Beyond the Tip of the Iceberg: Driving Deeper Insights Using Marketing Attribution

Volume 3, Issue 3 - March, 2013

Biju Mohan, Sr. Management Consultant, Visual IQ

Readers of The IQ Advisor are undoubtedly familiar with the most commonly understood, core benefits of marketing attribution. But attribution provides many deeper insights than the role that each marketing tactic plays in influencing customers on their paths to purchase. In fact, the following insights “beyond the tip of the iceberg” demonstrate how you can correlate attribution findings with key business drivers to derive even more value from your attribution solution.

Correlating Attribution Data with Customer Order Information

From awareness to consideration to purchase, the attribution process provides insight into a prospect’s online behavior across all of the touchpoints that contributed to an eventual conversion. This attributed conversion data can be analyzed side-by-side with vital customer order information such as product SKU’s purchased, order value, the time of purchase, customer geography, etc., providing marketers with a holistic view of what marketing tactics contributed to which products sold, at what time-lag from various points in the path to conversion, from which location, and the amount of revenue generated. Marketers can then utilize this data to optimize and execute campaigns that influence demand for certain products, order sizes, etc. For example, if marketers at a retail company wanted to increase conversions in a specific product category (let’s say travel bags), they could deliver more ads for that category using the tactics that performed best at producing conversions for that category, or even bundle products (e.g., travel bag with passport case) to increase sales volume.

Associating Media Performance to Customer Clusters

Marketing attribution provides the quantitative and qualitative means to assign the accurate value for each of the media tactics that truly contributed to the conversion, making it a great test bed for generating customer clusters. Comparisons are often drawn between customer clusters and market segmentation. Market segmentation is an upstream activity used prior to executing a campaign that groups customers based on similar characteristics (demographic, attitudinal, behavioral, etc.) In contrast, customer clusters are a downstream output of the sale, that are used to further refine the original market segments (for instance, distinguish those in the same demographic group that have bought from a certain product category, spent a certain amount over their lifetime, or placed orders at a certain frequency.) Leveraging the raw data analyzed for marketing attribution, marketers can build customer clusters based on the propensity to buy, brand affinity, seasonal influences, product launches, or even the time of actual conversion. For example, if marketers noticed an increasing number of conversions happening in the late hours of the evening, they could potentially build a “midnight cluster” and create a marketing plan to attract conversions—the added bonus being reduced ad rates (at low peak hours).

Coordinating Marketing Efforts to Customer Intent

Attribution can also be leveraged to gain a better understanding of your customers’ purchase intent. Analyzing all of the touchpoints experienced by customers prior to conversion enables you to identify patterns of behavior, the right mix of tactics (channel, publisher, keyword, creative, size, etc.) impacting consumer purchase activity, and the probability of a customer buying a product during a given timeframe. Such insights enable marketers to design very effective strategies to incent conversion. For example, a consumer that is exhibiting signs of nearing a purchase by browsing for refinance options on a bank’s website could be targeted with phone call from a local agent offering help, information or special deals and options.

Understanding the true value that each tactic plays in influencing your prospects to convert is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to marketing attribution. From identifying new ways to acquire customers, to creating customer clusters and understanding customer intent, attribution helps you design and implement more effective marketing strategies.

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