How to reward publishers for the right kind of consumer behaviour?

Whether we like it or not, 99.9% of digital marketers are using last click attribution models, and will probably doing so for the next year or so, at least.

So this leaves us with a challenge, how do we get the most of this ancient system?

We believe that is important to diversify or die in this industry and as such we are often forced to make compromises based on technical limitations not meeting the commercial models we predict possible in our minds.

Take for example this common problem that we see more and more.

  1. Consumer Jayden, interested in buying some fashion from a retailer online, clicks through to the site from a favourite content blog he reads every day.
  2. On the site they browse around and add a couple of items in the basket.
  3. They then go to checkout and see the coupon box in the checkout page.
  4. This triggers some form of thought, where is the coupon?
  5. Jayden then opens a new tab and does a Google search “Brand + Coupon,  and Jayden finds a coupon site not too dissimilar to,
  6. Jayden sees a code on this, usually clicking on the link to copy and opens the site.
  7. Jayden goes back to the original browser tab and completes the purchase using the coupon code copied from Retailmenot.

This is fairly common stuff.

What actually happens to this sale in last click attribution is the Coupon site has been attributed the sale based on a last click wins, even though Jayden was already in the check out.

So this goes back to the very title of the article “How to reward publishers for the right kind of consumer behaviour?”

We are now running last click attribution which works like this.

We work with the brand above to find their “mode average” time to complete a checkout (from beginning of checkout to Thankyou page).  Lets say it is 2.5 mins.

We then set a rule in place that deletes all sales that occur less than 2.5 mins from click to sale.

Note1: For Coupon sites about 30% of sales occur in less than 5 mins from click

Note2: For content sites about 5% of sales occur in less than 5 mins from click

The effect of this is that we are now only attributing sales to publishers where the journey time is greater than 2.5 mins.

The knock on effect for Brands is that coupon publisher ROI increased by 30%

The knock on effect for Coupon sites is that they really need to develop the content parts of their business so that they are adding more value for consumers and brands alike instead of focusing on “gaming” an old and antiquated attribution model as they are seemingly doing currently.


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