WO2010034311A1 - A computer implemented automatic advertising campaign optimizer system - Google Patents

A computer implemented automatic advertising campaign optimizer system

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Publication number
WO2010034311A1
WO2010034311A1 PCT/DK2008/050239 DK2008050239W WO2010034311A1 WO 2010034311 A1 WO2010034311 A1 WO 2010034311A1 DK 2008050239 W DK2008050239 W DK 2008050239W WO 2010034311 A1 WO2010034311 A1 WO 2010034311A1
Authority
WO
Grant status
Application
Patent type
Prior art keywords
information
affiliate
user
shop
network
Prior art date
Application number
PCT/DK2008/050239
Other languages
French (fr)
Inventor
Mads Ellegaard
Jonathan LØW
Original Assignee
Agoodcause A/S
Priority date (The priority date is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the date listed.)
Filing date
Publication date

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Classifications

    • GPHYSICS
    • G06COMPUTING; CALCULATING; COUNTING
    • G06QDATA PROCESSING SYSTEMS OR METHODS, SPECIALLY ADAPTED FOR ADMINISTRATIVE, COMMERCIAL, FINANCIAL, MANAGERIAL, SUPERVISORY OR FORECASTING PURPOSES; SYSTEMS OR METHODS SPECIALLY ADAPTED FOR ADMINISTRATIVE, COMMERCIAL, FINANCIAL, MANAGERIAL, SUPERVISORY OR FORECASTING PURPOSES, NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • G06Q30/00Commerce, e.g. shopping or e-commerce
    • G06Q30/02Marketing, e.g. market research and analysis, surveying, promotions, advertising, buyer profiling, customer management or rewards; Price estimation or determination

Abstract

There is disclosed a computer implemented automatic advertising campaign optimizer system. The system comprises a database comprising information about a plurality of advertisers. The system comprises means for downloading from a plurality of affiliate networks and/or own information about advertisers participating in said networks, means for assigning and storing a unique identifier for each advertiser participating in said networks in said database, means for storing additional information about each advertiser, said additional information comprising information about sales commission and/or referral fee as well as information identifying the advertiser in a network. The system furthermore comprises means for performing a first evaluation evaluating the downloaded information about sales commission with respect to the existing information about sales commission and/or referral fee, and means for updating said information identifying the advertiser in the network as well as said information about sales commission and/or referral fee if said first evaluation reveals that downloaded information about sales commission represents a more favourable sales commission.

Description

A computer implemented automatic advertising campaign optimizer system.

The present invention relates to a method for handling and op- timizing advertising campaigns, in particular but not exclusively on the World Wide Web.

This goes for campaigns run by a publisher who has made the campaign contract directly with the advertiser and/or using an intermedia to provide the relationship between advertiser and publisher. An intermedia in this context is a provider of a service via which advertisers, who wish to have an advertising campaign exposed on the World Wide Web or other digital channels and/or media, are matched with publishers who have the necessary advertising space. The intermedia communicate adverts from the advertiser so that publishers can in- elude them in their digital media. If no intermedia is used and the contract is engaged directly between a publisher and an advertiser, the process is basically the same. The important thing is that a user sees an advertising that is via link and/or branding connected to an advertiser, e.g. on the home page, in the newsletter or any other digital media of a publisher. The advertising could have the form of, e.g. a banner or a searchable key word, or a text, but it is not limited to this. The adverts are typically clickable or can in other ways make the user connect to more information from and/or about the advertiser and/or products and/or services. E.g. so that when clicked by a computer user browsing the world wide web, the user is sent to a predetermined site of the advertiser, e.g. a) an on-line shop where services or goods can be purchased, b) a service that the user can sign up for or c) any other relationship between the user and the site that the user is sent to when clicking on the advertising. Affiliate networks are one type of intermedia. The click, the visit and the potential purchase of the user is tracked so that when the advert is clicked and the user is sent from the publisher to the desired page of the advertiser, e.g. the entry page to the shop or the final pages after a sales transaction has been completed, the publisher having coupled the user to the advertisers e.g. service, website, shop is recognised. This is furthermore registered so the advertiser remunerates whoever is entitled, e.g. the publisher and the affiliate taking a share of the transaction or a fixed amount thereof or a fixed amount per user sent to a certain page. In this way, the registration is used for measuring the success of the advertising.

The assignee of the present application provides an internet service publishing advertisings to internet users in the following the assignee will thus be referred to as the publisher.

The publishing works through agreements concluded with on- line shops and/or online service sites (hereafter referred to as "shop", "online shop" or advertiser) where the publisher acts as an intermediary between users and shops. The publisher can also be making publishing agreements with advertisers through affiliate networks, the publisher himself providing an affiliate network or acting as a broker between shops and affiliate networks, in order to enhance exposure of the shops. One way of providing this enhanced exposure is using a downloadable browser plug-in (downloadable from L)RL: http://www.engodsag.dk), where the user who has the plug-in installed, can decide that from the amount he/she pays a participating on-line shop for a purchase, a dona- tion is to be given to a recipient charity organisation selected by him from a number of predetermined charity organisations. The donation may be a percentage or fixed amount, depending on the agreement between the participating shop and publisher. In the following such an agreement between a participating shop and the publisher is referred to as a campaign. Another way is the provision of web portals with tracking links to campaigning shops.

The publisher cooperates with affiliate networks for several purposes. One is to establish contact to as many advertisers in the form of on-line shops as possible. Another is to track the success and the in- come from the shops. Furthermore the affiliate network is used as an invoicing service. In this way, the publisher concludes own agreements with various affiliate networks, the affiliate network paying the publisher for sending users and/or customers to the advertisers of that specific affiliate network. The sending of the users and customers can be effected via the plug-in or using a portal operated by the publisher, where participating advertisers are listed and where users may select a shop, which will donate.

For managing the shops, a back end system including a data- base in, which data is stored about all participating shops, each shop being identified by a unique number, is operated and kept by the publisher. From the back end system the plug-in installed on the user's computer pulls data about the shops for which campaigns currently exist. The plug-in first pulls the data upon installation, and subsequently at appropriate times, e.g. every one or two hours or every time the plug-in is activated to keep the information about the shops up to date.

When the user visits the site or a web page of a shop for which a campaign exists, the shop is recognized by the plug-in, and the user is visiting a loyalty page where he/she is reminded about the possibility of making a donation when buying from this shop. On the loyalty page he/she can make a decision to initiate a donation enabling a data process raising new funds to the charity chosen at the time of the download or chosen at a later point in the list of settings related to the function of the plug-in. When choosing to initiate the possibility of the donation and thus leaving the loyalty page and moving on to the advertiser's media, a cookie is being placed on the user's computer, indicating a visit to the advertiser. The cookie is valid for a predetermined time e.g. 45 days allowing the user to be recognised if he/she returns and concludes a transaction, i.e. actually buys something from the shop and/or signs up for a service defined in the campaign agreement between the publisher and the advertiser. Thus even if the user does not conclude a transaction or a commission generating act, at the first visit he/she may still be recognized, and a donation be made if he returns within 45 days. From the loyalty page the user is then sent to the shop via a tracking link, which is registered by the affiliate network.

On the final transaction page or confirmation page of the shops, a short piece of code, in the following referred to as a tracking pixel, is provided. The tracking pixel on the transaction page in combination with the cookie placed on the user's computer is recognized and indicates that a transaction has taken place, in which case information about order id, amount and commodity is sent to the affiliate network.

On a report basis the affiliate network settles the remuneration between the shop and with the publisher. On a report basis the publisher then settles the remuneration with a charity organisation as identified by the user on the intermediate page, using data from the affiliate network relating to order and amount.

Handling campaigns this way, however, involves substantial technical problems. There are several reasons for this. One being that the data structures used by the various affiliate networks differ. Another problem is that shops may occur in several affiliate networks concurrently. Having different agreements between the publisher and/or the advertiser and the various affiliate networks entails that the sales commission returned to the publisher per transaction may differ depending on the affiliate network, thus making it difficult or even impossible to select the most profitable affiliate network among those in which an advertiser, such as a shop, exists.

Moreover, the prior art display of the loyalty page and the placing of a cookie on the user's computer, has some undesired limitations. In order to ensure good cooperation with the affiliate networks, and loyal competition on the advertising marked. In order not to collect commissions, to which others, i.e. another publisher working with the same affiliate network would feel entitled to based on branch standards or policies of the affiliate network, precautions need to be taken to ensure that cookies placed by others are not always replaced or overwritten. This, however, involves technical problems, because some affiliate networks use hidden redirects. That is to say when the user clicks a banner using his/her browser, then the user is sent through one or more web addresses and pages which are not visible in the browser, and in many cases even hidden to browser plug-ins.

Based on this background it is the object of the invention to provide a computer implemented automatic advertising campaign optimizer system, allowing the handling of large numbers of advertisers, such a shops, in several affiliate networks and/or own networks, large numbers meaning from hundreds till several thousands.

According to a first aspect of the invention, there is thus provided a computer implemented automatic advertising campaign optimizer system, said system comprising at least one computer, and said system comprising a database on said computer, said database comprising information about a plurality of advertisers, said system having: means for downloading from a plurality of affiliate networks and/or own networks information about shops and other advertisers participating in said networks, means for assigning and storing a unique identifier for each advertiser participating in said affiliate networks and/or own networks in said database, means for storing additional information about each shop and/or advertiser, said additional information comprising information about sales commission and/or referral fee as well as information identifying the advertiser in an affiliate network and/or other net- work, means for performing a first evaluation evaluating the downloaded information about sales commission and/or referral fee with respect to the existing information about sales commission and/or referral fee, and means for updating said information identifying the advertiser in the affiliate network and/or own network as well as said information about sales commission if said first evaluation reveals that downloaded information about sales commission represents a more favourable sales commission. The use of such a method ensures that for all possible campaigns existing for an advertiser, the most profitable i.e. the one resulting in the highest financial outcome for the publisher is automatically selected.

According to a preferred embodiment of the present invention, said unique identifier is the L)RL of the advertiser. Using the L)RL as a unique identifier is preferable, as this is independent of which affiliate network the information is retrieved from. According to another preferred embodiment of the present invention, said additional information relates to image data of a logo, and said system further comprises: means for performing a second evaluation, evaluating the additional information with respect to existing image data, and means for updating said additional information relating to said image data if said second evaluation of the image data reveals that additional information relates to a better image of the logo. This allows the best logo image data to be present in the database and hence the upload of the best logo image data to the plug-in for presentation to the user. According to a further preferred embodiment, a regex-code is generated based on the stored unique identifier. The generated regex- code may then be uploaded to the plug-in for easy identification of the shop as involved in a campaign, and allowing redirection of the user to the loyalty page. According to yet another preferred embodiment of the invention said first evaluation is based on historical data on the number of visits, number of transactions, and turnover in a predetermined period, preferably previous month.

According to the currently preferred embodiment said first evaluation is based on the calculation of a campaign value using the following formula:

Campaign value =

(number of visiting customers pervious period x price per visit) + (number of closed transactions previous period x price per transaction)

+ (turnover previous period x percentage of turnover),

where price per visit, price per transaction, and percentage of turnover are the values of the current campaign.

According to an alternative embodiment, however, first evaluation is based on the calculation of a campaign value using the following formula:

Campaign value =

(number of closed transactions previous period x price per transaction)

+ (turnover previous period x percentage of turnover), where price per transaction and percentage of turnover are the values of the current campaign.

According to another aspect of the present invention, there is provided a data structure for handling campaign information retrieved from affiliate networks, said data structure comprising a program name field, an ID field, a logo L)RL field, a short description field, a category field, a text link field, an advertiser L)RL field, a sales commission field, a campaign status field, and a country field.

This constitutes the data necessary to handle the shops in the database, to provide prioritized portal information, to provide sufficient information for the loyalty page, and for the plug-in loyalty thereto.

However, because the present invention relies on data supplied from inter alia external publishers' networks such as affiliate networks, a further problem arises. The problem being that the affiliate networks are unwilling to supply data, unless it can be guaranteed that these data are not used in connections challenging or overwriting the other publishers' rights to earnings, based on agreements with the same affiliate network. Thus, it is a further object of the invention to provide a computer implemented automatic advertising campaign optimizer system, which provides optimum respect for other referrers' carriers of user- behaviour information.

According to another aspect of the invention, there is provided a computer implemented automatic advertising campaign optimizer system, said system comprising at least one user computer, and said sys- tern comprising a plug-in for a browser software running on said user computer, said plug-in comprising means for detecting a unique identifier of a visited web page belonging to an advertiser, said plug-in comprising means for placing on said user computer a carrier of user- behaviour information relating to said visited web page, said plug-in comprises a list of unique identifiers, wherein said means for placing a carrier of user-behaviour information is adapted to suppress the publisher's possibility of earning an amout based on the user's visits and/or suppress the possibility of earning a commission i.e. through the placing of a carrier of user-behaviour information on said user computer if a car- rier of user-behaviour information relating to a unique identifier of the referrer, has been stored on the computer within a first predetermined time period before display of the web page belonging to the advertiser.

In a preferred embodiment, the first predetermined period is less than one minute, preferably 10 seconds. This time period has turned out to be sufficient with regard to typical referrals, which would normally not take this long, even if going through multiple referrals.

In a further preferred embodiment, said plug-in further comprises means for storing information indicating that the suppression of the placing of a carrier of user-behaviour information for a unique identifier has taken place, and means for maintaining this information for a second predetermined time period. Hereby it is ensured, that the carrier of user-behaviour information identified by the publisher as a referrer's claim to a commission and/or other income relating to the user's behav- iour relating to the advertiser is kept, even when returning to a shop or advertiser via other routes than the referral.

In another preferred embodiment, said second time period is less than 60 days, preferably 45 days. This matches typical lifetimes of carriers of user-behaviour information of this nature. In another preferred embodiment said carrier of user-behaviour information is a cookie. Cookies are a well established means for storing such user-behaviour information, and thus easy to implement.

The invention will now be described in greater detail based on exemplary non-limiting embodiments, and with reference to the draw- ings, on which. fig. 1 is a block diagram illustrating an embodiment of a part of the system according to the invention, and fig. 2 is a block diagram illustrating an embodiment of a method used in another part of the system according to the invention. Fig. 1 illustrates a system including an embodiment of the present invention. The system comprises a number of advertisers, here referred to as shops 1, 2, 3, 4 participating in a number of networks and/or databases called "affiliate networks" 5, 6. For illustration purposes only four shops 1, 2, 3, 4 and two affiliate networks 5, 6 are illus- trated. The skilled person, however, will understand that in real life the actual numbers will be far larger, e.g. thousands of shops and hundreds or even thousands of affiliate networks. It can be seen that shops 1, 2, 3 participate in affiliate network 5, and that shops 1, 2, 4 form part of af- filiate network 6. It should be noted that shop 2 participates in both affiliate network 5 and in affiliate network 6.

From these affiliate networks 5, 6, the publisher 7 receives information about the participating shops 1, 2, 3, 4. For this information to be useful, it must match a data structure according to the present inven- tion allowing the publisher 7 to manage the shops 1, 2, 3, 4 and the affiliate networks 5, 6. The data structure allows the publisher 7 to digest and upload, in block 11, the necessary information to a user plug-in installed on a user's computer, in order to allow the recognition of campaigning shops, so that the user is asked to make a donation from the shop possible, e.g. via a loyalty page. The data structure also provides the publisher 7 with sufficient information to establish a web portal or any other kind of digital advertising media and/or channel with properly digested information about campaigning shops 1, 2, 3, 4, e.g. listed in categories, prioritized according to campaign value etc. For this purpose the data structure according to the invention comprises: a program name field, an ID field, a logo L)RL field, a short description field, a category field, a text link field, an advertiser L)RL field, a sales commission field, a campaign status field, and a country field. As many as possible of these fields are read into a database with this structure when a new shop is first created in the database, some of the fields must have information in order for the shop to be created, some of the fields are fixed upon creation and the information therein cannot be altered, whereas the information in other fields may be up- dated automatically, manually or both.

Since these are only descriptive names of fields, their content will be described below.

Program name: This field contains the name of the advertiser. The name may vary depending on which affiliate network 5, 6 the infor- mation was supplied by.

ID: This field contains the advertiser's identification number in a specific affiliate network and is used when updating the information in order to ensure that date for the correct shop is updated. In case a unique identification number is not available from the affiliate network or the network, then the ID will automatically be created by the system and/or it can be provided manually. This information cannot be changed.

Logo URL: This field contains information relating to the image data of a logo. Preferably, the information is the L)RL where a logo for the specific shop is located. This field may be left blank upon creation of a new shop if not supplied by the affiliate network 5, 6. If supplied, it may subsequently be altered automatically if the L)RL is changed, or if a L)RL directing to a better image is found, e.g. via a different affiliate network 5, 6. In an alternative, currently less preferred, embodiment, the data of the logo itself could be stored, rather than L)RL thereof. Any logo that has been provided can be locked manually, so that this logo remains the one that will be used even if new logos are provided.

Short description: This field contains a short written description of the shop. If nothing is supplied, it may be left blank or if an ear- Her description exists, then it will be used. This field may also be changed if a changed description is supplied. Any description that has been provided can be locked manually, so that this description remains the one that will be used even if new descriptions are provided.

Category: This field contains a category of the shop e.g. auto- mobiles, electronics, books. It may be left blank, in which case the shop will be categorized as miscellaneous. This field may require specific attention, or even manual intervention as not all affiliate networks 5, 6 use the same categories and these may moreover differ form the ones used by the publisher 7. Textlink: This is the redirect link used for the shop. This field is part of the digest uploaded to the user plug-in. This field must be filled in upon creation, otherwise the user cannot be sent to a loyalty page by the plug-in, and no commission can be earned by the publisher.

Advertiser URL: This is the unique identifier for the shop, and will not normally be changed. The unique identifier is not necessarily a L)RL, but can be any appropriate identifier. It is used in conjunction with shop ID for the identification when updating. If the shop 1, 2, 3, 4 has a shop ID with the affiliate network 5, 6 this is used for matching future updates from this specific affiliate network 5, 6. However, as a shop 2 may occur in several affiliate networks 5, 6 the advertiser L)RL is used to check whether a shop 1, 2, 3, 4 already exists as the database should only contain one instance of the shop 1, 2, 3, 4. However as will be explained below the database record for this shop may be modified if an evaluation determines that a different affiliate network 5, 6 yields a better sales commission. Based on this field a regex-code is generated.

The regex-code forms part of the digest uploaded to the user plug-in in order to allow it to recognize the shop. The regex-code may be updated manually. Sales commission: This field indicates the commission received from the affiliate network 5, 6, e.g. as a fixed amount per transaction or a sales percentage.

Campaign status: This field indicates the status of a shop 1, 2, 3, 4 as published or unpublished, i.e. whether an agreement between the publisher 7 and the shop 1, 2, 3, 4 exists. Moreover, as a shop 1, 2, 3, 4 may be part of several affiliate networks 5, 6 at the same time, but not necessarily advertising via all of them all of the time, the status is dynamic. If a shop is advertising via several affiliate networks concurrently, the evaluation of the sales commission indicates which one should be published. Only the published shops 1, 2, 3, 4 form part of the digest uploaded to the user plug-in.

Country: This field indicates the language of the shop, and cannot be changed.

Returning now to the block diagram of fig. 1, it is illustrated that information is received from various affiliate networks 5, 6 in the shop feed block 8. For each affiliate network 5, 6 it is checked whether new shops should be created, e.g. because new shops have become part of that affiliate network or because this is an entirely new affiliate network from which information is received for the first time. This is checked us- ing a unique identifier, in the preferred embodiment the L)RL of the shop stored in the shop L)RL field. It is also checked whether existing shops 1,

2, 3, 4 have since the last time information was received concluded an agreement with the publisher 7, i.e. a campaign, and should now have their status changed to published in the campaign status field. If new shops have been created, with which no campaigns exist, they are as such of interest for the publisher 7, who is interested in as many campaigns as possible within certain criteria, in order to earn as much money as possible. It is also checked if new information has appeared i.e. regarding the commission or the date of termination of the campaign. If a campaign is running out from one affiliate network on the date of the update, then the campaign is removed from the services presented to the users, but the data about the campaign that has ended is kept to make sure that all data is available if the advertisers start a cam- paign at a later point in time. If the same advertiser is running a campaign that is still going on from another affiliate network, then this campaign will be replacing the one running out. However, not all shops or other advertisers 1, 2, 3, 4 participating in an affiliate network 5, 6 are compatible with the object of donating for charity and those will be fil- tered out in an ethical filter 9.

Furthermore, if information about a shop 1, 2, 3, 4 provided by a specific network has changed, such information is updated as indicated in the description of the specific fields above. However, for some fields it may be of interest to update them with information from a different af- filiate network 5, 6. This is in particular true for the logo of a shop 1, 2,

3, 4. The logo and/or the name of a shop 1, 2, 3, 4 is inter alia shown to the user on the loyalty page where he/she is asked to actively decide if donations should be given to one or more charity organisations or as a result of the users online behaviour relating to the advertiser. The logo and/or name of the organisation is also displayed. Here, the presentation of the shop 1, 2, 3, 4 is important, and hence the image quality of the logo displayed.

If better image data is available, it would therefore store information about the better data in the logo L)RL field, be it as a copy of the image data itself or as preferred as a L)RL indicating the location of the image data. Thus, when updating the shop L)RL field, information relating to better data should be kept and information relating to poorer data should be replaced by information relating to better data. The database also holds information about sales commission and on the campaign status, i.e. on which affiliate network the shop is published, i.e. which agreement with which affiliate network is used when creating a tracking link to a shop, be it from the intermediate page generated by the plug-in or from the portal. Since a shop 2 can exist in a number of different affiliate networks 5, 6, a number of different potential or alternative campaigns exist. As an example, when a user is redirected to shop 2 via a tracking link from affiliate network 5, the agreement could be that the donations achieved could be based on a percentage of the total sales to that user. Alternatively, if the user is redirected to shop 2 via a tracking link from affiliate network 6 the agreement could be that the donations achieved could be based on a fixed amount per concluded sales transaction of the total sales to that user. Other agreements could exist, such as payment visit be it per visitor or as unique visitor within the validity of the cookie, irrespective of whether a sales transaction is concluded or not. The back end system holds information about such alternatives and evaluates them in order to select for publishing, in block 10, only the one yielding highest revenue for the publisher 7 and thus the receiving charity organisations. Since a shop does not necessarily advertise on a given af- filiate network continuously, but rather advertises for limited periods, the evaluation of the campaigns has to take place continuously or at least at short intervals, e.g. every hour or two, in order for updated information to digests to be available for the plug-in and the portal.

Another factor, which is preferably taken into account when evaluating the potential campaigns, is the historical experience with the specific shop 2. The necessary historical information for such an evaluation is provided by the affiliate networks to the donation provider. As indicated above, there are three basic ways of determining gaining the revenue, pay per visit, fixed payment per concluded sale, and percent- age of turnover. Having historical data available for a predetermined prior period, say one month or the pervious calendar month, an estimate of a campaign value can be calculated and used for evaluation. Depending on whether visits are remunerated, an expected campaign value could be calculated as:

Campaign value = (number of closed transactions previous period x price per transaction)

+ (turnover previous period x percentage of turnover),

or alternatively as

Campaign value = (number of visiting customers previous period x price per visit) +

(number of closed transactions previous period x price per transaction)

+ (turnover previous period x percentage of turnover),

where the price per visit, the price per transaction and percentage of turnover are the values for current campaigns.

The formulae may be applied to all current affiliate networks 5, 6 in which the shop occurs, and campaign values be calculated for each. This not only allows the selection of the presumably most yielding cam- paign for publishing, but also the provision of alternatives for publishing if the campaign selected for publishing expires.

To resolve any ambiguity occurring if two alternatives appear to yield the same, the back end may include a prioritized list of affiliate networks 5, 6 based on other criteria, such as the publisher's own agreements, which in this respect also may be seen as an affiliate network, or affiliate networks which the publisher 7 for other reasons prefer to cooperate with.

Having established records for all shops 1, 2, 3, 4 in the database and performed for each one of them the evaluation of which cam- paign is likely to yield most, the information digest can be made and uploaded to the plug-in or used for the portal. Though reference is made to the portal, it should be needless to say that more than one can exist and be maintained using the information digest. Such portals may even be provided by third parties and/or just be one advert from the system exposed to the user in another digital media. Thus the data about the preferred advertising campaign can also be distributed completely or partially across more publishers and/or media.

The data structure allows the publisher 7 to digest and upload to a user plug-in for a browser installed on a user's computer, lists of URL's which should be protected against replacement and overwriting of cookies, as such cookies can be regarded as a third party claim to a commission.

In this respect the plug-in comprises means for storing such a list of URL's, in the following referred to as exclusion list, allowing the browser to recognize referrers, the cookies from which should not be replaced or overwritten.

When arriving at a shop 1, 2, 3, 4, which is part of a campaign and displaying a page thereof in the browser, the plug-in would identify the URL of the shop 1, 2, 3, 4 and normally display the loyalty page and place a cookie on the user's computer.

However, as mutual cooperation between the publisher 7 and the affiliate network is important, the publisher 7, does not want to deprive the affiliate network of its profit for referring to the shop 1, 2, 3 4, e.g. by overwriting or replacing the cookie relating to the shop URL. Thus, when a user browses to the shop 1, 2, 3, 4, through an advertising presented by a defined publisher, media, media agency, affiliate network or by any other defined referrer, then it is important that the plug- in recognizes this. If the last page visited before arriving at the shop is on the exclusion list, the plug-in suppresses the display of the loyalty page and placing of its own cookie.

Often however, it's it not possible to identify the referrer this way, because affiliate networks and/or other publishers may use hidden redirects, meaning that when the user presses an advert, such as a ban- ner, his/her browser is sent via one or hidden referrals which are not visible in the browser, and in some cases even are invisible to plug-ins.

Fig. 2 illustrates a method executed by the plug-in on the user's computer to overcome this problem. The method starts in oval 100. In box 101 the plug-in of the system according to the invention looks at all cookies placed on the user's computer during a first predetermined time period before arrival at the shop 1, 2, 3, 4, rather than simply looking at the last L)RL visited. Typically, the first predetermined time period is less than a minute, preferably about 10 seconds. If one or more of the cookies are identified by the plug-in as relating to a L)RL matching a L)RL on the exclusion list, the display of the loyalty page is suppressed and instead of placing a cookie on the user's computer, the cookie relating to the L)RL of the exclusion list is left untouched.

Moreover, the plug-in comprises means for storing information about this, e.g. in the form of a flag or the like, set in box 102. That is, if the display of the loyalty page and the placing of a cookie is suppressed because a cookie relating to a L)RL matching one on the exclusion list, then information of this is stored for a second predetermined time period. After setting the flag in box 102, the user is then sent to the adver- tiser's page in box 103.

Having set the flag in box 103, this has the effect that if the user then returns to the shop within this second predetermined period without referral, and thus passes through the box 101 to the box 104, the existing cookie is still recognised as excluded, even if the check in box 101 of cookies stored within the first predetermined period would not identify the cookie as relating to an L)RL of the exclusion list. Thus, even if the user arrives at the shop 1, 2, 3, 4 in a way, which would normally cause the plug-in to display the loyalty page in box 105 this does not happen, and the cookie of the referrer remains untouched in box 106. Typically, the second predetermined period would be less than 60 days, preferably 45 days.

If on the other hand, the decisions carried out in boxes 101 and 103 do not reveal that the display of the loyalty page should be suppressed, it is displayed in box 105 and the cookie is placed on the user's computer in box 106.

As set out above, the present invention thus constitutes an efficient way of handling affiliate networks and the data from these. It should be noted though that the examples of embodiments should not be considered limiting for the invention. Rather, the skilled person will realise that numerous variations and modifications are possible within the scope of the invention as set out in the claims. In particular the skilled person will also realise that the use of URL's, cookies and shops in the embodiments are merely examples, and that more general concepts such as any unique identifier, any carrier of user-behaviour information, and any advertiser, respectively, as expressed in the claims, could be used instead. Moreover, the skilled person will also realise that other ways of evaluating the historical data could be used, e.g. based on any appropriate time period and taking into account other parameters. The skilled person will also realise that the system is not restricted to donation collection, but could be used by any one providing an enhanced access to affiliate networks and exposure of shops or other types of advertisers.

Claims

P A T E N T C L A I M S
1. A computer implemented automatic advertising campaign optimizer system, said system comprising at least one computer, and said system comprising a database on said computer, said database comprising information about a plurality of advertisers, said system having: means for downloading from a plurality of affiliate networks and/or own networks information about shops and other advertisers participating in said networks, means for assigning and storing a unique identifier for each advertiser participating in said affiliate networks and/or own networks in said database, means for storing additional information about each advertiser, said additional information comprising information about sales commis- sion and/or referral fee, as well as information identifying the advertiser in an affiliate network and/or own network, means for performing a first evaluation evaluating the downloaded information about sales commission and/or referral fee with respect to the existing information about sales commission and/or refer- ral fee, and means for updating said information identifying the advertiser in the affiliate network and/or own network as well as said information about sales commission and/or referral fee if said first evaluation reveals that downloaded information about sales commission and/or referral fee represents a more favourable sales commission.
2. A system according to claim 1, wherein said first evaluation is based on historical data on number of visits, number of transactions, and turnover in a predetermined period, preferably pervious month.
3. A system according to claim 2, wherein said first evaluation is based on the calculation of a campaign value using the following formula: Campaign value = (number of closed transactions pervious period x price per transaction)
+ (turnover previous period x percentage of turnover),
where price per transaction, and percentage of turnover are the values of the current campaign.
4. A system according to claim 2, wherein said first evaluation is based on the calculation of a campaign value using the following formula:
Campaign value =
(number of visiting costumers previous period x price per visit) + (number of closed transactions previous period x price per transaction) +
(turnover previous period x percentage of turnover),
where price per visit, price per transaction, and percentage of turnover are the values of the current campaign.
5. A system according to claim 3 or 4, wherein the period is one month.
6. A system according to claim 1, wherein said unique identifier is the L)RL of the advertiser.
7. A system according to any one of the preceding claims, wherein said additional information relates to image data of a logo, said system further comprising : means for performing a second evaluation, evaluating the downloaded image data with respect to existing image data, and means for updating said additional information relating to image data of a logo if said second evaluation of the image data reveals that said additional information relates to a better image of the logo.
8. A system according to any one of the preceding claims, wherein a regex-code is generated based on the stored unique identifier.
9. A data structure for handling campaign information retrieved from affiliate networks on a computer, said data structure comprising, a program name field, an ID field, a logo URL field, a short description field, a category field, a text link field, a advertiser L)RL field, a sales commission field, a campaign status field, and a country field.
10. A computer implemented automatic advertising campaign optimizer system, said system comprising at least one user computer, and said system comprising a plug-in for a browser software running on said user computer, said plug-in comprising means for detecting a unique identifier of a visited web page belonging to an advertiser, said plug-in comprising means for placing on said user computer a carrier of user-behaviour information relating to said visited web page, said plug-in comprises a list of unique identifiers, wherein said means for placing a carrier of user-behaviour information is adapted to suppress the placing of a carrier of user- behaviour information on said user computer if a carrier of user- behaviour information relating to a unique identifier of the referrer has been stored on the computer within a first predetermined time period before display of the web page belonging to the advertiser.
11. A system according to claim 10, wherein the first predetermined period is less than one minute, preferably 10 seconds.
12. A system according to claim 10 or 11, further wherein said plug-in further comprises means for storing information indicating that the suppression of the placing of a carrier of user-behaviour information for a unique identifier has taken place, and means for maintaining this information for a second predetermined time period.
13. A system according to claim 12, wherein said second time period is less than 60 days, preferably 45 days.
14. A system according to any one of claims 10 to 13, wherein said carrier of user-behaviour information is a cookie.
PCT/DK2008/050239 2008-09-26 2008-09-26 A computer implemented automatic advertising campaign optimizer system WO2010034311A1 (en)

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Citations (3)

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Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
WO2001054378A2 (en) * 2000-01-24 2001-07-26 Newheights Software Corporation Improved method and system of state management for data communications
WO2007025020A2 (en) * 2005-08-24 2007-03-01 Linkconnector Corporation Affiliate marketing method that provides inbound affiliate link credit without coded urls
GB2437842A (en) * 2006-05-04 2007-11-07 Jonathan Bernadotte Miller Method and system for crediting an online publisher of an advertisement

Patent Citations (3)

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Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
WO2001054378A2 (en) * 2000-01-24 2001-07-26 Newheights Software Corporation Improved method and system of state management for data communications
WO2007025020A2 (en) * 2005-08-24 2007-03-01 Linkconnector Corporation Affiliate marketing method that provides inbound affiliate link credit without coded urls
GB2437842A (en) * 2006-05-04 2007-11-07 Jonathan Bernadotte Miller Method and system for crediting an online publisher of an advertisement

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