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Blog – TUNE2019 Digital Advertising Trends: Partner Marketing, Mobile Video, AI-Driven Automation, and MoreHow the TUNE Solutions Engineering Team Makes Platform Migrations EasyIntroducing Proactive Fraud Prevention, TUNE’s New Solution That Works For and With You to Reduce Your Exposure to Ad FraudPartner Marketing 101: What Is Performance Marketing?TUNE Completes (Another) Successful SOC 2 Type II AuditWith New Tools, Testing Affiliate Tracking Links Has Never Been EasierAffiliate Summit West 2019: What We LearnedOur Top 6 Partner Marketing Predictions for 2019Our Favorite Performance Marketing and Affiliate Marketing InfographicsDo More With Less: Announcing New Performance Automation Features to Drive Higher ROI With HasOffers10 New Year’s Resolutions for Affiliate Marketers in 2019A Look Back at 2018: Final Recap on Performance Marketing Trends

https://www.tune.com Performance Marketing Platform Fri, 05 Apr 2019 21:57:46 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.5 https://www.tune.com/blog/2019-digital-advertising-trends-partner-marketing/ https://www.tune.com/blog/2019-digital-advertising-trends-partner-marketing/#respond Mon, 25 Mar 2019 18:11:44 +0000

2019 Digital Advertising Trends: Partner Marketing, Mobile Video, AI-Driven Automation, and More


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Picture of Times Square in New York City

Picture of Times Square in New York City

Photo by Aaron Sebastian on Unsplash

Fresh off the heels of a record-breaking 2018, the digital advertising industry is gearing up for a new year that looks sure to be its most dynamic yet. In 2019, mobile is poised to continue to drive overall growth, video will make a splash, and more brands than ever will embrace a performance-based model. With so much excitement, why wait for a mid-year roundup? Below are a few of the earliest digital advertising trends we’re seeing in 2019.

2019 Digital Advertising Trends

1. Mobile-Heavy Budgets

In the most recent digital advertising report from the IAB and PricewaterhouseCoopers, growth was the name of the game for advertising in 2018. And the main driver of that growth? Mobile.

Across the board, mobile accounted for a larger portion of advertising revenue for every digital format that year. It also captured 63% of overall digital advertising revenues versus desktop, up from 54% in 2017.

The numbers speak for themselves here. As mobile continues to grow, it will continue to eat more and more of the revenue pie, leaving desktop with less every year. If you don’t already have a technology platform that can track and manage your marketing cross-channel, now is the time to find one.

2. Partnering for Content and Connections

In a 2015 Nielsen study, respondents rated the following as the four most trusted sources of advertising:

  1. people you know
  2. branded websites
  3. consumer opinions / reviews
  4. editorial content

At the bottom of the list? Banner ads, ads on social networks, ads served in SERPs and over the radio and in videos — really, any ad on any channel.

This general distrust of traditional advertising is why recent years have seen more money going to content marketing, influencer marketing, and referral partnerships. In 2019, we expect even more budget to go to influencer marketing. We also anticipate consumers will grow weary of products being advertised with boilerplate messaging that’s clearly come from a brand or lifted from a sponsorship agreement. That’s why we’ll see more authentic, uniquely crafted messages capturing the attention — and purchasing power — of consumers in 2019.

Advertising Trust Chart from Neilson

The most trusted sources of advertising across all age groups had content and human connection in common. Source: Nielson

3. Omnichannel > Multichannel

We’ve been talking for a long time about the importance of uniting the entire customer journey  with your marketing and measurement efforts. Finally, we’re seeing advertisers begin to embrace that as the norm instead of the gold standard. In 2019, we see omnichannel gaining traction as advertisers realize multichannel won’t cut it anymore.

But don’t just take our word for it. We like how John Bowden, Senior VP of Customer Care at Time Warner Cable, says it:

“Multichannel is an operational view – how you allow the customer to complete transactions in each channel. Omnichannel, however, is viewing the experience through the eyes of your customer, orchestrating the customer experience across all channels so that it is seamless, integrated, and consistent. ”

4. Exploring the Value of Voice

Alexa and Siri don’t always get it right, but since their introduction, they have been consistent on one front: consumer adoption. In 2018, 65% of consumers said they wouldn’t go back to life without their voice-controlled assistant, and the number of U.S.-based Alexa skills more than doubled, from around 26,000 to over 56,000. So voice isn’t going anywhere soon. As such, expect to see companies like Amazon and Google exploring new ways they can monetize the channel in 2019.

5. More Mobile Video

Global video ad spending is growing, and at an increasingly faster pace. According to Forrester, the annual video ad spend in the U.S. will grow from $90.7 billion in 2018 to $102.8 billion in 2023. In particular, mobile video is the fastest-growing video type among consumers. This trend is driven by the increasing size of smartphone screens and the fact that video is more engaging than, say, a banner ad. In addition, watching video on the go currently takes the greatest share of time spent, so advertisers are expected to spend nearly $30 billion on mobile video advertising in 2019.

6. Automation + Artificial Intelligence

Heading into 2019, AI is less something that sounds like it belongs in the future, and more so something that advertisers are getting comfortable with being a part of their day-to-day life. We’re seeing good advertisers use AI to automate performance, measurement, and smarter marketing decisions. For example, chatbots are now responding to customers across the web and on social platforms. But we’re seeing the best advertisers pair automation with personalization to give customers an experience at the right time, right place, and right format — in a way that feels tailored to them.

7. Converting to Performance Marketing

With recent data and privacy scandals rocking the duopoly, advertisers are beginning to question their loyalty to the industry’s biggest players. All things considered, are they really getting a good return on investment? A slow in the ad spend growth on Facebook seems to suggest national advertisers aren’t so sure. That’s why we see more and more digital advertisers converting to a performance-based marketing model, where ROI is guaranteed, partners and marketers work together to succeed, and customers are the real winners in the end.

Make Your Predictions

We’ve got an exciting year ahead, so let’s get to it! Which trend are you most excited about in the new year? Let us know in the comments below.

To see more predictions and industry trends, check out our recent posts on the future of cryptocurrency and blockchain, affiliate and partner marketing, the martech industry, and beyond.

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https://www.tune.com/blog/2019-digital-advertising-trends-partner-marketing/feed/ 0 https://www.tune.com/blog/solutions-engineering-team-easy-migrations/ https://www.tune.com/blog/solutions-engineering-team-easy-migrations/#respond Fri, 15 Mar 2019 14:30:03 +0000

How the TUNE Solutions Engineering Team Makes Platform Migrations Easy


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A commuter train passes a platform

A commuter train passes a platform

Photo by JESHOOTS.COM on Unsplash

As part of our commitment to empowering marketers to Do More With Less, Worry Free, the teams at TUNE are always looking for ways to decrease stress for our customers. One big way the Solutions Engineering team does this is by making platform migrations as easy as possible for new customers. In this post, team member Dennis Lau explains a few of the migration techniques they use. 


You’ve had it! Two hours have passed and you are still stuck on hold with support because your conversions aren’t being tracked. As the same elevator-themed hold music that you have become so familiar with blasts through your phone, you make a decision — the time has come to change your tracking provider.

Knowing that your business can’t handle another outage, and tired of the lack of support from your current provider for the most critical part of your business, you swiftly do some research and select HasOffers as your next tracking provider. Excited that your days on hold are over, you open up your brand new HasOffers instance when a cold, hard reality hits you.

“I have thousands of affiliates, millions of offers, and who knows how many creatives … How on earth am I going to migrate all of it? This will take months, maybe years to migrate! And on top of that, I also have billions of conversion and click data points I need to store … What am I going to do?!”

In a panic, you picture yourself manually inputting offers, affiliates, and advertisers into your new HasOffers account. All the late nights, all the tedious, boring data inputting — there must be a better way to do it …

Well, today is your lucky day, because there is! With countless platform migrations under our belt, the Solutions Engineering team at TUNE is here to help make your migration easy. In this post, I’ll explain a few of the ways how.

Why We Offer Migration as a Professional Service

At TUNE, we know how important it is to migrate business critical data from your old tracking platform to HasOffers. As a team that interfaces daily with customers, we also realize how stressful and time-consuming a platform migration can be. That’s why we decided to come up with a solution to make the process as seamless and simple as possible for new customers. To accomplish this, we set an ambitious goal: to be able to migrate all your offers, advertisers, affiliates, click and conversion data, and more, all without you having to fill out a single form.

Our team got to it, and quickly found solutions for each migration pain point our new customers brought us. And as our experience with migrations grew, so did our tool set. Through countless successful migrations from a wide variety of tracking providers, our team has been able to create and fine-tune several automated, secure techniques that make any migration easy — no matter what platform you are coming from.  

Our Platform Migration Techniques

Since TUNE customers come from every tracking provider out there, the Solutions Engineering team developed multiple migration techniques that can be customized to fit every customer’s unique business goals. Here are just a few of the platform migration techniques we use at TUNE.

API Migration

The first technique we use is the API Migration. What is an API migration, you ask? In an API migration, we perform a three-step process:

  1. consume data from the API of your previous tracking platform
  2. transform the consumed data to suit the HasOffers data model
  3. utilize our own API to load the data into your HasOffers instance

This is the simplest form of migration, as all you need to do is provide your API credentials. Our team takes care of the rest!

Exported Data Migration

The next technique is the Exported Data Migration. This method requires a little more involvement on your end, but at the end of the day, it is similar to the technique used in the API migration.

With an exported data migration, all you have to do is provide us with JSON/CSV/XML files containing the data you would like to export from your old tracking platform. Not sure what data you need? Not a problem. Our team will be there beside you, every step of the way to ensure that all the models and data points you would like to bring over are accounted for. Once we determine what you want to transfer, you simply export that data into your favorite file type, send it over to us, and we handle the rest.

Data Dump Migration

The last and final piece of the technique puzzle is also the most complex. The Data Dump Migration is the most complex piece we will cover today because it is the method we usually use for click and conversion data. If you do the math, you can see why — data dumps involve gigabytes (and in some cases, even terabytes) of data.

In this technique, our team first works with you to define exactly what data you would like to export and save. Once that is defined, we take a look through all of it with you so we can see and discuss the range of data our team will need to export. Usually, for conversion and click data, because the data set has billions of data points, you really only want to export click/conversion data that is absolutely necessary.

Finally, after the requirements and data range have been decided, we start exporting your data. This step can proceed in a few different ways, depending on your preferences and technology: we can export via API, download via FTP, or export via user interface. Once the export is complete, we process your data and upload it for you into your new private HasOffers data store, where it will be ready for you to view or download whenever you choose.

Final Thoughts

Even though we have handled our fair share of migrations, we know that all migrations are not the same. But one thing is for sure: the HasOffers Solutions Engineering team is always here to help make your migration to HasOffers as simple and painless as possible. Drop us a line, and let’s discuss your migration to the most flexible platform — and the most flexible development team — in the industry.

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https://www.tune.com/blog/solutions-engineering-team-easy-migrations/feed/ 0 https://www.tune.com/blog/introducing-proactive-fraud-prevention-fraudlogix/ https://www.tune.com/blog/introducing-proactive-fraud-prevention-fraudlogix/#respond Mon, 11 Mar 2019 16:00:07 +0000

Introducing Proactive Fraud Prevention, TUNE’s New Solution That Works For and With You to Reduce Your Exposure to Ad Fraud


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Fraud prevention graphic

TUNE people graphic

I’m proud of everything we release here at TUNE, but this one is special. Today, I’m excited to introduce Proactive Fraud Prevention, TUNE’s new fraud fighting tool that builds robust fraud detection right into HasOffers. TUNE customers can now get a complete understanding on the quality of their traffic, and take automated action to reduce their exposure to ad fraud.

What We’ve Learned About Fraud

Estimated by Forrester Research to reach $10.9 billion in wasted spend by 2021, advertising fraud has been a constant challenge for the performance marketing industry. It is an issue that plagues advertisers and networks alike. And it is a problem that hurts all TUNE customers: our networks lose business from it, and can often feel powerless to police it; our advertiser customers see themselves paying for bad traffic, and lose faith in their partnership programs. Fraud breaks down two pillars the entire partner marketing ecosystem is dependent on, trust and transparency – two outcomes that are achievable only with the right tools and technology.

Identifying and preventing ad fraud is not new to TUNE. As we’ve pioneered tools through the years to address mobile app install (CPI) fraud, we’ve learned a couple things:

  • Everyone wants PROACTIVE versus REACTIVE solutions.
    The distinction is in how much work you need to do to enforce traffic quality and control.  Nobody wants to do all of the enforcement on their own, whether it’s having to inspect reporting to find bad partners, or having to set up filtering rules and thresholds. They would rather the tooling just solve the problem for them. They expect more from the system.
  • Everyone needs to see the FINANCIAL BENEFIT of the fraud tooling.
    Proactive or reactive, you need to understand that the fraud tooling is working. It’s nice when it silently filters out traffic, but the net effect is like vacuuming the carpet without being able to see the dust in the bag when you’re done – unsatisfying at best. Users need to know who the fraud outliers are in their partnerships. They need to quickly find and clearly see the bad actors who are providing poor-quality traffic, so that anyone who views a fraud report can instantly determine who is off — and have the numbers to back it up.

Staying Ahead of Fraud

To solve these pain points, we built the power of Fraudlogix – the premier ad fraud detection database – right into the HasOffers platform, providing TUNE customers with the most powerful fraud protection in the industry. By pairing the power of Fraudlogix with TUNE’s revolutionary automation capabilities, customers can now automatically detect and reject fraudulent traffic to safeguard the quality of their program and ensure that all partners operate on the same basis of trust.

TUNE Proactive Fraud Prevention graphic and feature flow

With Proactive Fraud Prevention, TUNE customers can stress less knowing their traffic is being monitored and protected, 24/7/365.

Proactive Fraud Prevention automatically detects and rejects fake clicks and bad traffic from:

  • Known malware and bots
  • Non-human scripts
  • Known compromised sources
  • Spoofed traffic
  • Anonymous proxies

Customers can easily see the financial significance of proactive fraud prevention with a new report in TUNE’s comprehensive reporting suite. TUNE will also continue to track and report on rejected impressions and clicks to allow customers to analyze high- and low-performing partners and sources. This service will be provided free of charge for all TUNE customers.

“Proactive Fraud Prevention helps our customers shift from playing defense to offense. With Fraudlogix baked right into the platform, there are no moving parts. This allows our customers to choose the partners that best align with their goals and invest deeper in the right relationships,” said Peter Hamilton, CEO of TUNE.

We’re excited to be partnering with TUNE on this modern approach to fighting fraud,” said Hagai Shechter, CEO of Fraudlogix. “TUNE’s customers depend on the platform to help them fight fraud and the data we are providing enables them to block fraudulent actions before they affect campaigns. This saves TUNE’s customers time and has real implications on ROI.

Proactive Fraud Prevention and the new Traffic Fraud Report will be available to all TUNE customers early next week. In the meantime, don’t hesitate to reach out to your customer success manager with any questions, or email sales@tune.com to learn more.

About TUNE

TUNE makes technology that powers successful performance-based partnerships across mobile and web. Our flagship product, HasOffers by TUNE, is the industry’s most flexible SaaS solution for tracking, optimizing, and managing partner programs. Headquartered in Seattle with hundreds of employees worldwide, TUNE is trusted by innovative affiliate marketers, the largest mobile advertising platforms, and iconic brands across the globe. For more information visit: www.tune.com.

About Fraudlogix

Fraudlogix is an online advertising fraud detection company founded in 2010 by industry veterans with a deep understanding of the digital ad ecosystem. It specializes in ad fraud solutions for desktop, mobile, in-app and video environments for the programmatic and affiliate spaces. Today, Fraudlogix monitors data from over 640 million unique users, 300+ million URLs, and 1.2 billion unique devices monthly. Visit www.fraudlogix.com for more information.

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https://www.tune.com/blog/introducing-proactive-fraud-prevention-fraudlogix/feed/ 0 https://www.tune.com/blog/partner-marketing-101-what-is-performance-marketing/ https://www.tune.com/blog/partner-marketing-101-what-is-performance-marketing/#respond Mon, 04 Mar 2019 21:38:56 +0000

Partner Marketing 101: What Is Performance Marketing?


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Two people celebrate marketing success.

Two people celebrate marketing success.

Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash

You’ve heard us say it before: all marketing should be measured based on performance. It’s the only way to truly know how effective campaigns are, which partners are best, and how to make the best use of marketing dollars. As marketing partnerships continue to grow in popularity, we wanted to give a quick refresher as to what exactly performance marketing is, what it looks like in the real world, and what’s most important to measure if you’re just starting out.

What Is Performance Marketing?

Performance marketing is a broad term for any marketing strategy in which an advertiser pays only for measurable results. In performance marketing, advertisers pay after a specific action is completed (such as a click, sale, or sign up), instead of in advance for no guarantee of success. This is why it’s also referred to as performance-based advertising: you only pay when your ad “performs.” For a more in-depth explanation and examples, see our Intro to Performance Marketing article on TUNE Help.

Now, if you’re advertiser, you may be wondering, Why isn’t all marketing performance marketing? It seems like a win-win for everyone involved! Good question.

In the past, a large chunk of marketing was speculative. Far too often, major brand campaigns were plastered across billboards or televisions with a general idea of how many people would see the ads, but without any exact details as to how many impressions, leads, or clicks the advertising actually led to. That was the norm.

With the development of the internet, the digital revolution, and the rise of mobile, a whole new era of advertising opened up. Actions were now trackable, transparent, and measurable. Thus, performance marketing was born. Yet not everyone was ready for the logistical changes that came with it, the technical requirements of the field, or the conceptual strategies needed for success.

This is where we are today. Some brands and partners are still not prepared (or willing) to take on performance advertising. However, those who have are making the case for its steady growth and adoption.

Types of Performance Marketing

There are several types of marketing that fit under the performance umbrella. One of these subsets of performance marketing is affiliate marketing, in which networks and individual publishers use a unique affiliate link to point audiences to an advertiser’s product or website. (More on that here.)

Another type of performance marketing is referral marketing, in which consumers share a promotion for a brand or service with their personal network of connections, usually in exchange for a discount, free product, or credit.

And, of course, performance marketing also includes partner marketing, a combination of several subsets that leverages the skills and insights of independent professional marketers to acquire and engage customers. While the definition of this subset and “marketing partner” can be broad, the goal remains singular: drive incremental users and profit.

Although popular, the three subsets above are far from the only kinds of performance marketing available today. We’ll go more in-depth with these and others in future posts, so be sure to check back later for more on the topic.

Key Performance Marketing Terms

Let’s get clear on a few terms you’ll hear often in performance marketing related to the metrics advertisers can measure, and the ways they can pay for those results.

Goal Metrics

Some examples of the KPIs you can target with performance marketing:

  • Customer acquisition
  • Traffic quality
  • Marketing efficiency
  • Lead generation
  • Sales
  • Revenue
  • Customer retention
  • Brand awareness

Payment Models

Common methods for delivery of and payment for performance:

  • CPM: Cost per thousand (mille) impressions. Many online ads are sold based on the cost for showing the advertisement 1,000 times. The downside here is that, while you can measure the number of impressions, eyeballs don’t always translate to sales.
  • CPC: Cost per click is a step above impressions. With this metric, you not only have an idea of how many people see your advertisement, but are actually interested enough to click on it.
  • CPL: Even better than cost per click is cost per lead, which pays a flat fee per lead acquired. This measures what an advertiser spends to not only get people to see and click their advertisement, but to become a lead by filling out a sign-up form or providing some other sort of information.
  • CPS: Cost per sale is similar to cost per lead, but usually is paid as a percentage of the sale amount. This measures the value of an ad and a customer, as cost per sale can provide advertisers with important data on customer lifetime value and average order value.
  • CPA: The holy grail is cost per action, also known as cost per conversion (and sometimes called cost per acquisition). These actions can be installs, purchases, registrations, subscriptions, form fills, or some other action. At this point, you know what it costs to get consumers through your entire funnel — from seeing an advertisement (an impression) to clicking (CPC) then filling out a lead form (CPL) and making a purchase (CPS). When working with mobile-specific advertisements, it’s common to see Cost per Install (CPI) used instead of CPA, but they are basically the same thing: a flat fee per conversion, which in this case is an install.

Aligning Performance and Partnerships in 2019

Performance marketing continues to climb at an impressive 10% each year. And Forrester predicts that will continue through at least 2020. So whether you’re just getting started in partner marketing or are refreshing your knowledge for the new year, TUNE is here to help with the industry’s most flexible platform. Sign up for your 30-day free trial today.

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https://www.tune.com/blog/partner-marketing-101-what-is-performance-marketing/feed/ 0 https://www.tune.com/blog/tune-completes-another-successful-soc-2-type-ii-audit/ https://www.tune.com/blog/tune-completes-another-successful-soc-2-type-ii-audit/#respond Mon, 04 Feb 2019 14:00:50 +0000

TUNE Completes (Another) Successful SOC 2 Type II Audit


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SOC 2 Type II graphic

SOC 2 Type II Certification graphic

Once again, TUNE has completed a successful audit of its service organization controls, receiving a positive SOC 2 Type II report.  In following through on its commitment to provide trustworthy and transparent solutions, TUNE continues to give clients, vendors, and employees peace of mind that they can do business with TUNE worry-free.

Use of an independent third-party audit to review privacy, security, and reporting controls is an investment that companies do not take lightly.  The process tests the sufficiency of a company’s procedures and execution on a variety of systems.  It also requires active employee engagement across a broad swath of a company.  

In pursuing the more stringent and comprehensive SOC 2 Type II certification (rather than a Type I), TUNE chose to test its policies and procedures over a lengthy time period rather than a single moment in time.  The audit period for TUNE’s report extended for more than a year, from mid-July 2017 through the end of August 2018, demonstrating an ongoing effort to uphold the Trust Services Principles.

TUNE views the feedback loop generated from annual third-party reviews — including active dialogue with auditors — as the best means to improve forward-looking operations, rather than an historical artifact or checked box on a compliance questionnaire.  TUNE completed its first SOC 2 Type II audit in fall of 2017, and intends to sustain its investments in a customer-centric security program.

To learn more about how TUNE approaches data security and privacy, click here.  The SOC 2 Type II report is available upon request to security@tune.com for TUNE clients and prospects under a non-disclosure commitment.

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https://www.tune.com/blog/tune-completes-another-successful-soc-2-type-ii-audit/feed/ 0 https://www.tune.com/blog/new-tools-testing-affiliate-tracking-links-never-easier/ https://www.tune.com/blog/new-tools-testing-affiliate-tracking-links-never-easier/#respond Thu, 31 Jan 2019 16:30:28 +0000

With New Tools, Testing Affiliate Tracking Links Has Never Been Easier


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Man sitting at desk testing links on a laptop and tablet

People work on mac computers

As part of our commitment to empowering performance marketers to Do More With Less, Worry Free, the teams at TUNE are always searching for new methods and technologies to help our customers in their day-to-day tasks. In this post, a member of our Solutions Engineering team reviews how several new tools can alleviate the biggest pain points of testing affiliate tracking links.


Dead links equal lost traffic for networks, which ultimately equals loss of revenue. This is why testing is a big part of the performance marketing industry. Trying links in various locations, checking that landing pages exist, making sure the entire flow is working — it’s not easy, but it allows network owners to verify their links are alive and prevent their traffic going to waste. Luckily, today there are tools for testing affiliate links that make this process easier.

In this post, I’m going to outline the main challenges of testing affiliate tracking links, and then review how new tools are popping up to address these challenges to make the entire process easier.

Links: Essential, But Often Unpredictable

This year, many HasOffers customers will forward billions of clicks via their networks. But it’s not always possible for them to monitor all of that traffic in the most efficient way to maximize revenue. Why? Networks give up some control when tracking links are taken from advertisers and offers are brokered. This means the network may not be notified when an affiliate link is being blocked (due to a cap limit, for example), leads to an offer that has expired, or is broken for a different reason.

All of these problems result in low conversion rates for networks. And all of these problems originate with links.

Testing Pain Points

When testing tracking links, the main challenge networks face is accounting for offer restrictions, specifically those related to geotargeting and device type (offers targeted for the United States versus the United Kingdom, iOS versus Android, etc.). For this reason, it is necessary to test using services that both allow connections from different locations and emulate different devices.

Services such as VPN, proxy, and residential proxy are technologies that can help network managers test their links from different locations. However, using these services to test multiple links at once can be a painful process: reconnecting to a different server location, testing only links that pertain to that location, and then repeating these steps over and over again, one location at a time. This testing method consumes a lot of resources, especially when done manually.

New Tools Are Here to Help

Over the last few years, several companies have emerged with the goal of improving the essential but painful task of testing by enabling networks to automate the process. Most of the new companies are using residential proxy servers.

Residential proxy servers relay traffic to home devices physically located around the world and connected to the internet via the devices’ web browsers. This means tests can be performed from a regular user device in almost any location, allowing the flow of the test to emulate as close as possible a real click, from a real device, from a real location.

Some of the most well-known companies on the market that provide link testing services via residential proxies are AnApps, AffiliTest (a HasOffers integrated technology partner), and Offertest. Most of these offer different types of services, which range from simple to advanced:

  1. Simple services include manually testing links from the company website/app or via API to automatically run tests from a script.
  2. Advanced services include granting permissions to use the network’s API to automatically test all links from that network and make respective changes (pausing or redirecting offers) if the links are not landing on the correct web page.

As an example, we’ll look at how the RDVerifier App from AnApps works.

First, the app would be connected via API to the network looking to use it to test. Once implemented, the service works by grabbing tracking links from the network, testing them on an hourly, daily, or monthly basis, and comparing the resulting live URLs to the preview URLs provided by the network.

The app then generates a report that shows when an affiliate link is a match or a mismatch:

Report from AnApps link testing service

Residential proxy services like those provided by AnApps are helping to make the link testing process easier for affiliate networks. Source: anapps.online

The app can also automate this process over regular periods for multiple networks or link groups:

screenshot from RDVerifier app

By automating the link testing process, solutions like the RDVerifier App can save performance marketers significant time and money. Source: anapps.online

Final Thoughts

Thanks to new testing technologies and companies like AnApps, controlling affiliate traffic and avoiding dead offer links is becoming an easier, less time-consuming process — one that can help network owners maximize their return on investment and focus more on their most valuable partnerships.

Want to learn more about affiliate tracking methods and link testing? Check out the technical documentation on our help site, a partial list of our current integrated technology partners, or ask us a question in the comments below.

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https://www.tune.com/blog/new-tools-testing-affiliate-tracking-links-never-easier/feed/ 0 https://www.tune.com/blog/affiliate-summit-west-2019-recap/ https://www.tune.com/blog/affiliate-summit-west-2019-recap/#respond Thu, 24 Jan 2019 16:00:46 +0000

Affiliate Summit West 2019: What We Learned


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The HasOffers by TUNE team poses in front of their booth at Affiliate Summit West 2019

Two HasOffers reps chat in their booth at Affiliate Summit West 2019

Robbie and Rachel chat during exhibition hours in the main hall of Affiliate Summit West 2019.

Another Affiliate Summit in the books, and our HasOffers Team came back with tons of industry insights. What might those be, you may ask? Here is a quick recap of what we learned at #ASW19:

1. Learning the Lingo: “Partnerships” Is the New “Affiliate Program”

Throughout countless meetings at the conference, our team picked up on this phrase that people commonly used to refer to their affiliates/publishers/sources: partner(ship).

“A partnership suggests a symbiotic relationship in which both parties have a vested interest in. It implies that advertisers and publishers can only coexist through a healthy marriage of complementary business goals.”  – Derrick, Credit Sesame

It’s not to say that the word affiliate has made its exit entirely, but keeping your tracking platform fresh is just as important as keeping up with the lingo associated.

2. Influencer Marketing Is Evolving, and Quickly

While advertisers love working with well-known talent, it’s not clear what true measurement traditional influencer marketing can provide. Typically, an influencer will receive an upfront payment to post to their blog, social account, et cetera, and then it’s a “see what sticks” experiment from there. But what about the smaller brand advocates, or micro-influencers, who want a piece of the pie?

We’re seeing more and more advertisers expanding their coverage to include these micro-influencers, and moreover, switching to a Cost-Per-Action model where their partners now have to earn their commission based on measurement.

“It’s important to know the ROI of our marketing dollars, and HasOffers definitely allows for us to both manage and measure the success of our efforts.”  – Leonard, BioTrust Nutrition

From there, these partners are then rewarded for proven campaign success.

The HasOffers booth at Affiliate Summit West 2019

Customers and prospects alike told us they loved the HasOffers booth this year — especially the comfy couches.

3. TUNE Has the Best Customers!

Getting to meet with those who have been power users of HasOffers for years was a true pleasure (as always). It’s great to hear that our product is able to solve for even the most unique use case, and because of our platform, customers can do more, with less, worry free.

“We love HasOffers — we’ve been with you guys forever and I love that your product team is taking our feedback and making things happen!”  – Charles, Commission Depot

It was really collaborating with our clients on the spot, and the entire conference erupted with excitement for what TUNE has in store for 2019. And of course, it’s always fun to talk shop over a few rounds of Topgolf.

4. We Have the Solution You’re Looking For

Whether you’ve been in the affiliate marketing space for decades or are just getting started, HasOffers can help make your day-to-day more efficient. Our tracking software becomes more robust by the day, and we would love to demonstrate how it can help you achieve all of your business goals. Have questions? Please feel free to reach out to us to schedule a demo, or sign up for a free trial today!

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https://www.tune.com/blog/affiliate-summit-west-2019-recap/feed/ 0 https://www.tune.com/blog/affiliate-marketing-predictions-2019/ https://www.tune.com/blog/affiliate-marketing-predictions-2019/#respond Fri, 18 Jan 2019 15:00:34 +0000

Our Top 6 Partner Marketing Predictions for 2019


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Four people browse smartphones backlit by window panes

Four people browse smartphones backlit by window panes

Photo by rawpixel.com from Pexels

Non-disclaimer disclaimer: Many of the opinions expressed below are best backed up by in-person expertise. Start a conversation with a TUNE expert in the comments below, or by emailing sales@tune.com.


Every year, we like to play with fire (not literally) to make a few predictions for the year ahead in performance-based partnership marketing. Last year, we told you to watch out for these four trends. This year, we’re back with two more than before. It’s our best predictions list yet … or at least, our best list for 2019.

Without further ado, here are our six trends:

1. Partnerships are the better choice in a world of increasing regulations … and people are starting to notice.

While the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) complicates data collection and management, it’s a great thing for partner marketing. Why? Performance-based partnerships usually leverage existing relationships between the consumer and the affiliate to succeed. Other forms of advertising don’t, or rely heavily on personal data and retargeting. Practices such as programmatic advertising remain risky, even for compliant marketers; one wrong move by a single player in the chain can get everyone in hot water.

So, with the GDPR in full effect this year, we predict affiliate marketing will become an even more popular route for digital advertisers the world over.

2. Focus will continue to shift from user acquisition to engagement.

As social media matures, and brands’ marketing strategies mature with it, we predict advertisers will move more of their budgets from user acquisition to engagement in 2019. One indicator of this trend is the growing popularity of micro-influencers (and now nano-influencers), known for user quality and engagement instead of sheer audience numbers. By shifting focus to quality over quantity, more advertisers will need to turn to these kinds of affiliates — better engagement versus bigger audiences.

Brands often prefer these small but passionate fan bases over those of bigger influencers because the latter fans may be less engaged or perceive endorsements as disingenuous. In a 2017 study, 86% of consumers said that authenticity is an important factor when deciding what brands to support — a number that’s even higher among millennials.

3. Native mobile experiences will pave the road to revenue.

Mobile consumers spend about 15 hours per week researching products and services on their smartphones. Data also shows 93% of searches lead to a purchase, either online or offline, and more than half of researchers will purchase immediately. So it’s not a surprise native advertising, or advertising that doesn’t feel like advertising because it’s designed specifically for a platform and experience, is on the rise. More consumers not only view native ads, but generate revenue from them as compared to normal ads.

What does that mean for advertisers? One: It’s essential to have a unified view of the customer journey, as consumers are using multiple devices and sessions to make purchases. And two, it’s more important now than ever to ensure elements such as page load time, call-to-actions, and images are optimized for the platform(s) they are on. (See our tips on optimizing for mobile audiences to learn more.)

The marketing industry is no longer moving toward mobile — it is mobile. That’s where the consumers are. So it’s not enough to simply show up and expect things to go well. Advertisers must present mobile experiences that are as good as or better than desktop, and which seamlessly connect from one device to the next.

4. Voice search will reach a boiling point, but not for advertisers.

Every day, about one third of all Google searches are done by voice. And we’d be remiss if we didn’t mention the stat where ComScore estimates 50% all search queries will be voice-based by 2020. But search via smart assistants remains a tricky avenue for marketers to monetize, as it’s a fundamentally different process than web-based search. Instead of serving dozens of clickable search results, voice search only returns one, maybe two results. This makes browsing the internet beyond a single answer difficult (if not impossible) … which is kind of the entire point of the World Wide Web.

Voice technology is still evolving, and there are some strategies for search that advertisers can consider now. But unless something big changes, voice remains a low priority in the performance marketing media mix in 2019.

5. Visual search is close behind voice … or is it?

Another technology to watch is visual search. But don’t put all your eggs in that basket. According to Kissmetrics, 93% of consumers consider visuals to be the key deciding factor in a purchasing decision, but we have yet to see compelling data that indicates visual search is a worthwhile channel to focus on. We anticipate visual search engines to break into the industry in 2019, possibly changing the way affiliate marketers and the retail industry as a whole do business … but until they do, keep calm and carry on.

6. Networks will make SaaS plays left and right.

This is one of the most repeated phrases we heard from people who attended #ASW19. Networks are making moves — and if you want to know how to capitalize on them, our team can fill you in. Get in touch and we’ll start the conversation.

Leading the Industry in 2019

To sum up: we have an industry in flux, both due to new privacy and data regulations, and because of several new technologies with impacts yet to be seen (and measured). To make the most of your affiliate marketing strategy in 2019, we recommend exploring new avenues, but keeping a skeptic’s eye on the horizon.

The customer of 2019 isn’t found on just one platform — they’re found on all of them. It’s up to you to discover, measure, and engage them in a way that feels natural and beneficial to each. How are you going to capitalize on 2019?

What are your predictions for affiliate marketing in 2019? Tell us in the comments below.

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https://www.tune.com/blog/affiliate-marketing-predictions-2019/feed/ 0 https://www.tune.com/blog/favorite-performance-affiliate-marketing-infographics/ https://www.tune.com/blog/favorite-performance-affiliate-marketing-infographics/#respond Fri, 11 Jan 2019 19:30:10 +0000

Our Favorite Performance Marketing and Affiliate Marketing Infographics


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Image of marketing infographics

They say a picture is worth a thousand words, so today we’re taking a closer look (pun intended) at performance marketing and affiliate marketing via infographics. Below you’ll find our favorites that break down the who, what, why, and words of affiliate marketing and the performance industry.

Best In Class

Of course, this one’s our favorite. An oldie but a goldie, from HasOffers back in the day: Welcome to Performance Marketing 101!

HasOffers Performance Marketing 101

The Who

The four key roles you’ll hear about most often in affiliate marketing are as follows:

  1. advertisers (aka merchants, sellers, marketers)
  2. affiliates (publishers, partners, affiliate marketers)
  3. consumers (customers, buyers, users), and
  4. networks (ad networks, affiliate networks, mobile networks — the only optional member of this group, and the liaison between advertisers and publishers)

It’s difficult to find an infographic that doesn’t include networks as one of the main players of affiliate marketing, so we just went with this simple version from the FTC. Truth is, you don’t have to use networks to connect to affiliates. You can build and manage your own connections (i.e., your own “network” of partners) using software such as HasOffers, which facilitates direct partner management across mobile and web. However, many advertisers choose to use affiliate networks for various reasons. In these cases, know that the network also takes a cut of any profits the advertiser and the affiliate share, meaning the money gets split three ways instead of two, as demonstrated below.

How Affiliate Marketing Works

The How

We love any infographic that can walk someone through the basic sales process, from click to payout. This infographic also skims the surface of the tracking side of affiliate marketing, and includes important terms like cookies (which are not as great for tracking as you may think.)

As the technical “how” of this industry can get rather complicated, we’ve covered it in depth on our help site. For more on the subject, see our articles (and mini-infographics!) on the basics of performance marketing and how to track affiliate marketing campaigns.

What Is Affiliate Marketing

The What

Advertisers work with their partners to sell products or services, which take the form of an offer in affiliate world. So, what makes a great affiliate offer? In another infographic from the experts at HasOffers, we cover the 6 P’s of affiliate offers that advertisers should remember when using performance-based partnerships in their marketing strategy.

What Makes a Great Affiliate Offer

We also like this affiliate marketing tips infographic, which provides plenty of inspiration for different ways to promote offers.

18 Affiliate Marketing Tips

The Why

This infographic shows the top benefits of affiliate marketing for advertisers, and why as a marketing strategy it’s been steadily climbing for the past decade — with no signs of stopping anytime soon.

Benefits of Affiliate Marketing

The Lingo

And this last infographic (another one of ours) breaks down the affiliate vocabulary preferred by professionals in the industry. It’s not enough to walk the walk to succeed in this industry — you have to talk the talk as well.

Affiliate Marketing Vocabulary Infographic

More Resources

In a world as diverse and full of creativity as affiliate marketing, infographics are just the beginning. Luckily, we have plenty of them to explore on our Pinterest board. For a deeper understanding of what affiliate marketing is and how it works, check out our series of introductory articles here, or head to our vast resource library.

Ready to take the leap and try partner marketing for yourself? Here’s how to get started today for free.

Tell us in the comments below: which infographic spells it out best for you? Are there any others you’re dying for that you’d like us to make to break it down for you?

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https://www.tune.com/blog/favorite-performance-affiliate-marketing-infographics/feed/ 0 https://www.tune.com/blog/announcing-performance-automation-features/ https://www.tune.com/blog/announcing-performance-automation-features/#respond Mon, 07 Jan 2019 14:00:24 +0000

Do More With Less: Announcing New Performance Automation Features to Drive Higher ROI With HasOffers


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Illustration of HasOffers Performance Automation features on control panel

We have exciting news to share today straight from Affiliate Summit West: Performance Automation is now available in the HasOffers platform, and it’s about to change the way marketers get maximum performance out of their networks.

The new Performance Automation features enable affiliate networks and advertisers to save time while increasing their bottom line with smart optimization tools that automatically maximize profits and minimize costs. These features are integrated directly into HasOffers and are available free of charge to all Enterprise customers.

“Our Performance Automation features deliver on our promise to reduce time spent on repetitive and manual tasks, so your team can focus on the things that matter the most — your best relationships,” said Dan Koch, Chief Technology Officer at TUNE. “With our new automation capabilities, HasOffers will automatically spot low-performing, low-value, low-profitability traffic and take action on it, 24/7, so you can spend less time mired in spreadsheets and more time finding relationships that actually grow your business.”

HasOffers Performance Automation functionality focuses around four core areas:

  1. Profit Optimization, which maximizes ROI by ensuring campaigns run only profitable offers.
  2. Conversion Rate Optimization, which protects against fraud and minimizes traffic costs by optimizing traffic quality.
  3. Alerts and Actions, which immediately notify and warn/block offers, affiliates, and advertisers according to pre-selected settings.
  4. Event Logs, which record and provide real-time visibility into every automated action taken.

To automatically optimize campaigns, marketers simply select the desired optimization settings and thresholds, and the HasOffers platform does the rest. Performance automation rules run 24/7 to analyze performance statistics and automatically take action to optimize campaigns and notify the appropriate parties.

In addition to this functionality, the development team is already working on enhancements and new capabilities that will take performance automation on the HasOffers platform even further.

“TUNE is dedicated to driving the future of performance optimization — for us, that means creating technology that empowers our customers to drive more value with their time,” said Koch. “We’ve been working closely with customers to integrate the core automation and optimization capabilities they need directly into the HasOffers platform, while building a technical framework that will allow us to be more agile as we continue to innovate beyond the tools you see in the industry today.”

For more information on performance automation, including use cases and feature details, see ”The TUNE Guide to Performance Marketing Automation.” If you have questions or would like to learn more about the HasOffers platform and automation features, please email sales@tune.com.

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https://www.tune.com/blog/announcing-performance-automation-features/feed/ 0 https://www.tune.com/blog/10-new-years-resolutions-affiliate-marketers/ https://www.tune.com/blog/10-new-years-resolutions-affiliate-marketers/#respond Mon, 31 Dec 2018 22:06:29 +0000

10 New Year’s Resolutions for Affiliate Marketers in 2019


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Sparkler lit to ring in the new year

A man watches fireworks and celebrates the new year

Photo by Ryan Wong on Unsplash

Have you made your New Year’s resolutions yet? If you’ve got yours all set for the gym but are stumped when it comes to business (specifically crushing your affiliate and performance marketing goals), we’ve got you covered. Here are 10 resolutions we recommend to launch your performance-based partnership game to the next level in 2019.

Repeat after us:

⏳  I will save myself (loads of) time by buying instead of DIYing.

Development time is one of the largest trade-offs networks and advertisers face when comparing whether they want to buy a partner marketing solution versus building one in-house. For example, developing core tracking, reporting, and payment platform functionality often requires at least six months of full-time focus for two to three engineers and an additional 75% of their time post-deployment for daily maintenance. Barring the need for exceptionally unique capabilities and massive network volume, these are investments that seldom pay off.

Another important factor is the time required to bring a new platform to market and help users familiarize themselves with key functions. For performance marketers focused on generating revenue as fast as possible, a leading third-party affiliate tracking solution should be expected to accelerate time-to-market and be both flexible and easy to learn.

Need help keeping your resolution? We recommend checking out: Buy vs. DIY: Considerations for Scaling Your Ad Network

📈  I will live by the motto “ABT”: Always Be Testin’.

Ask any veteran performance marketer what has made the most impact on their success, and, aside from “the right partners,” we’re willing to bet their answer is testing and optimization. That’s because the most successful performance marketers are always willing to test, test, test any and all variables in a campaign. Subject lines, CTAs, images, offers, even background colors — different combinations will yield different results. And remember: even when campaigns are performing well, there’s always room for improvement.

Finding the optimal mix of these variables takes time. A performance marketing platform with robust analytics and flexible data streaming can help, and is usually the best way to understand which combinations are the most successful.

Need help keeping your resolution? We recommend checking out: A/B Testing With the Multi-Armed Bandit Approach: What It Is and Why You Should Be Using It

🤖  I will make friends with AI.

If you’ve hesitated to dip your toes into new smart technology, make 2019 the year you get after it. Managing partnerships at scale requires care and attention to detail, but automation can help. Instantly knowing which partners are meeting, exceeding, or failing to meet acceptable parameters is great. Automatically notifying, warning, turning off, or dialing up affiliates and traffic is even better.

While artificial intelligence has a way to go before it can truly revolutionize performance marketing, it has at least made intelligent, worry-free campaign optimization possible today.

“As more marketers and more channels adopt performance frameworks, it will be critical for marketing platforms to build in more automation and AI to help marketers make the best decisions at scale.”

– Lucas Brown, Co-Founder of TUNE; founding architect of HasOffers

Need help keeping your resolution? We recommend checking out: Performance Evolution: Putting the Brand Budget to Work

🤝  I will prioritize new partner relationships.

Our research indicates that there are five key reasons for the performance marketing industry’s 10% compound annual growth rate. The most important? Performance-based partnership marketing is simply more flexible and expands marketing reach when compared with traditional marketing. Still need convincing? Learn why it will work for you.

Need help keeping your resolution? We recommend checking out: An Introduction to Affiliate Marketing for Your Business

🎯  I will master targeting.

Android and iPhone users have different tendencies, so it’s crucial to tailor campaigns to use the appropriate parameters, including device type. It ensures your offers are targeted to the traffic you and your advertisers care about. If you aren’t using device targeting, you could be bleeding money.

Performance marketers should also become familiar with advanced targeting, which allows you to create specific rules based on how to target preferred audiences. Whether targeting by operating system, device brand, or custom defined rules, you need to get into the nitty-gritty of targeting to get the most bang for your buck. You can even get as precise as only accepting clicks from specific sub-publishers based on the IDs passed in by your publisher.

Need help keeping your resolution? We recommend checking out: The 7 Deadly Sins of Mobile Performance Marketing

📱  I will track post-install events.

Forward-thinking networks that are serious about growth need to be measuring which traffic sources drive users with the highest LTV. Setting up offers but not tracking post-install events is leaving money on the table. If advertisers want users to continue to complete actions after they download an app (isn’t that the point?), offer goals must capture and track these events, and then pass payouts to publishers.

Speaking of payouts: While CPI is still valuable, consider shifting more focus to a CPA-based model to encourage affiliates to bring in more engaged (and profitable) users.

Need help keeping your resolution? We recommend checking out: Pixels vs. Postbacks: Which Tracking Method Should You Be Using?

🖥  I will up my landing page game.

In the fast-paced world we live in, brands and advertisers have to capture their customers’ attention almost instantly. If they don’t, chances are they just missed out on a sale.

A big part of getting a customer’s attention comes to creating a simple, responsive, and fast landing page. As SEO company Moz puts it, “Because of hardware and connectivity issues, page speed is even more important for mobile users than desktop users. Beyond optimizing images, you’ll want to minify code, leverage browser caching, and reduce redirects.”

Need help keeping your resolution? We recommend checking out: The Importance of Mobile Optimization

♻  I will add redirects to all my offers.

Even if there is not a similar offer available, sending visitors to any offer is better than a dead link or a 404 page. When offers get paused or expire, there is always going to be some residual traffic. Make sure to set a redirect so that traffic isn’t lost.

Need help keeping your resolution? We recommend checking out: 9 Best Practices for Affiliate Programs and Networks

🛡  I will do my part in the battle against fraud.

It’s clear that, for now, fraud isn’t going anywhere. But marketers, advertisers, affiliates, and networks are taking on the issue by working together and increasing transparency, openness, and trust. Advertising fraud and marketing fraud will never be 100% eliminated, but marketers need to be assured that the vast majority of their spend is warranted, safe, and fraud-free.

“The issue of fraud needs to shift to focus on trust. Fraud is reactive; trust is proactive. And trust requires relationship.”

– Lucas Brown, Co-Founder of TUNE; founding architect of HasOffers

Need help keeping your resolution? We recommend checking out: How Performance Marketing Industry Leaders Are Taking On Fraud

💯  And above all else … I will have reliable cross-device measurement.

Having a dependable, accurate partner tracking platform should be every performance marketer’s top priority to enter the market. Without it, affiliates and advertisers won’t work with you, you can’t build effective relationships, and your chance at succeeding slips away.

Networks and advertisers can no longer afford to make mistakes when it comes to performance marketing. With the pace the market is moving, mobile ad networks must be precise in their targeting and tracking methods. The formula to success is multi-faceted, and you have to be able to oversee everything: tracking customer journeys across devices and operating systems, identifying quality traffic sources by analyzing lifetime user value, preventing conversion discrepancies by monitoring all campaign settings, passing device identifiers to ensure attribution, remaining compliant with GDPR and other privacy and security policies, and so much more.

Need help keeping your resolution? We recommend checking out: Best Practices When Choosing an Affiliate Marketing Platform

Here’s to a Successful 2019!  🥂

Now we want to hear from you — what are your New Year’s resolutions for 2019? Tell us in the comments below or join the conversation on social media.

If you want help making 2019 your best year ever in partner marketing, get a head start here.

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https://www.tune.com/blog/10-new-years-resolutions-affiliate-marketers/feed/ 0 https://www.tune.com/blog/2018-recap-performance-marketing-trends/ https://www.tune.com/blog/2018-recap-performance-marketing-trends/#respond Thu, 27 Dec 2018 16:00:25 +0000

A Look Back at 2018: Final Recap on Performance Marketing Trends


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Sparkler 2018 art against skyline

Sparkler 2018 art against skyline

Photo by Steven VanDesande Jr on Unsplash

We’re nearing the final days of 2018 — hard to believe, I know — which means recap posts galore! As is tradition, we’re going to check all the predictions we’ve made throughout the year. (Gotta keep ourselves honest, right?) Below, we lay out some of the trends we predicted at the beginning of the year and during our mid-year check-in, compared to where we stand today.

Online Advertising Will Overtake Traditional Advertising

What we said then: Researchers estimate that marketers will spend $237 billion on online advertising in 2018. That’s about 44% of all global advertising dollars — meaning it’s a matter of time before online advertising overtakes traditional advertising (like print, radio, and television) once and for all.

What we say now: According to eMarketer, online advertising came close but still has a year or two before it overtakes traditional advertising in terms of spend. eMarketer predicts that by 2020, digital’s share of total advertising will finally reach that 50% threshold. So close, and yet so far …

Customers Are Becoming the New Cohort

What we said then: It used to be enough to segment by geography or platform, but performance marketers are increasingly going to need to shift their focus to customers as individuals. Personalization is key. Research shows that personalization can reduce acquisition costs by as much as 50%, lift revenues up to 15%, and perform 42% better than non-personalized content.

What we say now: Yup, we’re sticking to our guns here. eMarketer just released a fascinating report on all things personalization, showing that:

  • 38% of marketers are using personalized offers
  • 47% of marketers are using audience targeting
  • 45% of marketers are using audience segmentation
  • 42% of marketers are using dynamic creative

And for those not currently using, the vast majority plan to.

AI Will Become An Ally

What we said then: Marketers can use AI to better understand customer behavior, then personalize experiences accordingly. This will come in handy not only with advertising, but when engaging customers through voice and/or messaging — and accurately measuring the impact.

What we say now: While we’re not convinced that AI is a tool most marketers are completely confident with, we do believe it’s here to stay and will only become more integrated in marketing. Forrester agrees with us, predicting that by 2020, businesses with data-insights-driven teams will grab $1.2 trillion from peers without that same culture. As an example, Amazon recently leveraged automation to reduce “click to ship” time by 225% — down to just 15 minutes. *whistle sound effect* Those kinds of results speak for themselves.

Optimization Over Acquisition

What we said then: “When building a brand online, too many people rush to buy ads and acquire traffic to drive revenues by brute force,” says Tony Delmercado, co-founder and COO of Hawke Media. “Small efficiency improvements in conversion rates, email capture, and retargeting can pay huge dividends — tighten up the mousetrap first, then buy eyeballs. You’ll acquire and retain customers more cost-efficiently and keep money in your coffers for higher-risk marketing strategies.” Whether it’s retail KPIs, app marketing, or cross-channel e-commerce, engagement is the true driver of ROI.

What we say now: Not to brag, but we’re dead on here. Of course we’re still big on optimization; it is a standout part of our platform, after all. Yes, you need to dial in all the pieces of your acquisition strategy, but don’t stop there — also dial in your entire funnel so it’s not just about acquisition, but retention, engagement, and overall customer lifetime value.

Performance-Based Growth Isn’t Slowing Down

What we said then: One of the most notable trends is the fast clip at which performance marketing continues to grow. With fairly mature industries, you rarely see compound annual growth rates of 10% each year, but that’s exactly what Forrester predicts for performance marketing through 2020 at the minimum.

What we say now: It’s no secret we’ve been fans of performance marketing since, literally, the start. So we’re like proud parents watching it find its stride. We’ve always believed all marketing should be measured, and we think that’s going to transform from a once-novel ideal to an industry-accepted standard in no time.

Brand and Enterprise Budgets Are Moving

What we said then: Along with that growth comes major moolah being allocated to it. In our survey with Acceleration Partners, an average of 62% of brand and enterprise marketing budget was moving toward performance marketing. In fact, 128 of the 2,300 people we surveyed said a full 100% of brand and enterprise marketing budget was going straight to performance in 2018.

What we say now: We still see this trending upward. What’s interesting is now that performance marketing is the “new normal” for marketing, there’s a whole new set of channels in which advertisers can allocate their budgets. There’s social media, video, email, display, influencers, affiliate, loyalty, referral — all driven by performance dollars and performance measurement.

Affiliate Marketing Is More Ubiquitous Than Ever

What we said then: Whereas years ago affiliate marketing was often associated with click-bait ads, nowadays it’s far from dead. Quite the opposite, really, as it’s become as mainstream as brand marketing itself. In 2018, we’re seeing performance-based partnerships in all corners of the marketing ecosystem. Of performance marketers, the majority (31%) work for marketing platforms, followed by agencies and brands (both 25%) and ad networks (16%).

What we say now: Yup, ditto to this one. We’d even go far as to say that if you’re not marketing based on performance, you’re falling behind. Affiliate marketing is now an accepted part of the culture with Instagram influencers and YouTube stars regularly building audiences and sharing their favorite finds. (Read more about how to jump into influencer marketing here.)

Paid and Organic Marketing Are Better Together

What we said then: This year we’re also seeing performance marketers get savvier, planning their performance campaigns alongside organic marketing such as public relations efforts and content series. Our research consistently shows that this is the most effective way to get the most bang for your buck.

What we say now: We’ve studied this extensively (get the full report here). What we’ve seen most recently is not so much that the data has changed, but that marketers are integrating their campaigns in this way more effectively. You will rarely catch a random campaign these days — everything is thought out, orchestrated, and coordinated in single dashboards, scheduling tools, and one-stop measurement platforms. (We have a recommendation if you’re still looking.)

The Industry Is Taking Steps to Combat Fraud

What we said then: At TUNE, we’ve long believed that fraud is not performance marketing’s issue, but a challenge the entire industry must unite to overcome. One way we see this happening is through partners better aligning their incentives. As we move through 2019, we’re hopeful that performance marketers on both sides of the industry will be incentivized to show ROI, instead of just traffic or leads.

What we say now: Yes, yes, and more yes! It’s clear fraud isn’t going away any time soon, but brands and agencies are catching on as to how they can protect themselves by taking action (watching for suspicious traffic, pre-qualifying publishers, considering private marketplaces, etc.) and how they can work with the rest of the industry to minimize it.

Over the course of the year, we’ve seen brands like Google introduce new policies and technology like page-level enforcements to combat it. The IAB has also been heavily involved, introducing an industry-wide defense against spoofing called ads.text. Even various regulatory boards in the U.K., Ireland, and the U.S. announced earlier this year that they’ll be teaming up to clean up digital advertising. You can find our views on ITP 2.0 and similar subjects on our blog.

Looking Ahead to 2019

Now the fun part … we’re already getting excited to make our predictions for (*gulp*) 2019. Do you have yours lined up? Care to share ‘em with us? One thing is for sure: performance marketing is a wild industry to be a part of, and we wouldn’t have it any other way! 


If you have predictions (or questions) for us, leave a comment below or get in touch with our sales team over the holidays!

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