strategies, like social media or organic search, with conversions on advertiser websites.
Funnel Relay finally closes that loop. Using Trackonomics, publishers can connect how they generate traffic with the sales that they send to advertise. This data is crucial for the publishers to properly optimize their own traffic generation; before Funnel Relay, this was little more than educated guesswork.
Why is data granularity highly effective in understanding user behavior?
Think about the Funnel Relay example above. If a publisher can see that it generated 300,000 inbound clicks to a piece of content and then 2,000 Sales across 5 different advertisers, that level of aggregated reporting is insightful, but far from helpful in optimizing an affiliate campaign.
If the advertiser can see which of those 300,000 clicks was responsible for generating each of those 2,000 sales, that’s incredibly impactful for optimizing the campaign. The publisher can identify which traffic generation strategies work best. It is a great practical example of how granularity equals a more effective understanding of user behavior—and how that can be applied to a publisher’s business.
How can users approach Content Monetization effectively? And what metrics can help publishers make profitable choices by leveraging affiliate data to increase programmatic revenue?
Content monetization using Affiliate Marketing connects a publisher’s content directly to advertiser sales. By relying on affiliate data, a publisher can see what content users are most interested in, what products those users purchase, and how much those users spend. Of course, they can also see how much advertisers pay to acquire those customers.
For large publishers, Affiliate Marketing is not just about monetization. It is also an incredibly powerful channel for data collection. Because affiliate is a cost-per-action (CPA) channel, the data is invariably linked to what advertisers mostly want to see: sales. Publishers will look at a variety of different metrics such as effective-CPA, earnings-per-click, return-on-ad-spend, and cost-per-click broken down per content article. We are helping publishers feed this data back to optimize their other paid media channels. A good example might be using affiliate transaction data to build new target audiences and to make programmatic campaigns more effective.
How can users compete for traffic when the effective cost-per-click has increased significantly over the past year, due in large part to the Google/Facebook advertising duopoly?
Publishers are trapped by an advertising duopoly and in need of new revenue streams that are less reliant on the advertising giants. The average cost-per-click on both Google Search and Facebook Ads has increased markedly in the last year—approximately by 25% from 2017 to 2018. This scenario means increasing pressure on margins and greater competition to acquire traffic. That is why many publishers are turning their attention to Affiliate Marketing. It is one of the biggest untapped revenue streams for large content publishers. And hopefully, through Trackonomics, the technology now exists for content publishers to deploy affiliate campaigns intelligently and strategically.
How does link rot lead to significant revenue loss for Affiliate Marketers? What can be done to prevent it?
Link rot is one of the biggest challenges for content publishers working in Affiliate Marketing. It costs the affiliate industry more than $4 million every month.
Affiliate Marketing links are normally static. This means that they can go out of date quickly, which might result in linking to broken/incorrect pages, linking to out-of-stock products, or not working at all. This results in link rot.
Content publishers produce a lot of evergreen content, which will generate SEO value and traffic long after content editors have moved on to their next piece of editorial. That is why link rot, when unchecked, causes a lost revenue issue in Affiliate Marketing, impacting publishers disproportionally. The key is for publishers to invest in link monitoring tools to automatically monitor and identify link rot issues. It is something the affiliate industry has been notoriously blind to but, is slowly realizing is a major issue. We find a link rot issue on 4% of all affiliate links that we see.
How can MarTech customers benefit from leveraging this tool?
Basically, if a MarTech customer works in or wants to work in Affiliate Marketing, Trackonomics can optimize that work. Customers who use Trackonomics can:
- Aggregate and consolidate marketing data into one unified view;
- Export that data into business intelligence tools like Google Data Studio and Tableau;
- Implement intelligent and automated management of Affiliate Marketing campaigns;
- Optimize Affiliate Marketing campaigns by finding the most valuable products and advertisers;
- Automatically monitor marketing links for link rot;
Benefit from an end-to-end view of individual customer journeys, without the impediment of complex integration with each advertiser.