Efficiency continues to be the kicker that separates the winners of marketing from the rest (aka ‘the losers’, I guess).
With traffic, conversions and rankings all relying on fiddling with teeny-tiny details (to use the technical terms) being able to effectively attribute what you’re doing, understand areas of growth and identify inefficiencies can make or break your business.
Digital attribution is the answer. But the process of applying an attribution model to your activity and making it part of your marketing strategy is far from straightforward.
So, what does this all-singing, all-dancing digital attribution actually promise you and how can you put an effective model in place?
It’s a pretty big one.
A complete understanding of which online marketing activities drive conversions, so you can better gauge performance and then allocate your budgets for maximum impact.
It sounds great in theory, but as is the way with most wondrous promises it falls slightly short in real life.
The reality behind the promise is more along the lines of; digital attribution shedding some light on the channels that could be credited for conversions.
And there are several challenges that need to be overcome to even get you that far…
A lot of businesses and marketers are on the lookout for an optimum attribution solution.
But there’s no such thing as “optimum” marketing attribution. There’s not a silver bullet that will do everything for everyone.
It’s more about doing the best you can with the attribution model you use and the technology you have access to.
Applying an attribution model will give you an idea of what’s happening, but it won’t ever give you the full story.
Before you apply any attribution, your data is pure. But as soon as you start to apply any sort of modelling or insight you’re effectively deciding that some of your data is more important or should be given more credit than others.
And added to this is that fact there’s loads of data out there you aren’t even tracking, and probably can’t ever track, so even with the best intentions you’re making decisions based on incomplete information.
Just because you get loads of information from attribution doesn’t mean you’re getting all of it.
There’s a huge amount of technology out there to help but it can’t ever give you everything, no matter what platforms you use. Facebook, for example, doesn’t share its impression data with Google, so marketers will never be able to bridge that gap, no matter what tech they’ve got.
Away from the technical side of things, each individual buyer has a unique experience, and it’s a bit naïve to try and simplify that complex, personalised journey down to just clicks or impressions.
You can be spoiled with information that makes you think you know everything, but attribution still requires a certain leap of faith and an appreciation that you’ll never know it all.
The first tip is to acknowledge that every attribution model and tech solution has its benefits and flaws.
If they didn’t, we would already have one model and one piece of tech that everyone would use. It’s more a case of doing the best you can with what you’re using rather than aiming for perfection.
The second tip is to keep on testing and refining what you’re doing.
Attribution helps you assess the value of what you’re doing, but it doesn’t necessarily increase the value of what you’re doing. There’s still a need to continually tweak and reimagine what you’re doing to increase value as much as possible.
One of the biggest things to keep in mind is that attribution should be part of a joined up and coherent marketing approach.
If you’re approaching things in a holistic way you’ll be working with other teams and departments, discussing and agreeing on goals and processes – so you’ll be keeping things transparent and accurate anyway.
Interested in how you can improve your own attribution and prove the ROI of your marketing investment?