Today marketers have access to boat loads of data. They can obtain anything from brand impressions your marketing channels have collected all the way to how many conversion actions have been completed on your site.
Regardless of how much data you have it doesn’t matter unless you leverage the data correctly to continually increase the performance of your marketing efforts. The ultimate goal to reach your target consumer better at a more efficient price is now truly becoming possible. In the past I have written about ZMOT, the idea that consumers today have an increased understanding of the digital space and often don’t complete conversion activities after viewing your site the first time (read more about ZMOT). With recent advancements in digital reporting suites such as Google Analytics we can pin point the value each marketing channel brings to our marketing mix. This goes beyond the eye of standard reporting with KPI’s such as CTR (Click-through-Rate) and impressions and focuses more on channel ROI.
Marketing channel attribution is the process of pinning a value to each interaction a consumer has with a marketing channel. The first step is to determine all of the channels you have, organic and paid. Once you have captured all of your digital and traditional channels in your analytics account it is time to start developing your attribution model.
There are many marketing attribution models available for marketers to leverage, but I personally believe your model needs to be adjusted to best fit your business objectives. As you all know I am a major Google fan boy so I will review the five main attribution models Google has recently released to the public.
EXAMPLE: A consumer discovers your brand by clicking through to your site from a paid online display ad. The consumer checks out your site and leaves without completing a conversion. Then two days later the same consumer searches for your brand in Google and clicks through to your site. The user while on your site signs up for your CRM email program and leaves again without completing a purchase transaction. One day later the same user receives an email from your CRM program and clicks through to your site from the email where they end up completing a transaction (conversion).
This model is traditionally how most marketers have judged effectiveness of their marketing efforts. It is when the last channel used to complete a transaction gets all of the credit for the conversion. – In this example the paid email program would receive 100% of the credit.
This model gives 100% of the credit to the first channel that directs users to your site. – In the case above the paid display ad receives 100% of the value.
Each channel assisting in the conversion path receives an equal distribution of weight. - Paid display, organic search and email would all receive equal credit at 33% each.
In this model the channel closest in time to the final conversion transaction would receive the most credit. The total percentage of credit would decrease based on how much time has gone between the channel interaction and the conversion event. This model takes some additional effort to determine how you want to allocate points based on the time passed - Lets apply a simple Time Decay model to our example that attributes 50-30-20 at a 3 day transaction with a 5% shift for every day delayed. In our example each channel would be allocated the following:
- Email 50%
- Organic Search 40%
- Display Ad 10%
This assigns a different value based on when the user interacts with a channel. The Position model has the most lenience allowing for you to adjust it to meet your unique business objectives. – Lets apply a simple model again to our example. Lets say the first interaction in worth 40%, middle interactions split 30% and the final interaction is allocated 30%. In our example the display ad gets 40%, organic search receives 30% (note if more channels in-between first and last interaction the 30% would be split between them) and the email channel receives 30%.
There are many different ways we can slice this pie, but it is important you understand the core models to develop an effective attribution model for your business. I would like to thank the Google Analytics team for making industry breaking strides in this space over the past year. Google has developed a great section on how to develop attribution models and how you can leverage Google Analytics to make these a reality. Please check out the articles and how-to guides at the link below!
Key Performance Indicators or better known as KPIs are metrics measured throughout a campaign to judge success. Many marketers blow through this stage of planning which is a huge mistake. It is essential before considering any creative or media elements to a campaign that KPIs are set. KPIs should be a measurement that helps accomplish solid business objectives. If its increasing e-commerce sales or increasing the number of users who engage socially with your content, having these objectives will be able to help you decide which vehicles and partners are the most effective.
As you may have noticed above every time I mentioned Key Performance Indicators there was an “S” added, meaning plural! No mater what type of site you have there will be multiple elements you can measure. You may prefer to establish one master KPI on your site that the campaign was initiated to accomplish, such as increased sales of a particular product. There could potentially be many other KPIs set that support that top-level goal. An example for a site that sells movie tickets: newsletter sign-up, social share, watch a movie trailer or search for map directions. All of those would help support the overall business goal of selling more movie tickets.
There is a lot of analysis that is involved with determining how different KPIs help achieve an overall business objective. My suggestion for you is track everything across multiple channels and through analysis determine how each plays a role in your conversion process. KPIs will help you improve future campaigns and will demonstrate to clients/managers that their marketing dollars are producing measurable results.
Display advertising today is driving sales for some of the biggest and smallest brands. The online channel has evolved today to become an extremely strong tool to reach your target consumer online. To really understand the value of display ads a marketer must learn about the unique ways it can leverage the channel to meet its consumers needs. In this post I am going to focus on a personalized form on display advertising, called retargeting.
Retargeting is truly a basic concept . It allows brands to serve display ads only to those people who have visited their website or other online owned property. Most brands only leverage this technology to enhance their standard display ad campaigns. This will prove to be more effective than standard display ads but it doesn’t even come close to the power of retargeting.
Retargeting should be used for valuable online objectives: reduce customer drop-off, fight to obtain ZMOT (Zero Moment of Truth),
If your site has any type of process involving steps the online consumer has to complete, you know there is a significant amount of customers who stop during the middle of the conversion process, called drop-off customers. Retargeting can be used to serve unique creative to consumers based on how far they made it through your conversion funnel. The customized creative will encourage them to repeat the process and complete the desired conversion. A great example that is used to encourage conversion from drop-off customers is cart abandonment ads. Cart abandonment is when a user visits a site and adds products to a cart but decides to leave the site without checking out the products in their cart. Display ad retargeting allows us to serve ads to the customer that include the products that were added to the customers cart but not checked out. The same methodology of cart abandonment display ads can be manipulated to best meet the needs of your conversion funnel. educate your customers about new offerings and encourage customer loyalty.
This was just one example of how you can use retargeting to meet your business objectives. Evaluate how you could use this unique technology to grow your online business and build your brand online.
Traditional television for years has been run on skeptical ratings to demonstrate performance. Now that the digital era has emerged and marketers have massive amounts of data very few people know what to do with the data. Digital tracking has allowed us to collect granular data that can be used to optimize campaigns during and after flight. The data many marketers use to attribute success is impressions, clicks and a combination of the two (CTR). I can tell you that if you have those metrics on your reporting dashboards you missed a major step in planning.
Before every campaign it is essential that you setup measurable conversion goals for your digital campaign. If it is submitting a form, purchasing a product or even just sharing a page throughout their social networks it needs to be something. Marketers should then set eye on optimizing and judging performance off of those conversion goals. A common metric to judge this is, CPA (cost per activity). This will help you to reflect ROI more effectively and contribute to having better performing campaigns.