We spoke to Tradedoubler’s Corin Ward, Technical Project Manager, for our Cracking Tracking: Network Q&A.


In one sentence, what makes your tracking so good?
Tradedoubler’s 25 years of experience, using a conversion focus approach, with a robust Application Programming Interface (API) suite – tailored around our tracking and ability to automatically adapt to new challenges means we’re confident we can fulfil our client’s needs.


Now explain to me how it works as if I’m a five-year-old…
You’re viewing your favourite website, see a pair of trainers you want to buy online, you click on a unique Tradedoubler link and arrive at the product. Tradedoubler then tracks the journey of this purchase from start to finish so the client can see at a glance how the purchase was made and the publisher can be paid as a thank you for introducing the sale. If anyone tries to block the flow of information about the sale, Tradedoubler’s tracking system has the flexibility to change and provide back up to ensure the sale is tracked and the publisher is paid.


How are we going to get rid of third-party cookies from the affiliate channel once and for all?
Tradedoubler has moved on from third-party cookies: we introduced support for first-party cookies over 15 years and migrated all our clients to first party cookie tracking in 2019. This is extended by external first party identifiers (hashed email addresses) and cookie-less tracking; used to maximise tracking coverage – especially in situations where cookies cannot be used (such as QR codes, web-to-app or offline conversions)..


What should best-in-class tracking do?
Best-in-class tracking should constantly evolve and be prepared for changes before they happen. The best tracking doesn’t focus too much on one area. Tracking with first-party cookies is the strongest tracking available and server-to-server integrations can get around privacy/blocking issues but it’s important not to neglect other forms of tracking (such as Cross Device tracking, finger-printing, AI/machine learning etc). It’s also key for tracking to plug in effectively with Data Privacy – configuring Consent Management Platforms (CMP) to maximise tracking coverage while also being GDPR compliant is vital to keeping tracking in a healthy state.


Tell us some of the work you’re doing to push its adoption.
Tradedoubler has constantly innovated to remain ahead of the curve. Over the last few years we have added more and more functionality to our tracking, including anti-ad blocking, fallback tracking, consent toggles as well as many others. On the subject of consent, we are looking at a business level at getting the most out of consent management. This includes native tracking support, educating advertisers and publishers on the best setups and regular monitoring of sites to minimise risk of tracking loss.


App tracking tends to get overlooked. What are you doing to make sure it doesn’t?
Contractually, we consider app tracking to be a part of the client’s tracking service. For all clients with app capabilities, we have developed integrations with their chosen Mobile Measurement Platform (MMP) so we can track in-app. For clients without an MMP, we have proprietary SDKs and support S2S app integrations to make sure conversions are counted.


There’s so much confusion about tracking because every network uses different terms. Is it essentially all the same?
In essence all affiliate networks are trying to solve the same problem, Tradedoubler believes the way forward is providing a solution offering control and visibility to brands, enabling understanding of the driving force behind what makes the tracking work effectively.


What does the future of affiliate tracking look like?
While the future will likely include more restrictions on how we can track, it is difficult to say for sure exactly what will change. To that end, affiliate networks need to keep a flexible approach and try to keep one step ahead. Investing in other technologies, such as AI and machine learning, is also vital to remaining relevant. We don’t want to spoil the surprise, but Tradedoubler also has a major tracking solution launching this summer. Stay tuned for more.


Thank you to Corin, if you have any questions or would like to get in touch, please email him.