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Takeaways from Affiliate Huddle, Brighton 2024

takeaways from affiliate huddle brighton 2024

Chris Tradgett

Affiliate Huddle has become a Spring highlight in the UK affiliate marketing industry calendar, and for 2024 attracted over 1,000 attendees to a not so sunny Brighton. It is a key event for anyone whether an old hand or new to the affiliate world.

Affiliate Huddle 2022

There was a packed agenda as we outlined in our overview post, with excellent content for newer folk to learn from and for old hands to keep up on trends with most sessions being very well attended. Plus of course there was plenty of time for meeting those old friends and networking in the very busy meeting areas. 

Topics covered in this one-day conference included compliance, GA4 and affiliate, publisher problems and of course the effects of AI. Given the changes happening in that core function of our industry in coming months, tracking was the focus of the last morning session.

Tracking and Consent

The tracking and consent panel was one of the best attended sessions at Affiliate Huddle, in a panel moderated by Moonpull’s Steven Brown asking questions of Dominic Butterell of Easyfundraising, Sam Mills of TopCashback and Chris Said of Genie Group.

Affiliate Huddle Brighton 2024 - tracking session

Steve gave an outline of the issues and asked the panel their view on what third-party deprecation will mean for their businesses.  

Dealing with Issues Around Deprecation and Consent

TopCashback shared that they saw around 9% of traffic come through as member transaction queries, which results in time and effort spent trying to resolve the consequences for users. So TopCashback (TCB) have set up a specific role to manage tracking.

Easyfundraising were seeing similar results to Sam’s view and are investing in conquering the challenge of reducing their transaction query rate by working with advertisers and networks to improve the first party tracking implementations.  

Broadband Genie has a small number of advertisers and close relationships with them. Chris Said estimated, on the basis of Moonpull data, that around a 20% shortfall in commissions would result at the time of deprecation if they did not work with advertisers to have workable solutions thereafter. 

Chris and Sam saw this as a big year for their businesses and agreed that each business has an internal objective to understand tracking more fully.  They have invested significantly in educating and training their staff on all matters about tracking.

Slido Questions

The majority of the session followed in response to some solid questions posed by attendees via the Slido app.  A few are discussed below.

How should an affiliate cookie be categorised in a Consent platform?

Chris’s view was that they never want to be seen as though they’re trying to give advice on what an advertiser should be doing with regard to cookies. it’s completely up to them as a business.

Annoyingly, affiliate managers are often not told when website and Consent Management Platform (CMP) changes are being made. So they and publishers should be aware of when changes are made to a CMP as this may affect tracked conversions.

Slido questions at affiliate huddle, Brighton 2024

The request was made that affiliate managers should let their publishers know when these changes happen and that they are monitoring conversion rates. Keep asking questions about what’s happening on the website that may affect tracking.

From TopCasback’s perspective, Sam said “the cashback’s already been consented to, so the users have said ‘yes’ to having that cooking drop when they click through our link. So, for us, if the referrals come from the cashback side, we really should be a necessary cookie.”

TopCashback are already having such conversations with advertisers to implement workable solutions. Sam shared “It was hard at first when we started reaching out but we now have more knowledge and there is more understanding so advertisers are more responsive to those questions.”

Genie are lucky in much closer relationships with a smaller number of advertisers – just 18 in Broadband Genie. Chris shared the insight that ”where issues were flagged up over the last four to six months, those issues have been sorted within a matter of days. So it’s not been a huge concern from our point of view”. 

All three concurred that having tech like Moonpull data makes a big difference in advertiser conversations. As Chris explained: “Rather than being that moaning affiliate talking about conversion rates, the Moonpull data can support your viewpoint and BI. So rather than benchmarking, you can pull off a Moonpull report which tells you exactly what the potential tracking issue is. It’s in a format where an affiliate manager, even if they’re not that tech-savvy can send it to the dev team to make the changes. From my point of view it’s been a lifesaver”.

Is server to server the only tracking that’s truly future proof?

Publishers know that networks are working on different solutions of which server to server is definitely a good solution. Steve pointed out that although server tracking is a very reliable way of setting a first-party cookie for most advertisers, it is not the answer for ‘Tech publishers’ that piggyback within a universal tag – they will still have to get their own tag on to the site.  Many advertisers say that server to server is too difficult to implement, so it’s important to have the javascript option available as well.

Next was a question for Sam:

How much of the 9% queries is confirmed by retailers?

It wasn’t an easy one to guess at but Sam shared that it was very much retailer dependent but about 60% went on to be approved.

Forward Planning for Deprecation 

At the end of the discussions, all three of the panelists agreed they were pleased with their  plans and processes in place for managing Chrome deprecation when it finally rolls out. Furthermore, it was felt that the more advertisers shared information on these issues with affiliates, the better they would be able to plan and work together. Positively, when issues have been pointed out, they generally have been fixed quickly.

The end was the positive conclusion that publishers that plan should be able to see through deprecation satisfactorily with conversations with their main partners being an important component of the process. Those that don’t plan should be slightly nervous going into 2025.

If you would like to see more of how Moonpull can benefit your business, we’d love to hear from you.
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