4 Necessities for Great Performance Marketing Network Technology
As digital marketing continues to become the marketing method of choice for brands and retailers across the globe, performance marketing has experienced year over year leaps in popularity. For most marketers, working with a performance marketing network is a critical step towards growing a successful program. These technology providers give marketers the ability to track and measure their affiliate marketing performance, pay their affiliates, and optimize their programs via robust platforms and data analytics.
But as a marketer, how do you choose a network when there are hundreds vying for your business? Through the experience of researching, developing and continuously improving our own technology since its launch in 2015, we’ve uncovered a few overarching technological abilities all great performance marketing network platforms should be able to provide.
Granular Audience Segmentation and Targeting for Performance Marketing
These days, just about all reputable networks have some audience segmentation abilities, but by no means are all created equal. Depending on how niche your target audience is, there are likely many networks that will be rooted out because their platform cannot get granular enough in their targeting abilities. Look for networks that offer audience segmentation based on a number of values, such as traffic channel, device type, day of the week, and geographic location. Perform[cb], our proprietary platform technology, not only offers the above targeting abilities but can also drill down to the form field level, assigning values to specific form field answers. This allows our marketers to both target their desired audience, as well as generate lead ratings for those audience members that show interest in the marketer’s product or service. Performance marketing networks with detailed audience segmentation and targeting technology help position brands to achieve more qualified leads and buyers, as well as an increased opportunity for high customer lifetime value.
A Robust Affiliate Portal
Without affiliate partners, there would be no affiliate marketing. And while affiliates can be an incredibly powerful resource on their own, an affiliate partner armed with top-of-the-line performance marketing technology can provide exponentially better results. A great performance marketing network should provide a robust set of automation tools, insights, and analytics via an intuitive dashboard.
Automation Tools and AI-Enabled Features
Automation tools are crucial from both an efficiency, and an optimization standpoint, in that they can free up an affiliate’s time by automating perfunctory tasks such as pixel placements or filling inventory, allowing them to focus more time on profitability moves. At Perform[cb], not only do we provide automation tools, but we built these tools on top of predictive algorithms and machine learning, meaning our affiliates can make real-time optimizations based on terabytes of analyzed data.
Affiliate Partner Data Insights and Analytics
Many performance marketing networks can provide tracking and attribution data, but without the correct tools available to help affiliates utilize that data, it loses much of its potency. And in a very much cyclical effect, the less a platform provides affiliate partners with the necessary tools to integrate this data into their campaigns, the less valuable campaign data is passed on to marketers for their decision-making. Though you may not use a performance marketing platform yourself as a marketer, it’s still important to ensure that your network is providing sufficient data to its affiliate partners. Many older affiliate networks have not been diligent in updating their tracking tools to keep up with the vastly changing performance marketing landscape, and can’t provide the amount of detailed data that affiliates need to remain competitive within increasingly saturated target markets. Perform[cb] platform’s UI provides affiliate partners with custom dashboards, configurable optimization tools, and robust real-time reporting to ensure they have the necessary tools and analytics at their fingertips to achieve their KPIs.
Advanced Affiliate Network Fraud Security and Detection
Without fraud security and data protection, no matter how sophisticated a network’s attribution data is, the decisions you make based on that data will be flawed – and you may never realize it. When fraud goes undetected, it falsely skews your ROI, making it appear that you have better results than you actually do. With the pervasiveness and inevitability of fraud in digital marketing, it is a necessity that your performance marketing network’s platform be equipped with fraud-fighting technology.
A reputable affiliate network should provide real-time, automated traffic monitoring, as well as post-processing review for an added layer of protection. At Perform[cb], we employ our proprietary compliance technology, PerformSHIELDTM, which uses a number of constantly changing algorithms to identify fraud, as well as integrates trusted third-party monitoring services into our platform for additional insight into traffic sources. Through comprehensive fraud-fighting technology, you can ensure that your brand quality, and marketing budget, will be protected.
Accurate Performance Marketer Data Reporting
Arguably the most powerful benefit of performance marketing is it’s unique ability to collect deep data insights that other more traditional marketing methods are unable to provide. As mentioned above, providing advanced data collection tools to affiliates is what helps reputable networks in providing accurate, information-rich marketing data back to the marketer. A top affiliate network should have the technology in place to provide your brand insights on a number of values, including buyer device types, successful traffic channels, geographic data, and day-of-week popularity.
With the right data, marketers can evaluate which performance marketing initiatives back into their internal KPIs, then optimize accordingly to continually target traffic that yields the highest customer lifetime value.
Brands and retailers with a focus on working with a network that not only aligns with their goals, but also has the technology in place to help automate and protect their performance marketing efforts, are the brands that set themselves up for the greatest success. To learn more about how Perform[cb]’s end-to-end performance marketing technology helps our marketers, visit our technology page, or reach out to one of our experts today!