Attribution analysis has become the industry standard for evaluating multichannel marketing performance. However, some organizations have adapted more quickly than others over the last few years. While many marketers have struggled to evaluate customer behavior across time and channels, others have begun to invest in the resources necessary to measure and optimize their marketing mix with a holistic approach.
Organizations that have shifted the culture of analyzing marketing performance with a last-click—or most-recent interaction—model towards a multichannel approach have developed a competitive advantage by:
- Understanding how customers interact with the brand across time and across various marketing outlets
- Evaluating campaign performance on a common scale, which takes into account the value of awareness and consideration, not just conversion-generating sessions as in the case of a last-click model
- Maximizing marketing portfolio ROI by reallocating investments to tactics that are proven to generate the highest total program cost efficiency
So how do you know if your organization has implemented industry-leading attribution analytics practices? Rosetta has developed the following Attribution Analytics Maturity Model to see how your company stacks up when it comes to best-in-class utilization of attribution analytics best practices.
|Tooling||Leverage out-of-the-box “lookback” logic within digital analytics tools (e.g., Adobe Analytics, Google Analytics, Webtrends, etc.)||Leverage a tool capable of tracking detailed purchase path information across time and sessions (e.g. eBay Attribution, Adometry, Visual IQ, etc.)||Leverage robust attribution vendor and have integrated data with existing customer data centers and media optimization platforms|
|Breadth of Measurement||Measure one or few digital marketing channels (e.g. search marketing)||Measure all digital marketing channels through unique tracking parameters, APIs, and integrations||Measure all digital tactics and integrate with offline conversion information for 360º customer views|
|Depth of Measurement||Utilize purchase path latency to inform marketing calendar, inventory management, operations & staffing, etc.||Begin to utilize attribution data to shift investment to areas of greatest efficiency (i.e. from online to offline, increased non-brand awareness spend, etc.)||Utilize attribution data to measure and optimize portfolio-wide volume and efficiency (i.e., media mix modeling)|
|Process||Analysis is considered a monthly, quarterly, or ad hoc event||Analysis is built into daily optimization processes||Analysis supports omnichannel strategy and investment and resource decisions|
|People & Culture||Organization struggles to understand attribution concepts and how to leverage the data to drive program optimization||Organization understands the importance of attribution and has begun to invest in additional resources||Organization maintains analysis standards by which all team members evaluate performance on a common scale through attribution data|
If you find that your organization falls short of an industry-leading classification, here are a few ways to begin establishing a best-in-class attribution analytics program:
1. Know Your Technology
It’s important to understand your currently implemented technology and its capabilities. There are myriad vendors within the market that claim to have attribution measurement capabilities. However, it’s important to understand exactly what questions your analytics technology is (or is not) capable of answering along with the efficiency of that process. For example, many analytics vendors (e.g., Adobe Analytics, Google Analytics, IBM Digital Analytics, etc.) have some ability to attribute credit for a conversion in a multi-session methodology, but it is not the core competency of those tools. There are several attribution-focused vendors in the market that are specifically focused on measuring a customer’s entire journey and identifying ways to improve marketing portfolio efficiency. These vendors include Visual IQ, Convertro, Adometry (recently acquired by Google) and eBay Attribution. By understanding the limitations of your existing technology, you’ll recognize whether or not you need an attribution-focused vendor to measure against your business objectives.
2. Start The Internal Discussion
Shifting the culture and the method by which an entire organization measures marketing performance is easier said than done. By nature, attribution analytics often leads to budget shifts from one channel to another, a result that can be controversial, since it is often tied to personal levels of ownership and even compensation levels. Companies that aren’t leveraging attribution to drive marketing optimization are incentivizing a culture of silos: Without a holistic approach, individuals will likely continue to make decisions that foster their own success versus that of the organization at large. With this in mind, it’s important to start educating others within your organization about the importance of attribution and how this analysis can help everyone understand and quantify how each channel supports the entire marketing portfolio. Additionally, it’s important to have executive-level support of attribution analytics to ensure that all team members are driving towards a common goal and using a standardized measurement approach.
3. Standardize Your Approach
Once you have gained internal alignment on the value of attribution analytics, begin to standardize your approach. Attribution cannot just become another thing you do. In the realms of marketing measurement and campaign planning, it should become a part of everything that you do. It takes more than just investing in attribution technology and updating your dashboards with a new type of report to win in this game. Organizations often fail at achieving the full value of attribution analytics when processes remain disparate and team members are not properly educated on the underlying shift in marketing performance logic.
Considering these cornerstones and program expansion best practices will help guide you on a path to developing a competitive advantage through attribution analytics.
View the Rosetta Consulting white papers “Customer Engagement from the Marketer’s Perspective” and “Customer Engagement from the Consumer’s Perspective.”