The 4 Best Ideas From SES on Properly Attributing Sales in a Multichannel World

It’s a mistake to silo analytics by channel—multichannel and cross-channel touchpoints should each receive appropriate attribution for sales. That’s the viewpoint many direct marketers and their vendors shared with colleagues recently, despite the fact that all were attending a search-centric conference.

“Be media agnostic,” relates Kevin Lee, CEO of New York-based search marketing agency “Whatever maximizes profit is the way to go.”

Lee was speaking March 24 at SES New York 2011 during the “B2B Lead Generation Management & CRM Integration” morning session.

His sentiments seemed to be echoed throughout the conference, regardless of the session’s original topic.

Attribution doesn’t work “unless all channels are tied in,” says Stuart Bogaty, vice president of interactive marketing at King of Prussia, Penn.-based interactive marketing agency TrueAction Network. He was a session panelist on March 22 at “The AAAA Digital Committee Speaks About Quality.”

These thoughts and actionable advice on attribution were provided by other panelists at the conference:

1. When a budget sits within a product line, siloed analytics can lead to undercounting the contributions of channels—such as how much search can drive the phone calls that may become the conversion, says C. Decker Marquis, senior vice president and director of online marketing for Providence, R.I.-based Citizens Bank. She was a panelist during an afternoon session on March 24 titled “Best Practices and Experiences with SEM in the Financial Services Vertical.”

“So measure in silos, but look at it across the board,” confirms the moderator of Marquis’ session, Chris Boggs, search engine optimization director for Hamilton, N.J.-based interactive marketing agency Rosetta.

One way to attribute sales to the proper channels in such a situation is by watching your welcome emails. If the consumer searches, then converts in another channel or offline by walking into a branch, the search attribution can be confirmed if the bank’s welcome email is opened on the same computer that performed the search, says panelist Rosetta’s Jason Tabeling, an associate partner in search and media.

Heather Fletcher is senior content editor with Target Marketing.

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  • http://Me Me

    All of these four points say pretty much nothing. But point number 4 takes the cake. Anto Chittilappilly has one of the most amazing ability’s to spew nonsense and made up words without actually saying anything that I have ever read. So amazing that I wasted 5minutes of my life commenting on it. Pure rubbish.

    Maybe someone can read it and pull a salient point for my feeble mind. I would bet good money that no one can!

  • http://AntoChittilappilly Anto Chittilappilly

    Hello “Me”:
    I understand your frustration about the clarity on the Operationalization part of this article. This article does not clearly articulate how to operationalize Attribution. Hope the following explanation clarifies it.

    Most advertisers and agencies use metrics like Conversions, CPA, Profit and ROI regardless of whether they employ Attribution Management or not. If they don’t employ attribution, then all these metrics are based on last-click or last-action. Once you employ attribution, then you get new attribution-based insights and you still have your old metrics. Now we have a problem: The insights itself are not operational and the old metrics are not attribution-based. Visual IQ provides a unique solution called TrueMetrics™ that recalculate the advertisers’ KPIs like Conversion, CPA, Profit and ROI. TrueMetrics captures all the effects of attribution. Now, these new attribution-based True Metrics – e.g. TrueConversion, TrueCPA, TrueProfit and TrueROI – can be used to operationalize your existing processes the way you used to operationalize the old last-click based metrics in the past. Just replace the last-click-based metrics with these new TrueMetrics. You can also compare the metrics like TrueConversion and Conversion (attribution-based and last-click-based metrics) side-by-side and see what publisher or campaign brings more TrueConversions and how much we were blindsided by the old last-click-based metrics.

    Hope that helps

    Thanks you for your input.

    Anto Chittilappilly

  • http://me me

    Thanks for the clarification Anto! That makes a lot more sense. Remember that sometimes it helps a lot to dumb it down for us plebes. I appreciate the effort 😉