The average online purchase is preceded by five to 10 different brand interactions, according to research from Teradata. Pinpointing which campaigns, ads, emails or combination thereof are driving conversion is called attribution — and it’s currently one of the biggest unsolved mysteries of the marketing world.
Besides figuring out how purchases can be attributed to brand touchpoints, marketers must also determine who consumers are across multiple devices during these digital interactions. For example, a consumer may use their smartphone to check social media, but answer emails on a tablet and brands often have no clue how to connect the two.
“The No. 1 wasted marketing-spend culprit… resides in a lack of visibility into the cumulative impact of multi-touch marketing,” notes study author John Lovitt. “Marketers are squandering opportunities and failing to reach their target audiences.”
Some marketers use the idea of “last-click” to determine campaign attribution, but it does not capture the reality of five to 10 interactions per customer. And while there are multi-channel attribution models that help parse the customer journey, Emarketer predicts that 68 percent of U.S. companies (with staff larger than 100) don’t feel they are sufficient and are seeking ways to optimize multi-channel attribution.
Designed for a determination
To pinpoint attribution once and for all, brands are increasingly using solutions like DataSwitch, a platform that determines who individual customers are across devices and brand channels by connecting emails you've collected with customer IDs and IP addresses.
DataSwitch allows users to create segments based on cross-channel conversion paths and specific campaign behavior. Then, brands can use this holistic, multi-channel information to optimize campaigns, adjust touchpoints turning customers away, or even build better audience profiles and personas.
In other words, DataSwitch addresses the complexity of the “five to 10” problem by giving marketers a window into the bigger picture of campaign attribution, instead of simply reporting last-click. So, if a customer clicks on a mobile display ad, fills out your landing page but ultimately decides to purchase on a desktop instead, DataSwitch ensures you know who this customer is and what happened every step of the way.
While most brands struggle with purely digital attribution, Yelp WiFi completed an offline attribution test with a Canadian restaurant chain to measure the impact of Yelp ad exposures on restaurant visits. Results showed 12,500 Yelp users (mostly mobile) saw the ads and the chain realized $110 in revenue for every $1 spent on Yelp advertising.
Once upon a time a one-step approach made sense. Today, marketers must look at customers on a larger scale to truly understand campaign ROI and multi-channel conversion behavior. Ultimately, knowing which aspects of your campaigns are working and which are not will pave the way to creating better experiences for your customers. And better experiences are just the beginning of the benefits brands will unlock as they find strategies for addressing attribution.