Get the basics right in digital marketing first

De-Duplication Best Practice Guidelines

 

It still beggars belief that today in 2014 with all the analytics enterprises talking about digital media attribution and cross device platform tracking that so many of the BIG and little advertisers are still not getting the basics right.

 

This basic methodology that I am going to talk about today is simply de duplicating on line sales.

 

What is de-duplication?

De-duplication is the process of attributing a sale to one online marketing channel on predefined conditions, these conditions will decide which tracking tag is shown at the confirmation of sale page.

 

Dgm advocate all our advertisers to de duplicate sales the status quo  for this usually attributing sales on a last click wins basis.

Advertisers who do not act on this fundamental necessity  stand to lose up to 35-45% of their media budget in misallocation and data duplication.

We also advocate Advertisers perform de duplication at the point of sale in order to remove and further confusion.

 

Example http://wiki.affiliatewindow.com/index.php/De-Duplication_Best_Practice_Guidelines

Where an advertiser runs their programme on two networks, de-duplication is essential to prevent paying for the same sale twice.

This can occur when a customer has visited publisher sites from both networks, and ends up with two publisher network cookies on their computer.

Using automatic de-duplication, the advertiser only displays the tracking for the network that last referred the customer. Therefore, only one network receives notification of the sale, thus removing the need to decline duplicate sales manually at the validations stage.

 

What do I need to do to de-duplicate sales?

Industry standards recommends using a “Click Append” and setting a local cookie on the visitor’s machine when they enter the website.

A local cookie is one that is loaded onto the user’s computer by the advertiser. This can then be used to recognise the last referring channel and determine which tracking tag to display on the confirmation of sale page.

This is the cheapest, most efficient and accurate way to de-duplicate and it provides the advertiser with complete control over the logic employed.

This method is also referred to as “conditional tagging”.

Example

Merchant X added a click append to their URL for each online channel to define where the customer had arrived from, a few of these are shown in red below:

http://www.advertiserx.com/?source=dgm – dgm

http://www.advertiserx.com/?source=linkshare – Linkshare

http://www.advertiserx.com/?source=google – Google PPC

http://www.advertiserx.com/?source=email – Email campaign

They then wrote a script to place a local cookie on the user’s computer triggered by the presence of the click append.

They then established a rule that the click append source ID would be overwritten on a last referrer basis.

For a customer clicking through via a Linkshare publisher who then browses and returns via an dgm publisher the source id “?source=Linkshare” would be replaced with “?sourceid=dgm”.

The tracking tag logic at the sale confirmation page would recognise the “?sourceid=dgm” click append and show only the dgm tracking code, thus correctly awarding the sale to the last referring network.

All traffic must be tagged to ensure accurate cross-channel de-duplication. The last referrer wins method must be used across all channels to ensure fair de-duping.

Which online channels should I de-duplicate against?

De-duplicating sales reduces publisher conversion rates, and therefore their EPC/commissions also decline. Advertisers should therefore be cautious implementing de-duplication strategies as it could influence an publisher to promote a competitor.

We would recommend providing adequate notice to publisher s prior to the implementation of any new policy, especially one that may affect performance statistics. It is important to be specific about which channels will be de-duped and explain the reasons why. Every advertiser is different and policies vary considerably across the industry.

We have provided some example policies below and also some general rules that will ensure publisher s continue to support your programme.

Example Policy 1

Channels de-duplicated:

PPC Brand: No

PPC Generic: Yes

Price Comparison (advertiser’s own activity e.g/ Kelkoo): No

Display Advertising: No

Email Marketing: No

Direct publisher s/partnerships: No

Other publisher network: No, there are no other networks

De-duplication rule:

Last referrer is attributed the sale

Method used to de-duplicate:

Click append with local cookie

Note : For Example Policy 1 the advertiser has only one piece of CPA activity which is the Affiliate Window programme. They have a substantial in house PPC campaign with many generic and long tail keywords which they wish to attribute referring sales purely to this channel. For other channels including brand PPC the advertiser wishes to award the publisher recognising their influence in completing the sale.

Example Policy 2

Channels de-duplicated:

PPC Brand: No

PPC Generic: No

Price Comparison (advertiser’s own activity e.g/ Kelkoo): No

Display Advertising: No

Email Marketing: No

Direct publisher s/partnerships: Yes

Other publisher network: Yes

De-duplication rule:

Last referrer is attributed the sale

Method used to de-duplicate:

Doubleclick floodlight tracking tag

Note: For Example Policy 2 the advertiser uses a 3rd party solution to de-duplicate sales, they wish to reward the publisher s influence on the sale wherever possible. They are happy that a CPA rate be paid in addition to a CPC given the customer spent time on the publisher ’s site and subsequently browsed.

This advertiser however has another publisher programme as well as some direct partnerships. These are all also rewarded on a CPA model. The advertiser cannot pay the higher CPA cost twice, and therefore they must de-duplicate the sale to the last referrer.

Example Policy 3

Channels de-duplicated:

PPC Brand: Yes

PPC Generic: Yes

Price Comparison (advertiser’s own activity e.g/ Kelkoo): Yes

Display Advertising: Yes

Email Marketing: Yes

Direct publisher s/partnerships: Yes

Other publisher network: No, there are no other networks

De-duplication rule:

Last referrer is attributed the sale

Method used to de-duplicate:

Tagman container tag

Note: For Example Policy 3 the advertiser is using another alternative 3rd party solution to de-duplicate. They have decided to de-duplicate against all online channels.

They only ever want to attribute a sale to one channel. As a result of this they pay a higher commission to publisher s as they do not need to factor in duplication costs.

 

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