Performance marketing insights, discussions and expertise

The Big Conversion Tracking Lie

By on January 31, 2012

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The Big Lie: We Must Accept the Breakage

Failure to attribute every referred action is a big issue for performance marketers. The numbers whispered in private conversations cite between 5-30% lost. That’s a big, expensive problem. But a bigger problem is that somewhere along the line we’ve all grown to accept the breakage and believe that technology deficiencies can’t be overcome. The message “this-is-as-good-as-it-gets” is not only a big problem: it’s a big lie.

 

None of us, not even the advertisers that purportedly receive “free” leads or sales, benefit from unattributed conversions.  So why, if sub-standard tracking technology hurts everyone, have the third-party tracking solution providers failed to better their products? What possible arguments have quieted what should be loud, insistent demands for improvement? Given their typical fee structures, the biggest providers of tracking technology have an incentive to track better: they, along with the referral partiers, would collect more money. Instead, the tracking solutions rarely acknowledge the issue.

Even by conservative estimates, the dollar value of uncredited transactions (and associated fees) is staggering. Yet somehow there’s a common belief that tracking breakage is simply a performance marketing fact-of-life. Acceptance is so prevalent that people talk little about tracking.  It’s not glamorous or exciting, but the technology is foundational to the money-making.

Maybe getting credit for 5-10% fewer of referred conversions is just not enough to cause a revolt? Or maybe the networks and other third-party solutions responsible for tracking think the cost of the fix outweighs the benefits? Whatever the reason–Impact Radius thought the “business-as-usual” approach to tracking was unacceptable. We challenged ourselves to fix tracking performance and, as a result, have made significant improvements. So, now when someone else captures some, but not all, of the total referrals sent by a partner, we *know* that tracking solution is incomplete. We don’t believe the big tracking lie.  Neither should you.

Interested in learning more about Impact Radius’ tracking advantage? Drop us a note and we’d be more than happy to show you.

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