The why’s and how’s of Attribution Analysis – Matthew Tod, CEO of Logan Tod

Hand in hand with social CRM and tracking engagement through your various social networks and channels, attribution modelling is nirvana for most people in marketing right now. The obvious signs of this nirvana are here, with businesses such as Tagman setting up, that at least in part look at attributing value to various different touch points on the consumers journey.

We’re at the TFMA show and are listening to Matthew Tod talking to us about how we can really define value from our work to ensure we can steal budget from other business areas in the latest digital land-grab.

He demonstrates a typical customer journey to acquisition, starting with the fact that we all spend a lot of time on Facebook at work, which is quite often our first touchpoint with a brand or campaign. Matthew then goes on to insinuate that we’re also influenced by display advertising as a next step, and then typically provoked to sign up using our email address to receive more info. What happens next is a real revelation – more and more of us are responding to email on mobile devices, creating a really powerful connection between mobile campaigning and conversion – an important overlooked step for attribution. The last step before conversion is still very often via a search engine. Tracking in the traditional cookie-based way that all standard analytics packages use just can’t work across platforms in this scenario.

To underline this we were shown real data from Google Ad Planner to demonstrate that the average number of cookies, and their relation to real users – actual people – per visit, is between 2.5 and 3. This implies that each user uses between 2.5 and 3 devices in a typical scenario. Amazing. Even more extraordinary is that the typical Facebook visitor has just over 3 devices (3.1). Extraordinary.

Once users are finally on the site there are also issues that effect attribution modelling to do with conversion rate. For example increasing conversion rates does not always mean increase value. Again real data demonstrated that the volume of visits as a result of increased social media activity meant more traffic and less conversions. However all other data was up – visits, orders, sales & margins. Ensuring that you don’t cut budget in key areas of activity was obviously rammed home.

3 last nuggets of note:

– email drives mobile: people respond to calls to action in email on mobile devices;

– mobile search: 70% of mobile search is location related

– abandoned shopping carts: are not always a bad thing – there is value in the fact that the consumer has added goods into them and they are quite likely to convert later.

So how do we start attributing value? Well the only answer offered was for us to start asking more questions. Matthew provoked us to challenge our analytics vendors for answers to better questions that shine a light on what we can and can’t report on so that it pushes the industry forward. Look beyond clicks and conversions and look at profit, and profit at a keyword level. This is how businesses can grow and thrive. SO it’s back to the old analytics package beauty parade again! Sigh!

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