The Contribution of Attribution

By:Chris Calcagno12/21/2016

It’s the end of the year. You’re evaluating which of your efforts “worked” and didn’t “work” and you’re looking to your marketing folks to be able to tell the difference.

Once upon a time, an advertiser would place ads online and watch for clicks. How many people are clicking on it? Record and report those clicks. Lots of clicks – Yea! Not too many clicks – Boo. Whatever causes lots of clicks – do more of that. Whatever does not produce clicks – stop doing.

But that was then. This is now. And now is, as I keep telling you, a whole New World of Marketing and Advertising.

This is the Age of Big Data, and reporting and analytics has become a marketing professional’s new currency.

Consider the amount of data reported on today that we simply take as common practice.

“With RTB display the advertiser can get as much information and analysis as they require. The vast majority of DSPs will report on the following:

— Impressions
— Traffic Volumes
— Cost per Click (CPC)
— Click Through Rate (CTR)
— Conversion Volumes (post click & post impression)
— Cost Per Action (CPA)

— Conversion Rate (impression & click)
— Return on Investment (ROI)
— Playbacks (Video)
— Duration of Play Back (Video)
— Likes (Social)
— Social Shares

This of course allows the advertiser to not only get a detailed report on activity, but also optimize towards the set goal and plan for future activity effectively.” Market Research

The biggest shiny new object in a marketer’s treasure chest of analytics is attribution.

“84% of marketers believe attribution is critical to or very important to marketing success, compared to just 35% in 2014— a 140% increase. More marketers are attributing greater weight to view-through conversions (VTCs). In just one year, there’s been a 107% increase in the number of marketers who attribute more than 75% of conversions to view-throughs.”

Adroll: United States 2016 State of the Industry, a report based on survey of 1000 marketers

Once we serve you an ad online whether you click on it or not, we want to know what you’re thinking.

You may click to the desired landing page and bounce. We want to know why. You may not click at all, but show up at the landing page an hour later, or a day later, or two weeks later. We want to know why. We refer to that as a view-through conversion (VTC).

Moreover, we want to know what you’ve been doing while you were gone. Were you visiting competitors? If our product was say, women’s shoes, did you see our ad and go to a women’s site that sells apparel?

Once we serve you an ad, the track you take to the desired landing page — immediate click or a circuitous route — creates what we call your attribution model. We’re not following you per se – we have no personal identifiable information on you – but we have your IP address.

As marketing professionals, we’re looking for attribution reporting – not just how many clicks did we get, but what was your trail, your track, your path.

When your virtual smiling face shows up at our landing page, what can we attribute it to? Since last time we saw you and served you that ad; Where’d ya’ go – Whatcha’been doin’ –?

It’s why I call programmatic — digital RTB — media buying “no waste” advertising. It is that very attribution that allows our media buyers to optimize a client’s campaign in real-time with no waste of advertising dollars. And it’s attribution that will show you how to optimize your campaigns for the coming year.

Attribution gives us better optimization, and optimization of your campaign means maximization of your dollars for the coming year.


Calcagno Afterthought:

I brag about “no waste” advertising as a major component of The New World of Marketing and Advertising. I know. I know.I’m a bit overzealous. But check this: whatever your last spend was for a broadcast campaign or a radio campaign or a newspaper run – find out exactly how many people actually viewed the ad and paid attention to it, how many saw it and ignored it, and how many never saw it. Then calculate how much of your spend paid for all those not interested. Can’t??

You see with programmatic I can. With programmatic I can make sure your ad is ONLY going to people who have shown a propensity for being interested. No waste.

Now I’m not saying not to do traditional advertising. It still has its place. However, traditional advertising alone is not the best use of your advertising budget. Programmatic and traditional work well when used together. Making sure your audience sees your ads, on and offline.

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