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  1. #1
    Affiliate Manager Maim133's Avatar
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    September 1st, 2006
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    Tracking Disparity
    This could apply to any network I suppose, but most of the programs I manage are in CJ so it seems applicable.

    We see a very substantial difference in our internal tracking to what CJ reports (30-40% tracks internally). Our internal numbers are based on average touch which gives each channel touched an equal percentage of the sale. We back out any sales that were not "real" (in that they did not exist at or were fraudulent) at the end of the month.

    In search on the other hand our average touch numbers versus that of Google are closer to 87%.

    It is my contention that affiliate customers are far more likely to hit multiple touch point in there deal hunting and that is why the disparity occurs.

    Others think it is the affiliates breaking our tracking in various ways and want audits done routinely reaching out to everyone breaking or tracking. Most of the time an actual example of the code breaking can't be found so it is a guessing game.

    We have set up every tool available to automatically append all of our tracking, so at this point it takes almost actively trying affiliates to break our code.

    Which of these theories is more likely right? Are there any numbers out there showing average touch points of a SEM customer vs. that of an affiliate customer? Do most merchants discount CJ reported sales and only acknowledge internally reported sales?

  2. #2
    http and a telephoto
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maim133 View Post
    Do most merchants discount CJ reported sales and only acknowledge internally reported sales?
    If they do they are breaking all kinds of rules. Are your internal analytics taking cookied visits into consideration?
    Deborah Carney
    TeamLoxly.com BookGoodies.com ABCsPlus.com

  3. #3
    Affiliate Manager Maim133's Avatar
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    By Acknowledge I meant "give value to" not "pay out on." We definitely can't pick and choose like that!

    The internal analytics are Coremetrics. They take into consideration cookied visits, they just break them up depending on if the next visit the customer came from somewhere else. (per rules we set up)

    Customer searches for widgets, finds our SEM ad, clicks on it, finds a product they like. They then search for Brand X Coupons, find an affiliate offer for us, they click through the affiliate and convert. Internal tracking gives 50% to SEM, 50% to Affiliate. CJ takes 100% credit and Google takes 100% credit in their systems.

    This naturally leads to double counting if you were to look at the external reporting, but different channels seem to have different levels of double counting. Internally, Google reports 87% of the sales the external Google report shows. Affiliate on the other hand is about 35%, so either 1) Tracking is working perfectly but affiliate customers on average hit 1/.35= 2.86 different channels and Google customers hit 1/.87= 1.15 channels (note it is not touch points, but channels since the last click within each channel will take sole credit within that channel) or 2) Affiliates have a penchant for breaking tracking through various methods.

    I guess I was hoping for an Internet Retailer report saying Affiliate customers on average hit 2.86 channels before converting

  4. #4
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    There is always the suspicion since you re not seeing the tracking youeself something might be wrong, but we just have to take what CJ as blind faith

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