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Considering Marketing Attribution? Don't Forget the Media Team

Volume 3, Issue 4 - April, 2013

Editor, IQ Advisor

More and more brands and agencies are turning to marketing attribution to uncover the true performance of their multi-channel efforts. But moving from traditional measurement to attribution can have its challenges. A key theme across successful attribution engagements is sponsorship from the media team and their active participation during the evaluation, discovery, implementation and rollout of an attribution solution. Here are three key reasons why media teams must sponsor, evangelize and commit to an attribution engagement:

Operationalizing attribution ultimately lives with the media team

Media planners are tasked with managing an increasing number of channels, publishers and placements—and are held accountable for a specific set of key performance indicators (KPIs). Since attribution fundamentally changes how media planners go about their daily job of measuring, planning and buying media, adopting attribution requires a change in their operational mindset, including:

  • Shifting from current “last touch” KPIs to a set of fractionally attributed KPIs that reflect the true quantitative impact of each marketing touchpoint experienced by customers on their way to conversion.
  • Using attribution informed predictive analytics tools to facilitate buying decisions and produce optimized media plans.
  • Leveraging reporting analysis for key insights such as frequency caps, channel sequencing, time lag to conversion, and more.

The media team helps control the purse strings

While media departments aren’t always footing the bill for attribution, there are many technologies available in the market to inform and enhance media performance. Media teams can have a strong influence when deciding to invest in one technology over another, so it’s critical to get their buy-in on the chosen technology, as well as ensure that they understand the goals of the project and are committed to achieving them.

Media proves attribution’s value

The promise of marketing attribution is realized when media is able to produce more conversions at a lower cost. These efficiency gains are realized when attribution’s recommendations are put to work in market.

Because media teams are on the front lines - shifting budgets across myriad publishers and multiple channels, they often use optimization tools in ways that differ from how data analysts would. Media teams bring the real world, day-to-day, in-the-trenches perspective required for true adoption. Including media teams in the conversation throughout the evaluation, discovery, implementation and rollout process increases your likelihood for adoption of attribution when it counts.

Getting Started

So how can you get your media team to change their behavior and adopt this new approach to measurement?

First, as stated above, ensure the media team is involved from the start: evaluating and vetting vendors, contributing to the attribute importance criteria, and ultimately selecting the vendor partner.

Next, define a roadmap for successfully adopting the practice of marketing attribution and ensure that all internal and external/partner stakeholders have signed off on it. The frequency/cadence of refreshing the software with your latest performance data should be aligned to inform your planning cycle.

Finally, adoption is only going to happen if the chosen solution is understood and easily accessible. Training must be a priority for all media staff, not just the channel data stakeholders.

Companies that have successfully adopted a data-driven approach to attribution gain a strong and immediate competitive advantage, but it can only be done with active participation and sponsorship from the media department.

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