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How Multi-Touch Attribution Helps Retailers Understand Every Touchpoint

May 31, 2018 - By Ginna Hall, Senior Writer, Nielsen Visual IQ

How Multi-Touch Attribution Helps Retailers Understand Every Touchpoint

This content was originally published in RetailTechNews.

Whether it’s traditional retailers or e-commerce pure plays, any retailer worth their salt has an online selling presence. However, with so many channels influencing the customer path to purchase, attributing 100% of the sale to the last click is no longer good enough.

Here, Wayne St Amand, CMO, Visual IQ, a Nielsen Company, explains to RetailTechNews that multi-touch attribution is a necessity if retailers want to optimize spend.

To customize experiences for consumers, retailers must implement measurement approaches, such as multi-touch attribution, that shine a light on the cross-channel consumer journey.

RetailTechNews: Is it enough to focus on sales targets?

Wayne St Amand: While sales numbers and revenue are extremely important to any business, and marketing is ultimately held accountable for contributing to these results, there are a number of leading indicators to revenue that should be tracked as well.

To optimize performance, retail marketers must not only consider the end goal of revenue, but also the vast number and variety of digital pathways that will attract and expose the right audience to the most relevant marketing messages and offers.

Understanding how these interactions are influencing desired behaviours and outcomes at each stage of the funnel will, ultimately, help retailers improve the effectiveness of their marketing in driving top-line growth and bottom-line efficiency.

If not sales data, what outcomes should retailers be setting targets against?

To be as productive as possible, retailers need to use the best possible tools and technology to identify their most valuable audience segments. Digital allows marketers to expose the world of consumers to their message; but not everyone in the world is going to be interested in that message.

Instead, the focus should be on the audience segments that are most appropriate for your brand, utilizing the correct tools to identify those with a propensity to engage and convert.

Whether your end goal is revenue or engagement, the one thing that matters most is that your content is accurately targeted to a high-value audience.  

How do attribution and analytics affect retailers’ revenue models?

Any marketing campaign can drive revenue and performance to some extent; but if they aren’t being measured appropriately, it’s easy to waste spend on ineffective tactics. If retailers implement tools, such as attribution, they can gain a greater understanding of their organization’s most effective path to revenue, and how the marketing mix works to create this.

The Holy Grail for marketers is to really understand the interplay of their activities. By implementing an attribution methodology, brands can break down silos and gain an holistic view of marketing performance, assigning fractional credit to multiple elements in the chain of influence that leads to revenue.

Meaning, they will be able to measure the true contribution of each marketing and advertising channel, and optimize future marketing spend to achieve their revenue objectives.

Multi-Touch Attribution Helps Retailers

How can better use of attribution and analytics improve the customer experience?

The rise of people-based marketing is born out of marketers’ desire to become more relevant. To customize consumer experiences, retailers must implement measurement approaches, such as multi-touch attribution, that shine a light on the cross-channel consumer journey.

Multi-touch attribution enables retailers to understand the influence of each touchpoint on an individual’s path to conversion. This not only develops a deep knowledge of campaign effectiveness, but also a view of how to uniquely tailor messages and tactics to suit specific target audiences.

Brands can then apply this insight to optimize the consumer experience to drive more engagement, more purchases and, ultimately, long-term loyalty.

What are the main challenges in developing new revenue models?

The main challenge we usually come across is a lack of data when developing new revenue models. Too often, retailers rely on gut instinct and intuition, rather than starting the process with the data they need to really do it right – which can lead to inefficiency and waste.  

To be effective, organizations must take a data-centric approach to their revenue models that offers an holistic picture of performance. By illuminating hidden optimization opportunities, marketers can allocate budgets more efficiently and effectively, while making the consumer’s entire journey a better experience.

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