Data usage: Marketing attribution

We have talked a lot on this blog about how to get the data sorted and ready for use. The questions that logically follow must be:

“So what? Why do all of this? Why make the investment?”

Yes, data driven decision making and accurate reporting are powerful motivators but let’s talk specifics.

Let’s imagine: You’ve got it sorted. The data is centralised, piping in regularly and automatically from all of your sources, creating an exhaustive single repository of truth.

At the same time, your business is spending significant sums of money on digital marketing. Buying PPC on Google and Bing, VOD spots on YouTube, ads on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest, banner ads, retargeting campaigns, email drives and SEO efforts.

Measuring the effectiveness of that marketing spend and establishing return on investment (ROI) is critical. Digital advertising spend in the UK is projected to hit £15.6bn – with a B – in 2020.

How can data help here?

Digital marketing IS data. Pure and simple. Every impression, click, visit, bounce and purchase is tracked. It’s a lot. Making sense of it is a daunting task.

Without data, businesses tend to make crude decisions with even cruder models.

Last click (attribute all of the revenue generated from a purchase to the channel that led to that purchasing visit) or first click (attribute all of the revenue to the channel through which you first saw the customer) are the default positions for most.

This is deeply problematic though. Imagine a scenario in which the typical route to your website is a google search for your brand name and a click on the top link that shows. That top link is a paid ad (PPC). Clearly, you will overweight the effectiveness of PPC as a channel, starting an expensive feedback loop of paying for clicks, clicks you likely don’t need to be paying for. By suppressing the bidding on customers who are already aware of your brand, you will upweight your SEO efforts and drive organic (therefore FREE) traffic.

Neither first click nor last click properly and accurately account for the end to end customer journey.

Data driven attribution modelling

The point here is that data holds the answer. By applying a probabilistic mathematical model to all of the tracked touch points, a data driven attribution model can be created. The output is not a set of reports or analytic insight. It is a digital marketing strategy that constantly evolves. Your PPC bidding algorithms, ad spot purchases and SEO weighting all feed into and from that strategy.

By pulling data from all of those sources (any platform your brand ads appear on basically), the end to end automation of this process is enabled. The subsequent optimisation of your marketing spend should not be underestimated. The Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB) put  the  typical  savings  between  10%  and  25% .

As with all things data, the main challenge exists in getting the data right first. 80% of the battle is in automating the centralisation and storage of the data, followed by the application of the logic to connect it up. The attribution model is the glory seeking champagne moment. Fortunately, quietly does that heavy lifting for you and will happily empower the glory for you to savour.

Want to know more? We’d love to chat. Please  get  in  touch