This is a guest post from Casey Carey – Head of Marketing, Adometry by Google.
Over the past few weeks, there has been a significant amount of discussion regarding attribution models. At this point, you may be curious about how data-driven attribution, or any attribution model for that matter, fits into your marketing organization’s priorities.
If you watched the Preakness or Kentucky Derby recently, you may have noticed many of the horses wearing blinders, a marketing measurement metaphor if there ever was one. In a sport with such a small margin for error, these eye covers play a vital role in helping the horses maintain focus on the path ahead rather than what is taking place on either side. Unfortunately, for years many marketing organizations made decisions with a similarly narrow viewpoint with the idea being, let’s look at each of these things individually and then compare results at the end. Often this was done out of necessity more than desire, but the byproduct was typically a combination of poorly-optimized campaigns followed by disappointing results and difficult questions from stakeholders across the company.
Marketers are rethinking how to best engage audiences during a period of rapidly shifting consumer behavior. By now it should be clear that the “customer journey” is no longer a straight line or predictable path to purchase. In fact, roughly 65 percent of all revenues come from multi-touch conversion paths, the majority of which involve impressions across multiple channels. Intuitively, marketers know customers are engaging with the brand across channels, but the vast majority still lack the ability to monitor and measure the impact of these interactions holistically. This causes a disconnect between what channel-specific reports say they contributed to revenue versus what actually occurred.
One common barrier for many organizations when attempting to adopt data-driven attribution methodologies is a feeling they are trapped by existing investments. Sometimes this takes the form of data trapped inside vendors’ proprietary reporting systems, other times it might be internal processes or change management issues obstructing anything from rocking the proverbial measurement boat. In either case, the result is marketers receiving multiple versions of the “truth” instead of a united picture that allows them to analyze and optimize their marketing mix using data-driven methodologies that take these variables into consideration.
Luckily, platform providers, like Marin, are opting to build an open ecosystem in which data can be incorporated from a variety of sources—including site and ad analytics as well as e-commerce data—to enable customers to make informed decision based on the entirety of data available.
From a measurement standpoint, this is invaluable and allows marketers adopting data-driven attribution methodologies, such as Adometry’s, to seamlessly incorporate or “operationalize” attribution insights into day-to-day decision-making workflows. This not only solves the a major data consolidation challenge but also completes the promise of data-driven attribution—trusted measurement that provides not just feedback on how you’ve done but also offers guidance on how you can improve moving forward.
No one is saying this is easy. Marketers faced with consolidating data from a non-trivial number of channel-specific sources and analytics tools know that this takes time and commitment. If you’re struggling with where to get started, these 10 Tactics for Building an Effective Attribution Management Program will help. Attribution is a marathon, not a sprint. But there’s no time like the present to get started.
Did you know? Only about half of businesses carry out some sort of attribution.
Marketing attribution is the practice of determining the role that different channels play in informing and influencing the customer journey, and subsequently allocating partial value to different touch points which have influenced a sale or another desired outcome.
There are many different attribution models, each with their own merits – the most important thing is picking a model that fits your business. Consider:
While it can be complicated to make attribution a part of your marketing process, the business motivation is very clear: to justify marketing spend, to build an understanding of the customer journey and audience behavior, and to use this understanding to optimize the media mix.
When marketers implement attribution, they often get immediate insights that allow them to better adjust their budgets, moving money away from poorly performing channels and toward better ones. This allows for a better strategy across the entire path-to-conversion.
To learn the basics of marketing attribution, download our guide.
Although paid search still commands the majority of digital advertising spend, online marketers find themselves having to follow consumers through an always-on, multi-channel world. In this highly competitive landscape, the path-to-conversion is anything but linear, and the ways in which consumers engage with brands is gaining complexity. For instance, a customer may have viewed a display banner, clicked on a paid search ad, and was retargeted on Facebook prior to converting on an iPad.
Keep in mind that the click-path above wasn’t even possible three years ago. The degree to which media is fragmented today makes attribution incredibly challenging. So how would an online marketer value each of these touch-points and subsequently develop an effective bidding strategy to maximize performance across their entire marketing program?
This is exactly the problem that Marin Software has solved. Today, we’re excited to announce a partnership with Adometry, a leading attribution company. Through conversion and revenue data integrations, advertisers using this joint solution will be able to:
And because Marin has certified the integration process with Adometry, our mutual clients will be able to take advantage of these industry leading capabilities without incurring any additional costs or disruptions to service.
So there you have it, Adometry + Marin = A win for online marketers.
We love our mobile devices, and according to our recent study of mobile paid search, we love searching on them. In looking across our client base the trend was unanimous, mobile search is up, way up.
In the U.S., we saw ad clicks from mobile devices increase 132% during 2011, and by the end of this year mobile will comprise 25% of all paid search clicks. Similarly, in the UK mobile ended the year with 15% of all clicks in the UK. And, even though it’s not as significant a percentage, mobile clicks in the Eurozone more than doubled in 2011.
Things get even more interesting for marketers when looking at the differences between smartphones, tablets, and desktops. Generally (UK was the sole exception), smartphones carry higher CTRs and lower CPCs, but the lowest conversion rates. Tablets beat desktops in CTR and CPC, come close to trumping desktops in conversion rate, and edge all devices out in cost per conversion.
So, what’s this all mean?
Mobile devices are not only changing the way consumers search and shop, but how marketers advertise. The immediate response by advertisers is to devote more budget to mobile search (we project ad budgets will fall just a bit short of click volume in 2012). However, down the road as savvy marketers adapt to mobile search scenarios, click to call, location-based promos, and integration with social will all become common place. Furthermore, attribution becomes a much larger issue, particularly in a scenario where a mobile search directly leads to an in-store sale. Who gets the credit?
How do you foresee search marketing changing with the increased adoption and use of smartphones and tablets?
For years, marketers are used to evaluating online marketing efforts with last click attribution, meaning they only care about the click that directly results in a conversion without thinking about other possible consumer “touchpoints” before or even after the conversion.
Cross channel reporting/attribution has become a hot topic among digital marketers as more advanced and comprehensive tracking technologies made available. In today’s market, cross channel measurement becomes more and more important for an organization to build a seamless integrated marketing mix that maximizes the impact on consumers.
We're excited to announce the launch of our Perfect Audience Mobile Retargeting tool for app developers! Check it out bit.ly/1KvGrcb
@gibsondm Hi Alexandra. District of Columbia is listed in the drop-down menu if you'd like to try again! Let us know if it's still buggy. Tx