Tom Dietzel’s CPAWay and Incentivize networks have made a lot of friends in the industry over the last couple of years. Now he is preparing the launch of a new performance marketing tracking platform. We caught up with Tom to find out his views on where tracking platforms and the industry go from here.
Revenue Performance: You have had a lot of success with CPAWay and Incentivize. What’s the secret behind the success?
Tom Dietzel: It is as simple as being very focused on technology which then allows us provide quality. We have many internal automated processes that police our traffic. It means we can focus on our core business model which is providing advertisers with ROI.
RP: You’re developing a new tracking platform. What’s wrong with the existing ones?
TD: Most of them are clunky or focus only on one business model. The affiliate space is very diverse so platforms need to not only focus on tracking, but also provide total reliability and system availability, and integrated, effective fraud prevention. Most important, there needs to be a high quality of service so we will provide 24/7 phone, email and live chat support.
RP: Talk to me more about fraud prevention because it is always a big concern for potential advertisers. What’s the best way to tackle it?
TD: Two things. You need first to take a proactive approach rather than just being reactive. Second, you need to have anti-fraud integrated into the entire process and platform. If you are proactive you can typically prevent an issue before it occurs. Many merchants are at risk of losing their payment processors due to fraud, but if you take a proactive approach charge backs can be reduced almost to 0%. As an example of what I mean, I believe our platform is the only one that blocks against many virtual IP services that allow fraudsters to use bot nets to fake residential IP addresses.
Our platform is also unique in that we have developed a fully integrated fraud prevention and affi liate-watch system. Our
system is based around tracking, but at the same time every click, sale and lead is scored, with no 3rd-party solution required. This alone will save the merchants and network owners using the platform thousands of dollars per month.
RP: From the side of affiliates and publishers, how can tracking accuracy be improved so that affiliates see fewer lost commissions?
TD: With increasing privacy concerns resulting in cookieless browser environments, cookieless tracking technology is a
must. We encourage all our advertisers and merchants to use it wherever possible. Cookieless tracking is sometimes referred to as server-to-server tracking which involves a simple hand-shake between the tracking platform’s server and the merchant’s web server. It allows 100% tracking accuracy, and I’d suggest affiliates should seek out networks that use it.
RP: What’s your view on scrubbing and shaving by networks? Affiliates quite naturally hate it, yet many networks see scrubbing and shaving as essential management tools?
TD:I think scrubbing and shaving are generally bad for the industry. My networks take a “no-scrub” approach. We feel it would basically be “stealing” from our publishers if we did it. There has to be some scrubbing for fraud, but other than that I don’t see a good reason to scrub legitimate leads nor to shave/throttle traffic.
To emphasize that position, the new tracking platform we have developed does not even provide the functionality to
shave/scrub/throttle leads or traffic, whereas there are several tracking platforms currently used that allow networks and merchants to scrub valid legitimate leads in real time by manipulating pixel fires. In my view, a better way for networks to achieve their campaign benchmarks is to be transparent and to reduce rates instead of shaving a percentage of the leads. When publishers ask us to match rates with networks that we know shave leads, we take an active stance to educate them about what is really going on.
RP: If you could change something about the performance marketing industry, what would it be?
TD:It would be educating outsiders about the benefits of performance marketing, rather than just talking about the problems. For all the articles and talk about fraud and other issues, the fact is that all the problems and risks are manageable, just like they are in any other type of marketing. So long as you have the right tools in place and use them properly, performance marketing can work wonders. Over time, I think the conversation will change in a more positive direction because the cheats and fraudsters will be driven out of the industry by the rapid improvements in fraud-prevention technology.
About Tom Dietzel
Thomas Dietzel is a serial entrepreneur with a strong focus on emerging technology. He has founded several
success performance marketing businesses, developing proprietary technology for each.