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  1. #1
    Newbie GarthHudson's Avatar
    Join Date
    March 25th, 2011
    In-House Tracking Software (for Merchants)
    Hey all!

    So we have an engineer who is planning to design our own affiliate tracking software a'la iDev or DirectTrack.

    For anybody who runs their own software, or even for those who use a tracker like iDev, what are some must-have components for your day-to-day? A lot of the software I looked at seemed flush with cool extra features which...well, I doubt we'll be using.

    In other words, if you had to design your own version of iDev/MyAP or whatever, what would YOU include in the specs?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    It sounds like your engineer has decided to create a solution, but it's quite unclear whether your staff has any idea what problems need to be solved.

    Posting a vague, open-ended inquiry isn't likely to bring you the information you need. Some strategies you might use, starting with a diligent search on ABW and search engines:
    • Identify any past complaints about affiliate-tracking-and-reporting technologies;
    • Identify the features offered by existing affiliate technologies, including the costs & benefits of each feature (certainly, figure out why each feature or function is offered);
    • Identify the issues commonly encounter when choosing and using affiliate technologies, by advertisers (merchants), in-house affiliate managers, OPMs, publishers, CPM networks, etc.;
    • Identify the issues commonly encountered by publishers (affiliates);
    • Spend lots of time looking at different "types of merchants" (e.g., those who sell downloadable products, those who sell tangible products, those who sell products with significant trademark restrictions; manufacturers, wholesalers, retailers, distributors, and drop-shippers).
    • Seriously consider whether your in-house software should include features to support the use of affiliate networks (e.g. a solution that allows a merchants to offer an in-house affiliate program alongside an affiliate network; there are lots of special issues that arise);
    • Identify other "third-party technologies" which your product might interact with (product & coupon datafeed services, blog-software plug-ins, analytics, PPC, RSS, and many more);
    • Identify your target market and your business model. Which types of merchants would your product serve? What payment structures? Who will sell the product, and how?

    There is a huge wealth of information on ABW, including lots of archived discussions about specific issues, features, and changes in the industry over the past decade.

    AFTER you've identified a few hundred issues, then it will be time to start talking with folks in the industry, including affiliate managers and OPMs.
    Last edited by markwelch; March 30th, 2011 at 12:28 PM.

  3. #3
    CPA Network Rep
    Join Date
    March 23rd, 2011
    Hi Garth,
    Despite Mark's post, we are happy you asked the question. If you don't ask you may never know, right! There are a lot of factors to look into when establishing an affiliate program, it can be overwhelming.

    I know for a fact the people at DirectTrack can help you hash through this information, just reach out to someone over there!

    Best of luck Garth!


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