Marketing Attribution: A Critical Component of Programmatic Audience Development

Volume 4, Issue 8 - August, 2014

Anne Curtin, Sr. Director of Marketing, Visual IQ

Investments in programmatic marketing are on the rise. The approach offers a means of automating the activation of marketing strategies oriented around an audience, and, in doing so, driving the effectiveness, efficiency and bottom-line value of online advertising efforts.

But the latest white paper from Winterberry Group and the Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB) found that programmatic adoption and maturity levels differ substantially around the globe. Only the most mature markets – including the US and the UK – have embraced programmatic audience development as the foundation of a digital media strategy, and are positioned to expand those efforts across borders. It also found that these mature markets are defined by their growing use of cross channel marketing attribution. Here’s why advanced attribution is critical to a successful programmatic audience development strategy:

The Ability to Create Audiences

Programmatic marketing is about automating the transaction of media between advertisers and publishers to support on-going, channel-agnostic customer engagement. But the centerpiece of that effort is the ability to identify and target distinct “audiences” in the right place, at the right time, and with the right message in order to drive a conversion.

Advanced attribution solves this problem by enabling you to associate demographic, geographic, and behavioral information (that’s collected through the transaction process, surveys, or via any number of third-party data providers) to converting customers, so you can understand the value of particular audience segments and the mix of marketing tactics that produced them. By providing insight into which segments have the highest lifetime value, which have the highest propensity to convert, and which tactics (channel, frequency, creative, etc.) produce those segments with the greatest efficiency, attribution enables you to optimize your spend for each distinct audience.

Bi-Directional Integration with Execution Platforms

“Programmatic” represents the tactical means by which you can deploy your audience-oriented initiatives across various media. By using advanced attribution as part of a programmatic audience development strategy, you can discover the optimal combination of tactics to maximize each audience’s performance, and automatically send your attributed data back to media buying execution platforms — including demand side platforms, real-time bidding tools and trading desks from which you receive your marketing performance data in the first place. Such bi-directional integrations enable you to optimize your online advertising efforts based on more accurate, fractionally attributed metrics (versus flawed last click metrics) that take into account cross channel, cross campaign and cross tactic influences. The result is a faster time to market of your optimized media buys.

The findings from the recent Winterberry Group/IAB white paper anticipate new or expanded investment in programmatic audience development in the coming years, both within and across borders. Marketing attribution not only provides the means for unlocking the full potential of a programmatic audience develop strategy, but also delivers a strong and immediate competitive advantage to those who embrace it.

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