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Aligning Your Organization for Marketing Attribution Success

Volume 4, Issue 7 - July, 2014

Andrew Dorris, Client Partner, Visual IQ

When marketers first realized that the Web was a viable advertising medium, click-through rate was arguably one of the most important success metrics of a campaign. Then, as analytics tools became more prevalent, every marketer, agency and publisher began to point to their respective user interfaces to show how the last click before a conversion came from their efforts and why they deserved additional budget.

Only within the last few years have marketers recognized the benefits of tying all of their digital efforts into one attribution platform, enabling them to de-duplicate last click conversions across all of their channels and see how their marketing efforts work in tandem to drive conversions. While marketing attribution platforms provide the powerful acumen marketers need to optimize their media, it’s become increasingly apparent that while the technology has made the leap, marketers haven’t always aligned their organizations to take advantage of the insights that attribution provides.

Here are some helpful tips for preparing your internal and external teams to embrace a more sophisticated attribution approach:

  1. Last Click Compensation: A typical hurdle companies must overcome occurs when employees and/or agencies are compensated based on last click data. If the attribution results show that budget should be shifted away from a lower-funnel tactic, like search, but the individual or agency responsible for that channel is compensated based on the number of last click conversions (or revenue) they bring in, they may balk if their paychecks stand to take a hit. Identifying this issue up front and adjusting compensation terms based on attributed metrics will go a long way towards ensuring a smooth transition.

  2. Budget Fluidity: Is your budget fluid enough to allow marketing dollars to be quickly transferred from one channel to another? Establishing this flexibility before insights become available is critical, because once you’ve completed your optimizations within each channel, you’ll want to start executing a cross channel approach to maximize results across your entire marketing ecosystem. By preparing for potential budget shifts upfront, you’ll be able to seize on cross channel opportunities when they present themselves.

  3. Understanding Attributed Data & Forging Ahead: Does your team understand that while attribution can tell you the value of each placement and provide recommendations on where to reallocate budget, it can’t predict exactly where the new last click conversion will come from? Are you and your media partners prepared to accept that some of the channels you’ve traditionally considered your best may in fact be underperforming? Approaching attributed metrics with an open mind and a willingness to view your marketing data through a new lens is paramount to success.

  4. The Importance of Patience: When using a last click measurement model, it’s easy to let a campaign run for a few days or weeks and then decide whether it’s working or not. With attribution, however, the time lag between an impression or click and an actual conversion can be anywhere from 24 hours to over 40 days, depending on your business. Therefore, it’s important to be patient, as it may take time to determine the true value of a placement when using a more sophisticated attribution approach.

These are just a few of the issues you need to consider when preparing your organization for attribution. By acknowledging and addressing these challenges up front, you’ll be ready to execute your attribution-powered marketing plan with far more insight, far more accuracy, and far better results.

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