We are a nation of multi-taskers and now “multi-screeners.”
Whether it’s a smartphone, tablet, laptop, desktop, TV or some other device, we’re consuming, creating, and managing content across multiple devices. Often at the same time.
As such, you aren’t just trying to reach your target audience, but trying to reach them across multiple platforms.
On the one hand, people are more connected than ever. But they are also more distracted. It’s not enough to just show up in a new channel and create a presence in different media. That is only part of the solution.
You need to have a vision and understand how your customer’s engagement takes shape in each channel. Because without this understanding, you might be wasting a lot of money and time.
As people shift between devices, the roles media play overlaps. So despite massive and growing marketing budgets, many businesses find it increasingly complex to identify which media to credit for leads, sales, and so on.
In other words, if a customer first sees your ad on a social platform but doesn’t click through to buy until they are on their mobile phone, which media gets the credit?
This is why I felt it important to discuss marketing attribution.
Marketing attribution is the science that enables marketers to attribute conversion credit across every click in their customer or prospect’s journey and accurately tailor how that credit is allocated.
According to a recent report by Marin Software on marketing attribution, “Only half of all businesses today utilize marketing attribution. And those organizations that use marketing attribution are rapidly emerging as leaders in revenue acquisition management. Advertisers that ignore or downplay the importance of attribution will ultimately be left behind as they will fail to capture the true return on advertising spend and continue optimizing their programs based on flawed data.”
And David Pann, General Manager of Search Network at Microsoft says, “Revenue accountability for online advertisers is not a future state, it is happening now.” He goes on to say that marketers using marketing attribution models and platforms are “better positioned to win the battle.”
There are different methodologies for allocating credit across adverting clicks. For example, the method that began marketing attribution is the method where you credit the last ad that was clicked just before a conversion.
The problem is that the last click might not really be the reason for conversion.
Another method is to credit the first click. However, many believe because of multi-screeners that both first click and last click models fail to give credit to the other ads that may have influenced the sale.
A third method is one that spreads the credit equally across all clicks in the path to conversion. While this helps solve some of the problems with the first-click and last-click attribution models, it assumes every step is equal. This means you might be giving credit to something that would perhaps work better if the credit for each component was adjusted based on impact and relevance.
There are several other models, which I won’t go into here, but the point is models that more accurately analyze data will help you:
• Justify your marketing spend.
• Build an understanding of the customer journey and your audience’s behavior.
• Optimize your media mix based on the understanding you gain from attribution.
While attribution technology is still evolving, the developments are really exciting as to what it can mean for your business should you choose to use it. Ultimately, I believe that businesses who use it and can accurately measure attribution and apply what they’ve learned to their marketing mix will dominate over those who use a trial and error approach.
Three ways measuring and understanding your attribution can help you are:
1) Gain visibility and control across digital channels: By integrating data from all of your systems and measuring attribution, you can better understand performance and optimize your revenue outcomes.
2) Cut through the clutter: By analyzing all the data in real time, you can quickly spot trends and create relevant products and services and offers that cut through the clutter.
3) Find and drive revenue: To win in today’s online marketplace requires advanced optimization techniques that can maximize your return on advertising spend. Attribution allows you to continuously refine your campaign structure and ads to maximize your relevance and the impact your marketing program has.
As small business owners, we cannot afford to waste our advertising dollars. We need to build accurate and effective marketing campaigns. Using advanced marketing attribution models will help you do just that.