Measuring the effectiveness of an advertisement has always been a necessary evil in any marketing campaign. With the advent of social media and the rise in mobile usage, it is even harder to track user behavior. Businesses are essentially marketing blindly, unable to answer the question: Which advertising channel produces the highest ROI?

The Current Marketing Challenge

Imagine a maze of never-ending trails, misleading turns, and paths that lead to nowhere. This is how a consumer’s purchase journey looks like in our current digital age: A maze where the consumer bounces around on various sites, social platforms, and devices before he decides whether the brand or product is worth purchasing.

As the advertising landscape continues to grow and is split between online, offline, earned, and paid media, it is incredibly difficult to track the different touch points in a consumer’s purchase journey – and it’s not going to get any easier. Internet advertising spend is once again predicted to increase in the coming year, further shifting the amount of money and effort that advertisers are willing to spend to reach their audience.

This growing and influential shift then begs the question: How can you spend your ad budget more wisely?

In addition, what tools are available to provide insight and develop an optimized, multi-screen strategy to increase ROI?

The Change In Online Marketing Attribution

Traditionally, the way we measured the success of a digital ad campaign was through the last-click attribution model, which attributes 100% of the conversion value to the last advertising channel (hence the last click) the consumer was on before purchasing the product or pursuing a call to action. However, the labyrinth of online conversion tracking has made last-click attribution archaic, particularly because it is difficult to keep track of a person as he moves from device to device.

Therefore, it is not surprising that cross-channel attribution is becoming a hot commodity. Its advantages are simple: It collects data across all online advertising channels, whether it is on desktop, mobile, social, or search, so that we can more clearly see the consumer’s path to conversion. Businesses can then make better informed decisions about where to spend their budget.

Marketers are hungry for more data that simply isn’t available in most marketing tools, so third-party attribution tools are being created to marketers make sense of their attribution data. This way, they can gain a better understanding of their consumers’ online journey to conversion and allocate budget accordingly.

Creating an Effective Multi-Channel Attribution Campaign

Making informed decisions on where to spend ad budget and what platform to use to achieve your advertising goals hinges on knowledge, research, and testing.

You need to have a holistic understanding of how your audience behaves to get a full picture of your conversions. For example, your average consumer may convert on social, but what are the channels that influenced the decision to purchase?

Advertisings channels work in tandem to generate brand awareness, recognition, and curiosity, which often times influences consumers’ purchasing decisions. Knowing which platform consumers are researching your products be key to shaping an effective and profitable marketing strategy.

Originally published Sep 8, 2014 3:00:41 AM, updated December 14 2017


Data-Driven Marketing