December 20, 2017 - By Wayne St. Amand, CMO, Visual IQ
Understanding the end-to-end consumer journey across multiple channels and devices is a challenging and complex task.
To orchestrate coordinated, relevant experiences that drive meaningful business results, marketers must tailor messages and tactics to different audiences, depending on where they are in their journey.
This has forced marketers to rethink traditional approaches. Marketers now find that to deliver on the promise of people-based marketing, they need a new type of information: marketing intelligence.
In our recent webinar, Marketing Intelligence for a New Age, I described how marketing intelligence helps you optimize budget across touchpoints while helping to orchestrate consumer experiences that drive results.
The webinar was so popular that we weren’t able to answer all of the questions that came in from attendees in the time we had. If you submitted a question, thank you! Here are the answers to the questions we didn’t get to. If you have any others, please reach out to us.
The ROI of implementing even a rudimentary attribution practice can be significant. According to Gartner, the typical outcome of implementing multi-touch attribution is a 20-30% gain in media efficiency and corresponding increases in ROI.
Brands that have a media spend of around $1M or more can reap enormous benefits from marketing intelligence, but even smaller brands can leverage some of the tools and techniques of people-based marketing. Consumers interact with your brand across a dizzying number of channels, touchpoints and devices today, and they expect a coordinated, personalized experience. When marketers understand consumer attributes and how different audiences interact with their brand across channels and devices, they can optimize budgets and create relevant, people-based experiences that drive meaningful business results.
Where you start depends on what you need to look for. Multi-touch attribution is a broad discipline that can include multiple tools, methods and models. Most marketing tech platforms (marketing automation systems, etc.) have some form of built-in attribution capabilities, and this is often a good place to start when you’re just beginning your journey, even if it’s not full-blown MTA. Although the data and attribution insights derived from them are inherently siloed, you will get insights that you didn’t have before.
There are a host of technologies used to track consumer journeys across channels and devices for multi-touch attribution. Collecting user-level data across channels and devices and consolidating multiple IDs into one unique ID serves as the foundation of the process for building holistic consumer journeys for multi-touch attribution.
The most common technologies include cookies, click redirects, image tags, site tags and unique identifiers. These enable your MTA solution to string together a chronologically ordered list of all of the marketing touchpoints to which an individual user was exposed, on and offline. Read Cookies, Tags, Pixels and IDs: Tracking the Consumer Journey to learn how each of these work.
Knowing which statistical method is right for your business depends on what you want to do with the output. That’s why our Marketing Intelligence Platform offers the flexibility to select from several MTA models.
Rules-based methodology includes first touch, last touch, even weighting, position based, and time decay. Each of these relies on a human to define the rules of how credit is allocated to one or more points in the consumer journey. These models can be used to better understand the consumer journey.
In addition to rules-based methods, we also offer two algorithmic methods, each of which objectively measures marketing performance using statistical modeling and machine-learning techniques. Our most sophisticated algorithmic attribution model addresses every dimension of every touchpoint before assigning fractional credit. In addition to measuring past performance, the output of an algorithmic model can be used to predict outcomes to help marketers plan or optimize future marketing efforts.
For more information, take a look at Methods & Models: A Quick Guide to Multi-Touch Attribution.
The challenge for today’s marketers is that there isn’t a single “customer journey” that we can plan and optimize for -- either within or across categories. Consumers don’t think they’re on a journey. They’re just living their lives. Marketers try to curate a journey by coordinating touchpoints.
At the same time, we know that almost sixty percent of consumers have a preference for brands that demonstrate that they “get them.” One way to demonstrate that is by Identifying needs or challenges in a way that resonates with them. The more tightly connected your marketing and advertising programs are to the things your customers and prospects are struggling with, the more your marketing will help consumers identify themselves in your marketing. Your solution should appear as the answer to these challenges.
No matter what type of journey you’re mapping, you need to have marketing intelligence to effectively reach, engage and convert your audiences. You can’t have a people-centric approach without the tools to target and refine your efforts. You need to know if those audiences are being exposed to the highest-performing campaigns. Over time, you need to get better at reaching the right people at the right time with the right type of curated marketing efforts. That’s the heart of creating ROI for marketing and getting a payoff for your company.
Visual IQ uses a pixel-based data collection approach to capture anonymous, user-level touchpoint and conversion data across digital channels (paid, owned, and earned). Through a partnership with Tapad, Visual IQ is able to deduplicate these users across disparate devices and browsers. Additionally, Visual IQ offers a number of adapters than can integrate user-level data from digital and offline channels that do not support pixel-based tracking (e.g. mobile in-app, in-store, call center, direct mail).
Marketing intelligence is information you need to understand and optimize marketing and advertising performance in the context of key audiences. This is produced when you consolidate audience data with multi-touch attribution in a platform (such as Visual IQ’s). Marketing intelligence provides a clear understanding of consumer attributes and how different audiences interact with your brand across digital, mobile and physical environments, so you can orchestrate better experiences and optimize budgets across all consumer touchpoints.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is intelligence displayed by machines. The term is used when a computer or other machine mimics the cognitive functions that we associate with human minds, such as "learning" and "problem solving". Marketers are beginning to use AI and machine learning to solve marketing and advertising challenges that are beyond the scope of human capabilities, usually because they require using massive amounts of data.
How attribution is calculated depends on which model you’re using -- either one of the various rules-based approaches we offer or more sophisticated algorithmic model.
With a rules-based methodology, you define the rules of how credit is allocated to one or more points in the consumer journey -- by first or last touch, time decay, or some other way.
Algorithmic methodology is based in objective, statistical modeling and machine-learning techniques. The output of an algorithmic model can be used to predict outcomes to help marketers plan or optimize future marketing efforts.
No matter the method, the common denominator between all MTA models is that each tracks the consumer journey and de-duplicates it across channels and tactics to assign credit for a KPI event (e.g., conversion, lead, etc.) to one or more touchpoints.
For more information, read our article: Methods & Models: A Quick Guide to Multi-Touch Attribution.
At Visual IQ, we partner with over sixty top-tier technology and data providers throughout the marketing and advertising ecosystem to provide customers with comprehensive, audience-driven intelligence and a single source of marketing truth. Check out our website for a list of our certified partners.
Marketing mix modeling (MMM) is an established practice for marketing measurement. It uses summary-level data to infer the relationships between different channels and tactics and deliver recommendations for optimization. But MMM offers infrequent reporting (on a quarterly or annual basis), is dependent on a highly consultative relationship with a vendor, only models at the channel level, and doesn’t tie performance insights back to audience segments.
If you only measure marketing impact at the channel level on a quarterly or annual basis, you dramatically reduce your ability to optimize marketing. Any insights you get from performance measurement are at a summary level, without granular understanding.
Multi-touch attribution (MTA) lets you take advantage of the unique set of data produced by addressable channels to understand effectiveness at granular levels, by audience, and at a much faster cadence. It’s the difference between understanding how TV, print, radio, email and paid social impacted sales last quarter, and which display ad worked best yesterday to drive in-store sales so you can boost ad spend for the winners while the campaign is still in-flight.
Effective MTA eliminates duplication by tracking the consumer journey across all addressable touchpoints – digital, mobile and physical – and assigning fractional credit to the channels and tactics that influenced a desired business outcome. With a clear understanding of the touchpoints that drive performance, you can make smarter investment decisions that enhance the consumer journey from first impression through to conversion.
Wayne is a veteran marketing leader with a track record of significantly increasing the growth trajectory and valuation of technology companies. At Visual IQ, Wayne drives business expansion through the company’s global corporate and product marketing strategies. He works actively with the company’s brand and agency customers to discover, refine and communicate some of the world’s most ground-breaking uses of marketing intelligence technology.
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