Greg’s 2017 predictions – Attribution & Flight to Quality
“Attribution, Attribution, Attribution: It’s all about attribution. Advertisers have always wanted better attribution insights on which publishers are driving more value and which publishers are driving less value and optimizing their affiliate mix and incentive programs accordingly. 2017 seems to be the year that sophisticated attribution will become mainstream in the affiliate channel.
In 2017, affiliate networks will be adding capabilities for advertisers to understand which affiliates are influencing the purchase path. By understanding the first/last click attribution insights, desktop vs. mobile sales insights and other insights like percentage of new customers, advertisers can better optimize their affiliate programs. In addition, there are several startups focused on attribution like Infernotions that will help advertisers in better solving the attribution problem.
Attribution is also a key question to campaign performance and innovative publishers will take the lead on better showcasing the ROI on paid placement dollars, which is a perennial question of advertisers.
As advertisers are getting more sophisticated with their tools, analytics and approaches, it will provide further transparency to the publisher population and only the truly effective/incremental affiliates at scale that help advertisers achieve their goals will stand out. As such, there should be a big shakeup of the affiliate world order in 2017.
Flight to Quality & Innovative Programs: There is a saying in investing about ‘flight to quality’ stocks and that saying pertains to the affiliate world. The flight to quality has been happening over time and will accelerate in 2017 as advertisers get better attribution insights to actually measure ‘quality’ as mentioned earlier in the attribution section. There is a ‘flight to quality’ so publishers will need to offer innovative programs and approaches to survive and thrive. Innovative programs that will become more mainstream include single use coupon codes, card-linked offers (CLOs), hosted checkout on an affiliate site (i.e. Buy Now functionality on affiliate site without consumer leaving the affiliate site), paid mobile app install campaigns, and mobile app-to-app tracking. Flight to quality will also mean entities will merge to stay strong and relevant in the affiliate space. The pace of M&A will accelerate and will continue the recent string of M&A including Affiliate Window acquiring ShareASale and Ziff Davis acquiring Offers.com.”