Enterprises that are serious about measuring the effect of their marketing initiatives are turning to marketing attribution. According to Forbes, the definition of marketing attribution is “the science of using advanced analytics to allocate proportional credit to each marketing touch point.”
Said another way, according to Wikipedia, “Marketing attribution provides a level of understanding of what combination of events in what particular order influence individuals to . . . a conversion.”
There are many different approaches when it comes to marketing attribution. The methods range from very basic such as “last-click” to incredibly sophisticated such as “multi-touch” and “cross-channel.” Whichever method is used, the path that a customer takes to the point of purchase and how retailers attribute that influence, and thus their budgets, is of growing importance.
Innovative new developments
Over the last two years, much has evolved in the marketing attribution space, particularly with attribution modeling. Not only has Big Data come into play, but so too has Big Measurement and Big Modeling, both relatively new forms of digital technology that can tackle marketing attribution problems on a massive scale.
In the past, attribution was essentially limited to online impact. Another new development in marketing attribution that we are seeing in the past 12-18 months is the ability to account for offline to online effects.
Attribution methodologies are evolving and improving fast because they represent the future of actionable marketing and impact modeling.
As an example, a regional billion dollar grocer was interested in the effect that Facebook likes have on consumer behavior and spending. Industry leader, Collective Bias, in association with marketing attribution data provider, Yeti Data, sought to understand the business impact in a four-year study.
The finding showed that Facebook fans, on average, bought 125 more items than a typical customer (a 35 percent rise).
Because the industry is developing so rapidly, by the time the four-year marketing attribution case study was complete, the modeling methods used in the study were effectively outdated and obsolete. Today Yeti Data uses significantly more robust attribution models.
Perfection in marketing attribution
The advancement of attribution is an exciting development. While there are still many limitations on model accuracy, perfection is not a realistic goal. Holding off deploying the more sophisticated methods of attribution because of the rate of innovation only keeps your company that much farther behind.
If you want to evolve from last-click attribution, there are plenty of good options available and the sooner you begin evolving your own marketing attribution the more adept you and your company will be as attribution models continue to advance.
The road to actionable marketing
For marketing that persuades prospects, customers, and the public to engage with your brand, many elements come into play. You need to target the correct audience, build trust, craft worthy messages, deliver them skillfully, expand your reach, and (possibly most importantly) produce measurable results. Forward-thinking enterprises need to measure all of the touch points, both digital and offline, and map them to the sale. To do this, marketing attribution provides the tools necessary to track, measure, and constantly improve our marketing strategies.