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Marketing Attribution & Programmatic Buying: Two Great Tastes That Taste Great Together

Volume 5, Issue 6 - June, 2015

Keith Levine, Sr. Account Manager, Visual IQ

By definition alone, marketing attribution and programmatic buying may seem to perform two separate and distinct functions. After all, attribution is about measuring and optimizing cross channel marketing performance; programmatic is about automating the execution of media buys. But in truth, the two are highly intertwined, with attribution serving as an essential component of a successful programmatic strategy. Here’s why:

It Dissolves Data Silos for an Objective View of Performance

Data is the backbone of both attribution and programmatic buying. The more data that is available to marketers and their programmatic partners, the better equipped they are to target audiences and activate them with the right media, in the right place, and at the right time.

Unfortunately, for many organizations, this data is found in disparate silos. Muddying the waters even more, each individual data source is apt to take its own credit for a single conversion based on the KPIs specific to that channel or campaign, creating significant redundancies and inefficiencies.

Attribution breaks down these silos, enabling marketers to incorporate all their marketing performance data into a single, centralized, and de-duplicated repository. It improves spending decisions by providing a media-neutral, unbiased view of performance and the influence that each channel, campaign and tactic has on a conversion. With this holistic, objective view into what’s working and what’s not, marketers are able to adjust their strategies accordingly to optimize their programmatic buying efforts.

It Delivers Audience Intelligence

Optimizing programmatic requires more than just understanding the mix of channels, strategies, and tactics to produce the best return across all prospects. It involves understanding your customers and the mix that produces the best return for each specific audience segment.

Attribution enables marketers to combine media, response and customer data with demographic and behavioral data extracted from third-party sources. This process enables marketers to determine which segments have the highest lifetime value, which have the highest propensity to convert, and which mix of tactics will produce those segments with the greatest efficiency. Armed with this insight, marketers can ensure their programmatic efforts are optimized to reach the right audience, reducing wasted spend and driving better returns.

It Enables Real-Time Optimization

Real-time activation of insights is paramount to maximizing the ROI of programmatic marketing. Advanced attribution technologies provide mechanisms by which attributed performance metrics are automatically sent to programmatic execution platforms. This data push not only eliminates the arduous, manual process of loading your media buying instructions into programmatic platforms, but also ensures your media buys are based on the most accurate information, so you can reallocate spend across publishers and placements (or keywords) more efficiently. The result: better returns and more timely, relevant customer interactions.

Like two great tastes that taste great together, combining marketing attribution and programmatic buying enables marketers to leverage all that Big Data has to offer and make smarter, more informed decisions. Used in tandem, these processes create a continuous, closed-loop cycle of measurement, optimization and activation. Each time actual performance data is fed back into an attribution platform, it delivers increasingly more accurate optimization recommendations for automatic execution via programmatic platforms. Now that’s refreshing.

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