A New Balance
This matchback-like practice is critical when probing for channel interaction. It’s the only practical means to understand the cross-channel “order credit sharing” phenomenon inherent to multichannel marketing. With this understanding in hand, ROAS metrics will reflect true ROI—the top-line performance of each individual marketing strategy.
It’s also important not to fear digging around in the data a bit. In Djambazov’s case, his adventure began by noticing rather illogical numbers inside one of his search marketing programs. He quickly moved to ensure each marketing strategy had its own performance tracking and could produce a common set of performance data (primarily conversion rate) tied to orders. He then began to explore why visitors coming from some of his search campaigns were not converting as would be normally expected given past performance data.
In the end, Djambazov’s findings demonstrated that, in many cases, customers were touching various marketing channels, yet only one was receiving credit for the sale. This often artificially increased the performance of his affiliate program over internal search campaigns, given that affiliates actually were associating their affiliate ID with a customer’s order.
“In essence, orders that looked like they were generated by affiliates were actually generated by search campaigns where affiliates ‘rode along’ with the search ad,” says Djambazov, who describes scenarios where affiliates use everything from pop-ups and downloads to buying prohibited search ads to attain credit for site traffic and sales.
Avoid Analysis Paralysis
Online strategies easily are measured, but understanding how to measure and act on resulting knowledge can be challenging for marketers who often feel overwhelmed by data.
When measuring Web marketing’s effectiveness holistically, marketers must not fear the data collection or analysis processes and invest accordingly. With affiliate solution providers aligned closely with analytics solutions, it’s becoming increasingly simple to gather data, yet business-minded analysts must be called in to audit it.