It may not be the sexiest topic in ad tech, but for too long marketers have been using the last-click attribution model where the last point of call before a customer purchases something gets all the credit. In this opinion piece, Cat Prestipino, marketing director for retargeting company AdRoll, calls out those who still use it.
Attribution is one of the most difficult topics in the digital advertising industry and there is no ‘one size fits all’ model. In fact, I’d take it a step further and say that there is still no method that is 100 per cent accurate.
There are quite few ‘off the shelf’ methods that marketers can use as a stepping stone to a more sophisticated model, yet according to our 2016 State of the Industry report, 52 per cent of Aussie marketers are still using the outdated and inaccurate single-click method.
For far too long marketers have used last-click as an easy to explain to the board, ‘good enough’ attribution method. One of the best analogies I have ever heard for last click is that you wouldn’t give 100 per cent of the credit of a trip to the cinema to the guy or gal that sold you the ticket, all they did was help you decide where to sit. You’d have to take into account, the trailer you watched on YouTube, the review you read and the banner ad that popped up on your screen.
View through conversations are an essential part of the journey. When was last time you personally clicked on an ad? My bet is that it certainly wasn’t anytime recently, ComScore research shows 8 per cent of internet users account for 85 per cent of clicks. When was the last time you saw an ad then looked up the product or brand? My guess is, all the time! So doesn’t it make sense that at the very least that ad deserves to be credited a bit?
Why should you care about attribution?
Essentially, so you don’t waste budget on digital channels that are not performing. The benefit of having a true understanding of your customer’s journey to purchase is that you get an idea of which channels are worth investing further budget into and which ones maybe aren’t pulling their weight.
Australia has a high performance marketing culture, mostly because we have smaller budgets and need to show solid ROI. Getting digital marketing attribution as close to perfect as possible is a great way for marketers to show how digital advertising is helping move the needle on the company’s bottom line.
Why should technology vendors care about attribution?
You might be wondering why AdRoll cares so much about attribution? For us it would be great if last click was the answer, retargeting is quite often the last in a chain of other touch points on a customer’s journey to conversion. The simple answer is that current methods are just not accurate.
We have faith in our products and want our customers to be able to accurately report on their digital channels. And with 49 per cent of Australian marketers saying that the future of attribution is better multi-touch tracking, it’s important to us to do our part in educating and helping solve for the issue.
When it comes to finding the correct attribution method for your brand, a range of factors need to be need to be thought through. What are your business goals? Are you working with flexible vendors that will work with you or do they have a set strategy in place? Do you have buy in from your C-Suite or board? What is the size of your digital spend? How many vendors to you work with?
The list is long but worth working through in order to ensure you’re getting as much out of your online marketing mix as possible.