Performance marketing insights, discussions and expertise

What is Marketing Attribution? (And, Why Should I Care?)

By on July 5, 2016

Question Mark

 

Marketers love campaigns, but it is incredibly frustrating to pour time and energy into building the perfect media plan and have limited insight into the results.

Now, don’t get me wrong. As savvy marketers, I’m sure you have visibility into the traffic you drive to your website and the number of impressions your display ads receive. But, can you determine the cumulative impact your work had on your customer’s decision to make a purchase?

This is where marketing attribution comes in.

 

Marketing attribution is the discipline of identifying and assigning value to each touchpoint along the customer’s journey so marketers can determine which media (or combination of media) drive conversion.

Traditionally the domain of creative extroverts, marketing has undergone a dramatic transformation and is now considered as much a science as it is an art. This means that marketers are increasingly pressured to demonstrate the value of their activities.

In the competitive online environment, however, it is the customer who controls the journey to purchase. They research concerns, familiarize themselves with options and make decisions based on a combination of interactions with your brand that take place over time, across multiple channels.

Marketing attribution allows us to determine which media our customers were exposed to during the course of their research. It also allows us to determine how we should value that media so that over time we can reallocate our spend and focus on efforts that maximize return.

So, what value should you expect marketing attribution to bring to the table?

1. A Single Source of the Truth

Tracking systems vary in the way they present impression, click and conversion data, which makes it challenging to compare one channel to the next. Investing in one tracking system that can capture all events across the customer journey empowers marketers to compare, contrast and make confident decisions.

2. Visibility Into the Consumer Journey

Customer Journey GraphTo determine what is and is not working, you need to gain insight into every touchpoint along the customer journey. This will allow you to drill down to common paths to conversion.

It is often a combination of touchpoints that ultimately drive value. Identifying these patterns and aligning them to your organization’s strategy is critical to achieving results.

3. An Alternative to Last Click

Applying credit to the last click a customer makes before conversion is the traditional way of accessing marketing efforts, but this method doesn’t provide the full picture. While last click should certainly be a consideration, attribution allows for an omnichannel perspective.

Attribution doesn’t change the data, but it allows you to identify the relative value of every touchpoint. Marketers who use attribution data can make confident adjustments to their marketing spend and reward those touchpoints that truly drive results.

4. Insights for Media Planning

With the additional insight attribution provides, marketers can make better decisions about media spend when their budgets change. When you have data on the value of every touchpoint, you will no longer increase or decrease spend at the same level across the board. Instead, you can allocate spend proportionately to channels that drive conversion – maximizing revenue and boosting return on ad spend (ROAS).

Summary:

Today’s marketers don’t have to tolerate limited visibility into the results of their hard work. Marketing attribution offers a solution to disparate data sources, complex customer journeys and applying credit where it is due. Please view our webinar (co-hosted with Forrester Research) for more information and to determine if you are ready for marketing attribution.

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