The Performance Exchange offers improved publisher performance, increased scalability for smaller advertisers and better, more granular targeting. Most importantly, Clickbooth’s Link-ID technology allows payouts to be varied by traffic source and so to be aligned with customer-lifetime-value. This is a critical step in performance marketing’s move into the big brand mainstream.
In this second installment of our review, we take a look at the advertiser side of Clickbooth’s Performance Exchange.
Clickbooth has long been one of the leading CPA networks worldwide. CEO, Erin Cigich, leads a respected and experienced management team including executive vice presidents, Lee Aho and Brad Dobbins, who respectively guide Clickbooth’s advertiser and affiliate teams, helping to drive performance marketing forward.
In the last two years their commitment to the industry as a whole was reaffirmed by the victory in court against Essociate, Inc. For those with short memories, Essociate claimed a patent on a part of the affiliate referral mechanism upon which performance marketing networks depend. Although many felt that the patent was not valid – a view eventually upheld by the Federal Courts – multiple networks were targeted by Essociate and forced into five- and six-figure settlements rather than risk a very expensive court battle. Instead of giving in to what most observers felt was a shakedown by a patent troll, Clickbooth chose to fight and won, to the benefit of the entire industry.
More recently, the launch of the Performance Exchange has positioned Clickbooth at the technological leading edge of the industry and it is clear from early Blue Book returns that their innovation is paying dividends.
The Performance Exchange – Advertiser Viewpoint
The advertiser side of the Performance Exchange shows that Clickbooth brought a great deal of attention to detail to the planning and development of the platform. Time and again one finds seemingly minor changes to what commodity tracking platforms typically offer, but those changes work in combination to provide a much-improved advertiser experience.
- Value Alignment: perhaps the most important aspect of the Performance Exchange platform is that it helps advertisers align their budget much more accurately to those traffic sources that provide best ROI. Lead-gen advertisers, for example, can vary offer payouts by schedule allowing them to align their traffic not just to their call-center working hours but also to the time of day or week when conversions are more profitable. Are insurance leads more valuable on Monday morning than Saturday morning? You can increase your offer payout to suit. Similarly, payouts can be varied by Link-ID, so that the traffic from individual sources can be evaluated and then incentivized or discouraged by how high you set the CPA. To further enhance optimization and control of new traffic sources, the Clickbooth Performance Exchange allows advertisers the ability to set initial LINK-ID test budgets, resulting in the capture of a meaningful data set and allowing for an evaluation of the traffic value. The result is that marketers are able to dig deeper into more meaningful metrics such as Customer Lifetime Value, then track back the most valuable customers to individual traffic sources, targeting profile or time of conversion, and then align the payout to each in order to maximize performance. It brings a level of control that we have not seen before.
- Targeting: Clickbooth has worked hard to extend the targeting capabilities of the platform. Notably it allows campaigns to be targeted down to state level, which means that localized insurance offers, for example, can not only run, but also potentially support higher CPAs and commission rates than if they were simply part of a national campaign – good for both the advertiser and the publisher. This improved functionality is allowing Clickbooth to onboard new regional advertisers that previously have been locked out of affiliate marketing, while simultaneously giving existing advertisers and publishers the ability to run more profitable offers in particular state-level geos. The same principle can be extended to multiple targeting parameters within the Clickbooth Exchange. For example, if geographic location does not result in a monetization difference, perhaps traffic type or device type targeting does. Whatever the case, the platform allows advertisers to align payouts correctly with their acquisition strategies.
- Efficiency: using the platform to set up campaigns is fast and intuitive. Things that are sometimes complex on other platforms are simple here. The auto-funding of campaigns via credit card, the ability to set budgets according to the number of conversions or dollars allocated to an offer, and being able to create upsells at the same time as the initial campaign are examples – and it makes for an efficient and productive campaign setup and management tool. For many advertisers accustomed to commodity platforms, the Performance Exchange interface will be a big upgrade.
Clickbooth’s platform represents a step forward in the performance marketing industry. In the first part of this review we saw how the application of Artificial Intelligence to optimization algorithms has driven up to 20% increases in campaign performance. Add to that the increased targeting capabilities and efficiency of the new platform and it makes a compelling case for advertiser adoption.
For us though, the most exciting feature is the ability to vary payouts and align them with Customer Lifetime Value. CLV is the Holy Grail of marketing and the ability to use it as a day-to-day marketing metric forms the basis of many of the massive MarTech company valuations we see today. Clickbooth’s Performance Exchange takes the affiliate marketing industry towards integration with that tech ecosystem and acceptance as part of the standard enterprise-level marketing solution set.
Clickbooth deserves credit for its commitment to the future of the performance marketing industry. They showed it when tackling Essociate two years ago and the Performance Exchange illustrates it again. It is an innovative, effective and efficient platform that offers real performance benefits. We highly recommend it for both publishers and advertisers.