We tend to make a lot of analogies to describe CJ's Network Quality team: they're network watchdogs, the internet police, or affiliate detectives.
But really, they're just real people, doing a really great job of monitoring the CJ Affiliate network to keep it high quality and fraud-free.
To learn more about the ins and outs of Network Quality, we caught up with Sr. Network Quality Manager, Jelena Petrovic. A badge holding member of the Network Quality team for 13 years, Jelena dives into what CJ's Network Quality does, what to do if you suspect a compliance issue, and her top tip for what clients should be doing on a regular basis to monitor their programme.
If you're interested in hearing even more from Jelena about Network Quality, tune into this recent webinar recording.
CJ: Tell us more about the Network Quality department and the role it plays in the CJ Affiliate network.
Jelena: Network Quality is at the core of the CJ network. We have a dedicated team of compliance experts who use a combination of technology, data, and expertise to monitor the network for potentially fraudulent activities. The team both proactively and reactively investigate potential breaches of the letter or spirit of CJ contracts (Publisher Service Agreement aka PSA) by utilising a set of internal and external tools and examining data patterns. Our emphasis is to ensure that every action we make takes into account all parties involved - we determine what's best for the advertiser, the publisher, and the consumer before taking any action. This approach has made CJ Network Quality the industry standard for decades.
CJ: What makes CJ's Network Quality stand apart in the affiliate industry?
Jelena: To provide a level playing field, our team makes sure that clients provide as much transparency as possible so that they have clear expectations about how to work together. Across our Network Quality team, we have 40 years of experience combined in monitoring affiliate fraud, and the quality of traffic is of utmost importance. We use a mix of data and technology to identify and confirm fraud and other areas that need to be addressed. Because we are a network, we also leverage our wide community to identify and address fraud, which benefits everyone in the network.
CJ: What does the average workday look like for CJ Network Quality?
Jelena: Every day is different, but our main areas of focus include running various network health reports to monitor metrics like conversion rate, average order value, and significant increases in month to month commission payouts. We also proactively monitor new performing publishers to ensure their traffic remains transparent and within the guidelines of CJ's PSA, and address daily fraud-related issues submitted by our advertisers within the CJ account manager. It's not unusual to find us on the phone with advertisers and publishers to help educate them on network compliance standards.
CJ: What does Network Quality provide to CJ clients that you're most proud of?
Jelena: We provide our clients with swift resolutions to the majority of reported issues. We often identify and address issues before clients are even aware of any non-compliant activity in their programme! This allows advertisers to focus their efforts on developing relationships and growing their affiliate programme instead of micromanaging compliance.
This case study of a recent advertiser migration is an excellent example of why I'm so proud of this team: Retailer Grows Revenue as Direct Result of CJ Affiliate's Network Quality.
CJ: If you're a CJ client and you think you've found a compliance issue, what should you do?
Jelena: Easy! If you want us to look into an issue that you confirmed, or suspect fraud in your programme, simply navigate to the publisher’s detail page and click on the 'Report Publisher' link. When reporting an issue, be sure to provide plenty of detail, especially screenshots, OIDs, or any related information. If we need to follow up for additional information, it will only delay resolution.
CJ: What's happens after someone submits a potential issue?
Jelena: You should expect a response from our team within 24-48 hours. If you've provided us with enough information (evidence such as screenshots, list of impacted OIDs, etc.), we should be able to resolve your issue quickly.
CJ: Do you have an article in the CJ Support Centre you recommend to a client who's new to network quality?
Jelena: Yes! There's a lot of ground to cover, but here's some useful articles to start with:
CJ: If clients only do one thing to monitor their programme weekly, what would you recommend?
Jelena: Know your publishers. Run regular performance reports, and examine the metrics (conversion rate, irregular order values, excessive transactions in a short time, etc.).
CJ: We know you're always innovating on the Network Quality team at CJ, can you give us a sneak peek into anything on the road map?
Jelena: Being such a data-driven company, CJ's Network Quality team works closely with our Data Science department to help identify compliance trends for fraud prevention. This collaboration allows us to create automated reporting in an ongoing fashion while also enabling us to stay on top of new fraud trends that emerge.
We also partner with third-party fraud prevention providers that help uncover any trends, reporting, or metrics that we may not see directly in our network. Given this extra visibility, we're continually looking at new technologies to build or to partner with to help with our innovation.
CJ: If people only know one thing about Network Quality, what do you want them to know?
Jelena: As I mentioned before, our teams' tenure is a couple of decades. Based on this shared experience, we're well-equipped to identify the difference between a publisher with malicious intent versus publishers who make honest mistakes. Often, we’re educators rather than enforcers. We’re here to share our knowledge on how to work within the CJ network while also abiding by compliance standards from CJ, advertisers, and the affiliate industry.
CJ: You're a seasoned vet in Network Quality, what keeps you interested in the area?
Jelena: Knowing that my efforts over the years have had a positive impact on the industry makes what I do that much more fulfilling and gets me excited to come to work every day!
When Jelena Petrovic isn't busy fighting fraud in the CJ network, you can find her patrolling the streets of her neighborhood with her trusty sidekick and five-year-old daughter, Luka.