3 Tactics You Need To Implement Multi-Touch Attribution
And the Oscar goes to… “Thank you..Thank you so much, you lovely discerning people!”
We live in a world where celebrities and movies have a profound influence on us, so I think it’s only fitting to start with an Oscar analogy with respect to how best to understand the role attribution plays for any brand.
Let’s assume I am Frances McDormand, and I won the Oscar for Best Actress in a feature film, and I end up thanking only my director with no mention of my parents, friends, mentors, or agent. Although the director may have contributed the most to my win, my parents and friends may feel hurt about being left out of my speech and give me the cold shoulder.
Now, imagine if I thank only my parents for motivating me to get into acting in the first place. I might not get another movie with this director. Conceptually, that could be applicable to “attribution,” where each team is given due credit for assisting in one way or another to achieve a common objective. For example, a Customer Acquisition or Store or Engagement team would each have their own measurement methods but not necessarily have common KPIs. However, sticking to their own KPIs would not be the right path if the ultimate goal is to grow the business.
I typically tell my clients that being able to improve performance is not only about creativity, but also about establishing the right accountability structure within teams. If you put the right structure into place, each team will become more efficient; they will know how they’re influencing one another and what their role is in the grand scheme of consumer journeys. Based on my experience, attribution is a continuous process that can’t be perfected overnight. In that spirit, I’m focusing on three basic steps that can lead to smart collaboration within a brand’s teams to achieve that common goal.
Step #1: Identify which measure is most valuable for your business.
Every business is different. A typical macro-measure could be an ecommerce order, a lead generated, a new visitor to a content site, a donation to a non-profit, and so on. However, there might be multiple micro-measures which include email or product signups, store lookups, blog subscribers, videos watched, etc. Although each of these micro-measures has a unique significance, a smart marketer will always work toward computing the value that each micro-measure brings in individually, as well as how they are influencing other macro-measures as part of the entire conversion path. Eventually, you’ll build a portfolio of measures across the different teams that are most valuable for you. How do we begin to do that?
Step #2: Stop working in silos.
Collaboration and brainstorming are key here. A typical consumer goes through a cycle of events before they purchase/repurchase a product or service. For example, they might show up in your store, check out related online reviews and blogs, explore social media and influencers on Instagram, search for upcoming sales, and review video tutorials before finally visiting the website to make a purchase. And each of these events are influenced by multiple teams.
So, rather than focusing on adjusting your own team’s KPIs, it’s essential that you understand how one team’s metrics influences those of another. The teams should discuss and determine the strategic changes they might make. For example, those changes might involve tracking a certain parameter or an integration with a specific platform. This is a crucial step and one where I strongly recommend that advertisers discuss all the variables and measures with their analytics and attribution partners.
Step #3: Build your perfectly imperfect multi-touch attribution model.
A quote from the renowned physicist and best-selling author Stephen Hawking states that, “One of the basic rules of the universe is that nothing is perfect” and yet marketers want a perfect machine-learning model to inform their budget decisions, and more. In such scenarios, it’s critical to understand how a customized attribution model might evolve as your business grows, macro-economic factors change or as consumer behavior changes over a period of time. Machine learning models are highly complex and time-consuming, however the sooner you figure out how each of your significant touchpoints are interacting with one another, the closer you will get to achieving that business goal.
In a nutshell, implementing a sophisticated multi-touch attribution model is a complicated task for both marketers and analysts. However, in an almost ideal world, each team will look at a standard portfolio of measures to optimize their budgets across the brand, and that will create enough room for creative experimentation. For entertainment and to drive multi-touch attribution home even more clearly, now this.
Are you ready to collaborate and reach a new Altitude? Take a deeper look at: Evaluating Your Marketing Optimization Maturity
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