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2 Steps to Advanced Attribution: Because They May Not Know What It Is, But Your Prospects Love It

February 6, 2013 By Paul Pellman
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We all understand the imperative of serving the right ad, with the right message, at the right time to a brand's intended audience. It's one of the mantras of marketing today. Marketers themselves understand better than anyone the brands they represent and the audiences they need to reach. But marketers can work more efficiently and effectively with insights gained from advanced attribution about the right time to reach that audience, and even about what the right message looks like.

No one wants to waste time and money bombarding the wrong audience with irrelevant ads. But there are also risks in doing the wrong things with the right audience. For example, remarketing can be extremely effective when your prospects encounter it at the right time, or simply annoying when the timing is off. There's a fine line, but attribution done properly can reveal valuable knowledge about where that line might be. With that knowledge, you can plan more successful campaigns and improve your customers' perception of and experience with your brand.

1. Know When to Retarget
Because it's geared toward customers who have already shown interest in a brand, retargeting can be a potent part of a marketing campaign. But to work best, retargeting should happen neither too soon nor too late after the customer visits the brand's website. An analysis we conducted for one of our clients revealed that retargeting customers while they were still on the client's site actually had no impact on conversions, and retargeting them within four hours of visiting the site had a detrimental effect. Give your prospects some time: In this case, when website visitors were retargeted more than four hours after considering a purchase, conversion rates improved. And we saw optimal conversion rates between 16 and 24 hours, but no more than 24 hours after the client's customers were onsite.

The "right time" isn't some mystical thing—it's possible to pinpoint it through attribution done right. And doing it right means understanding the effect your campaign has on consumers who don't click on ads, as well as those who do. Retargeting is often measured by the increase in "clicks," but pulling back the covers on this performance indicator reveals a flawed method. If we strictly look at impact-to-clickthrough rates, a 100 percent increase could mean that 2 percent of the people who viewed the ad clicked on it, versus 1 percent before retargeting efforts. Advanced attribution allows us to look at the other 98 percent and understand why they didn't click at all.

 

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