The Next Generation: Connecting Marketing Spend to Results
It takes more than a single ad impression or site visit for a customer to finally make a purchase. As a result, marketers must ensure that they touch consumers in a variety of channels to drive conversions. So, how does a marketer accurately decipher each campaign's impact or attribute revenue back to each consumer touch point?
Let's start with the concept of attribution. At a high level, marketing attribution is the idea that conversion credit can be given to one or more advertising campaigns involved in the consumer journey. Until recently, most marketers did not have a model to access this data, and instead relied on software that used the last click as a way of crediting one campaign with a sale.
Unfortunately, relying on this model doesn't give credit for additional ad impressions or clicks. Marketers are forced to make decisions based on aggregated last click analytics that can't be manipulated for in-depth analysis. Further, these software systems lack the flexibility to change, provide a "what-if analysis" or test basic allocation models.
Even with an attribution vendor on board, it can be very hard to understand the real contribution of a campaign. First-generation attribution technology vendors provide solutions that fail to meet the need of brands and agencies because they cannot be tweaked or rebuilt after they are deployed. These vendors crunch the data, but leave no room for a marketer's input, innate creativity and desire for customization. Some of these vendors can't weight the value of a contribution based on ad size or type—some don't even give consideration to impressions and only factor in clicks!
How Should it Change?
New world tracking and attribution modeling tools offer marketers both the accuracy and flexibility required to efficiently and effectively assign credit to the real winners that drive sales.
The new model of attribution marketing provides:
- A full-featured platform that gives marketers the ability to create and test multiple attribution models with interactive "knobs" to value interactions based on flexible rule sets
- An accurate tracking solution that collects and stores a broad set of data points that empower the marketer to hone in on the specific consumer interactions they value
- Big Data as an asset rather than an overwhelming obstacle
- Tracking across all channels for a full attribution picture that shows how various touch points influence consumers and move them through the conversion process
The right tools are out there to take stale marketing programs out of the dark ages and expose them to the world of Big Data and attribution. Properly deployed with the right tools, marketing attribution can have a big impact on the bottom line. Tracking, measuring, modeling—and ultimately reporting on all media channels using sensible attribution models—represents a significant opportunity to improve Return on Ad Spend (ROAS) and competitive advantage for brands and agencies. This is a world in which a marketer can finally achieve reliable, actionable insight that leads to successful campaigns and revenue growth.