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Advertisers could be wasting £385m a year by failing to de-duplicate across different digital marketing channnels and paying more than once for the same sale.

According to a survey into the issue of de-duplication by TagMan, more than 40% of 50 companies in the digital sector said between 11% and 20% of commissions were duplicate payments.

The estimate of £385m wasted on duplicate payments is based on the size of the UK market, last valued in our Affiliate Marketing Networks Buyer's Guide at £3bn in 2007. It is possible that the sector has grown since then, though we found a trend towards reduced investment in affiliate marketing in our report, possibly due to improvements in measuring and de-duping across channels.

Other stats from the TagMan survey:

  • 20% of the 50 mainly media and marketing agencies surveyed said that between 21% and 30% of commissions were duplicated.
  • 77.5% of respondents said de-duplication had become ‘more important’ or ‘much more important’ to their organisation in the last year and 87.5% said its importance would increase even further in the next 24 months.
  • More than 47% of respondents said client demand would drive de-duplication higher up their agenda with 40% arguing that the onus lay on digital agencies to address the problem.
  • The difficultly involved with tracking multi channel campaigns is behind the problem, and 25% said they hadn’t found a satisfactory solution.

The survey results are similar to what we found in our Affiliate Marketing Survey Report last year. 25% of merchants said they were not de-duping sales across different channels, while 40% said they were trying to do this but struggling.

According to Paul Cook of TagMan:

"This fits with what we are seeing with the companies using TagMan; there are significant levels of duplication, often in the 20% - 30% range. Budgets are being frozen or are shrinking. In hard economic times, people need to look at areas where they can make savings. However, Affiliate Marketing and other CPA channels should do well in a recession as they are measurable and based on performance."

Graham Charlton

Published 29 January, 2009 by Graham Charlton

Graham Charlton is the former Editor-in-Chief at Econsultancy. Follow him on Twitter or connect via Linkedin or Google+

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