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Rolling Out Marketing Attribution on a Global Scale

Volume 4, Issue 11 - November, 2014

Nehal Patel, Account Manager, Visual IQ

A growing number of brands are utilizing advanced marketing attribution as a platform for stepping outside the traditional “siloed” approach to marketing measurement and embracing a holistic, cross channel measurement strategy. However, for companies looking to roll out attribution on a global scale, successful implementation and adoption requires both operational finesse, and a deep understanding of your company’s culture and business requirements. Here are a few key factors to consider when expanding your attribution solution abroad.

Crawl Before You Walk Before You Run

Since attribution fundamentally changes the way you measure, plan and buy media, shifting from “last touch” metrics to attributed metrics can be challenging—especially when your intent is to implement attribution across borders. When deciding where to focus your initial rollout, start with a top performing country that has diverse media in market, and allow for time to stand up the solution within that geography. This includes monitoring your attributed metrics and allowing the organization to consume these new benchmarks, as well as helping them to understand the optimization opportunities available within and across channels and regions, and for the organization as a whole.

Once recommendations are in market, systematically tracking and internally marketing your return on investment from the solution is key. Sharing the insights produced and efficiencies gained will serve as a powerful demonstration of attribution’s contribution. It will also enable you to gain traction and secure organizational buy-in, thereby building momentum for expansion.

Identify New Markets

Once your initial attribution platform is set up and you’ve proven the efficiency and budgetary benefits it delivers, you can start to explore opportunities for global expansion. When considering new geographic markets, focus on those regions that have a higher media spend allocated across a broader mix of channels. Successful adoption relies on your ability to prove the platform’s value, and focusing on markets with a smaller budget and channel mix may limit what you can actually optimize.

Maintain the Regional Currency

Working with monetary conversion rates can be tricky. Ingesting marketing performance data for each region in their respective currency is often the easiest and cleanest practice (unless there is a unified plan and budget with localized execution at play). When maintaining the regional currency, it’s important to communicate this to your staff, especially if any of your team members plan to access the data from regions that use a different currency.

Account for Linguistic Variables

Working with different geographic regions often requires the ability to report in different languages. However, many regions speak and understand English, which can help make rollout decisions easier. Certain channels such as search, however, may require using the native language, particularly as it relates to keywords. When incorporating search into your attribution solution, consider opting for a lesser degree of reporting granularity. While such an approach won’t allow you to drill down to the most granular keyword level, it will still enable the automatic pushing of your attributed data to your media buying platforms for more efficient activation.

Define a Global Taxonomy

Regardless of whether you decide to support a single language or multiple languages, creating a shared, global taxonomy that can be applied across all inputs is critical for ensuring the data can be understood, used, and compared across regions for global decisioning and performance management. Defining a common taxonomy will also help to speed implementation by minimizing complexity and any potential confusion.

Consolidate to a Single Ad Server

In many cases, various regions work with their own ad server. When rolling out attribution into new markets, it can be beneficial to first consolidate your online media exposures from those regions into a single ad server. Such consolidation will save you time and effort by minimizing the number of data sources that need to be identified, collected, normalized and integrated. Moreover, having a pre-determined process for consolidating ad servers will make rolling out attribution into additional regions faster and easier.

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