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OneTrust and Affiliate Marketing

OneTrust video

Perhaps the biggest company in affiliate you’ve never heard of?

Chris Tradgett

The world of affiliate marketing has been steadily expanding for over two decades, with increasing numbers of technologies and companies involved.

The biggest names are ones we all know such as affiliate networks, major advertisers and the OPMs. OneTrust, who provide a Consent Management Platform (CMP) for cookie consent, is dominant in the affiliate industry, and is a name that most of us have probably not come across.

Its dominance is evident in Moonpull’s data across 1,000 advertisers using affiliate networks from across Europe and the US.  Of the 260 advertisers that Moonpull identifies as having third-party cookie and javascript consent management platforms 58% are using OneTrust.  The next highest share is Cookiebot with 9%.  OneTrust continues to ‘overindex’ – of those CMPs actually requiring consent to set first party affiliate tracking its share is 63%.

OneTrust and affiliate marketing

This is a big deal as Moonpull’s work with publishers suggests that 40% of a typical diversified UK publisher’s referrals will have the first party tracking requiring consent.  We have written [her] about the implications – including financial – of users declining consent.

Privacy and Cookie Compliance

Since the introduction of cookies back in the days of Netscape, user privacy has been a concern for web browser operators. Third-party cookies have long been used to track and understand website visitors’ activities and to present targeted content and advertising. We cover the issues around cookies in some of the other articles on the Moonpull blog.

In Europe, since the regulations of GDPR and more importantly PECR, users have been presented with banners to accept cookies from a website. This picture has been expanding around the world, with now over 20 regulations listed on the OneTrust website:

OneTrust for different market regulations

The OneTrust product range also offers website owners the opportunity to extend to other functionality, beyond the CMP for user consent, to what they term PreferenceChoice.

OneTrust product screen

Indeed preference management appears to provide more flexibility and stronger potential for user acceptance. And there are growing list of other providers which also note a similar functionality.

OneTrust and Other Providers

If you’ve been checking the cookie banners, then you’ll know that there are also many other providers of these technologies. The Gartner review website lists over 30 alternatives to OneTrust, so privacy compliance has become a big sector and still expanding. 

Some providers are more focused on just cookies; others like OneTrust have a more comprehensive set of privacy tools and technologies. From our observations this is a feature that is being adopted by increasing numbers of advertisers globally, even where formal regulation doesn’t yet apply.

It is fascinating to see the range of services from OneTrust, which is not surprising given it has raised $290m of capital that has powered its rise. Some of the biggest alternatives seen by Moonpull in affiliate audits include Didomi, Iubenda, Cookiehub, CookieBot, Nextroll, Trustarc and Tealium. 

Setting Up for Success

As our previous article suggests there are some well established steps to take to ensure that a CMP is set up correctly at the outset. A point that warrants reiterating is that for affiliate to work seamlessly in an advertiser’s website, thinking has to change from just adding ‘the affiliate pixel’ as in days gone by.

Most larger online advertisers are far more complex, often covering multiple markets and currencies and often with different privacy compliance requirements in each case. This means that the affiliate tracking functionality really does need to be considered as an integral part of an advertiser’s overall digital planning. 

Scheduled Auditing

Of course Moonpull is ideally configured to audit CMP integrations with particular regard to how they impact affiliate tracking. As the compliance technologies become more widely applied across US and global markets (as in the OneTrust list above), Moonpull is designed to audit the impact of these compliance mechanisms on affiliate tracking effectiveness and provides a note of which CMP is detected.

CMP detection in Moonpull

As mentioned above, as most larger ecommerce advertiser websites operate across multiple geographic markets, Moonpull provides settings to test different scenarios. For instance, where a Canadian user clicks a link to a US advertiser and is redirected to the CA site. 

Moonpull’s chief executive describes affiliate tracking integrations in a website as having  a ‘half life’. As Moonpull has seen, most advertiser websites are complex and continuously evolving and Moonpull identifies around 5% of tracking changes each month. 

Effective Management

Whether the affiliate manager is in-house or an agency (OPM), both are measured by apparent effectiveness, in volumes of sales reported from affiliate activity. If this is compromised as we estimate in a recent article, then under-reporting can be as high as 14%. 

A Moonpull audit can identify where the issue has arisen. Quick communication of the audit report to the advertiser technical team lets them know the issue in detail – as opposed to the “something’s wrong” complaint they are used to getting.  

From a publisher perspective this is even more important, as under-reporting due to compromised tracking is a significant proportion of profit.  Moonpull data helps agencies and publishers by providing quantitative information that can be utilised in commercial conversations when tracking is not effective, including that due to declined user consent.

If you would like to see more of how Moonpull can benefit your own business, we’d love to hear from you.
Please drop us a line on the Contact page


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