Customer Journey

The way to transactions -
and why "pull" isn`t everything

Last Cookie wins

Critical for an efficient online marketing strategy is the optimal combination and interaction of various online marketing tools. With the common 'last- cookie- wins' principle, the majority of ecommerce advertisers sales success is attributed to recent media exposure.

This form of tracking, however, ignores the influence of upstream customer touch points and more importantly, the initial sales process, which significantly affects the sales success.


In the majority of cases search engines are used towards the end of a „customer journey“ when the customer already knows what he wants he would like to complete his transaction as soon as a brand name or product has been entered. The conversion time usually takes only a few minutes.

Anyone who exclusively responds to this demand capacity (Pull) is very limited in utilizing the online sales potential.

It is crucial to use a combination of various instruments such as display media, product search, newsletter, social media, etc. to achieve the best possible output.

Only an analysis of all advertising contacts forces acting upon the transaction and reveals how one can obtain the best possible sales from a budget.

When you take a closer look at the benefits in affiliate marketing you will notice that display media is used very sparingly. Most associates are committed to placing the 'last cookie' to search-related services to claim the following sales for themselves. The result being affiliate activity, whose profit value for an advertiser needs to be seriously questioned.

Most affiliates focus on pull marketing strategies and derive better profits, yet are not motivated to utilize push instruments such as display media to establish new demand potential.

Commission Split

A professional customer journey tracking system records the proportionate participation of a consumer transaction and helps to allocate the sales success according to the actual cause of a sale.

This is of particular importance for commission-based collaborations with affiliates, which until now had been done through large affiliate networks, which are not performance based.
In fact, such associate benefits are paid into other types of benefits or they benefit from other instruments such as SEM activities or display campaigns.

Postclick vs. Postview

Due to its push character, display marketing is all too often placed at the beginning of the customer journey and usually remains unnoticed with the 'last cookie wins' concept, thus only a fraction of the actual performance is compensated.

In addition, many advertisers apply the rule that only post-click-based sales are compensated and that the click is a necessary prerequisite for a sale attribution and the sale tracking.
This implies that the mere sight of a banner has no relevant influence on the purchasing behavior of the user. Thus, one could question the entire advertising industry!


Various international studies, to include Comscore, show the effect of the promotional banner view contacts without prior clicking. Particularly because of its push character, the click on display media, although a relevant benchmark for assessing the significance of an advertising environment or the response effect of an banner design, it should not be the basis for the sales attributes.

Mobile device users viewing a Vodafone banner advertised on the Internet several times a week that do not click, supposedly is due to the fact that the user is not picked up at the right time. Still a relevant part of the users perceive the advertisement and respond on subsequent visits or type directly in the search engine to return to the advertisement.

Very often general brand awareness leads the customer back to the Advertiser, either by using the brand name of the company or directly visiting to the shop. This leaves associate benefits unsettled, which dampens the level of affiliate activity for providing further services initialized by demand display media.

The first attempt to consider the view-to-sale effects were made 2007 by KUPONA and strongly promoted on the German market. The use of so-called view cookies were already placed with the appearance of a banner. The cookie tracking settings were set to low priority for advertisers so that in the presence of cookies, the view cookie does not override the click cookie. This avoids a cannibalization of click cookies by view cookies and similar types of activities which generate a click when the sales attribute has priority.


Since then display media affiliates on CPO basis have the chance to work profitably. However, this model only takes into account those sales on the customer journey where there is no click. Once one of the touch points gets a click, the associate loses his entitlement to compensation, despite the multiple display views in advance.

A professional customer journey tracking system provides fair solutions for source-related compensation on a pro rata participation on sales.

In this case, a display media associate is proportionately rewarded for his view contacts through the customer journey, which leads to a balanced partnership dedication. This means even push instruments, which have an important growth feature for ecommerce advertisers, being CPO-oriented, would be used more often and lead to a real win-win relationship between advertisers and associates. The associate participates in performance-related sales achieved and the advertiser can increase sales.

Hendrik Seifert
Managing Director
Hendrik Seifert
Kothenbachweg 6
36041 Fulda - Germany

Fax +49 (0) 661 / 480 275 – 69

+49 (0) 661/ 480 275 – 19