Three Things Attribution Providers Wish You Knew

Volume 4, Issue 9 - September, 2014

Shilpi Desai, Senior Account Manager, Visual IQ

An increasing number of marketers are coming to the realization that advanced attribution is a necessary tool for accurately measuring and optimizing cross channel marketing performance. But marketers who invest a lot of time and effort selecting an attribution solution provider need to understand that comparable time and effort needs to be devoted to the implementation process once a vendor is selected. Here are three things attribution providers wish you knew (or knew to do) before embarking on an attribution initiative that would help ensure a smooth implementation.

Help the Solution Provider Understand Your Business Goals

Attribution analysis can help solve a number of complex marketing challenges. Therefore, it’s essential to understand what you want to accomplish from your attribution implementation and communicate those goals to your provider while still in the pre-implementation planning phase. Doing so will not only help your vendor configure your attribution solution to your specific needs, but will also ensure that everyone is working toward common organizational goals rather than channel-specific or departmental goals.

If your organization is like most, where each channel is measured in silos using different metrics, your pre-planning should also include identifying what metrics are currently being reported upon, and what key performance indicators (KPIs) are currently being used to assess the performance of each channel. Your attribution provider will help convert these individual KPIs into a set of KPIs that are common across all of your channels and are mapped to your business goals. Such pre-implementation planning and discovery will help facilitate the creation of an integrated view of your marketing ecosystem that meets your specific marketing performance management needs.

Ensure the Integrity of Your Data

When it comes to attribution, the key to having high quality output is having high quality input. As the saying goes, “good data in, good data out.” But many marketers stop after a cursory audit of their potential data sources and therefore miss many of the data issues that can delay implementation.

Marketers can avoid such delays by performing a full data audit during the pre-implementation planning stage. This audit should include ensuring you have the correct tagging infrastructure in place; ensuring your ad server is set up and collecting data across your online channels; and you have a method for providing your vendor with access to cookie-level data. Such preemptive actions will enable you to avoid bottlenecks before they occur and keep your attribution implementation on track.

Anticipate Changes and Be Prepared to Act

Even when marketers recognize the inaccuracies of last-click, many still underestimate the true impact that one channel can have on another. Click-based models that demonstrate seemingly positive ROI for a particular channel can actually be extremely negative when using advanced attribution to analyze multiple channels together. Such insights into actual performance not only require marketers to think differently, but also to invest their budget differently. Working with your attribution vendor to dive into the data, understand the insights produced, and make incremental changes based on the recommendations delivered will ensure you’re driving the best results for your business. Since business constraints such as preset budgets or lack of fluidity can delay the activation of insights, be sure to identify and articulate these to your attribution provider as well.

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