Today's attribution models enable advertisers to reflect on their clients’ customer journeys and to analyze and understand customer behavior in digital channels on a detailed level. Attribution helps to optimize ad spend and provides insights how various marketing measures interact with each other. The goal is to have actionable insights that help you optimize your marketing activities. However, marketing attribution must evolve to meet the ever-growing needs of marketers.
In our blog post we show 4 areas that attribution technologies must cover in the near future in order to meet advertisers’ high demands to optimize their marketing holistically.
1) SHOW CORRELATIONS BETWEEN BRANDING AND PERFORMANCE
Performance marketing and branding are merging more and more. In the future, the trend will even lead to jointly manage branding and performance measures across all marketing channels. However, marketers are facing two challenges.
Complex corporate structures and the allocation of marketing budgets to different departments lead to differing concepts with distinct objectives and heterogeneous campaigns. Resulting various data sources complicate the process to combine both strategies seamlessly. But to successfully integrate branding and performance a marketing strategy is required that is implemented across various departments.
To illustrate the impact of performance campaigns on the branding effect or vice versa the influence of brand awareness on sales, a holistic approach is required. Marketing experts are therefore increasingly relying on cross-channel customer tracking. With the right technological infrastructure, the insights of different channels and platforms are linked together to form a holistic picture. Marketing attribution plays a central role here, as all data sources converge into one platform and campaign strategies is optimized directly from the tool. Attribution technologies must therefore be able to precisely determine brand awareness in the future in order to measure the advertising effect holistically.
Find out more: Branding and Performance - a winner combination
2) CONSIDER THE INFLUENCE OF OFFLINE ADVERTISING ON ONLINE SALES
The digital and real worlds are merging. To be able to explain the efficiency of all marketing measures holistically, it takes more than a purely digital attribution system. Evaluating the success of marketing measures should not be limited to digital channels. To ensure an efficient budget allocation across the entire marketing mix, classic advertising like TV or print must be included in the analysis to explain the marketing effects holistically.
Up to now, marketing mix modeling, which considers the performance of traditional channels on an aggregated level, has been measured and evaluated separately from digital attribution. If these two approaches are evaluated separately, not all relevant factors are considered since offline and online measures influence one another. To explain marketing success as a whole, insights from marketing mix modeling must be included in the analysis of the data-driven attribution model.
Attribution solutions therefore need to become more flexible in the future and be able to include various different data sources into the analysis. This is the only way for advertisers to draw significant insights on the efficiency of their advertising measures across the entire marketing mix. This is how advertising budgets can be implemented long-term and holistically.
That way, the effect of offline marketing measures is not underestimated, despite the trend towards online advertising. Since advertisers will likely to keep reaching all target groups, they cannot refrain from offline marketing just yet.
Find out more: How Do Offline Media Influence Online Sales?
3) AUTOMATE MARKETING EFFICIENCY
Many areas and processes in marketing are already fully automated today. Data evaluation, content or lead generation are just a few examples where marketing automation helps advertisers to spend their employees' time most useful and to increase the efficiency of their marketing measures.
Attribution systems that automate themselves are already a reality. Machine learning allows for technologies to learn with new data sets and to develop autonomously in order to continuously provide a realistic picture of the marketing effect. For that, attribution systems must be able to quickly access current data in order to continuously optimize campaigns in real-time.
Marketing attribution already provides marketers with important KPIs for evaluating marketing measures, segmented by channel, product or device. Based on these insights, marketers can make decisions regarding campaign and budget planning. However, adjusting budgets or campaigns demands manual effort and adjustments in various advertising platforms, e.g. Google Ads.
In the future, attribution systems should be able to further advance marketing automation. Results from data-driven attribution will be automatically imported into the advertiser's partner systems and is used as a basis for optimizing marketing measures. This allows for increased campaign optimization and performance improvement.
Find out more: How advertisers bring AdTech and MarTech together
4) DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION
Digital footprints allow advertisers to gather information about their customers’ online behavior and their response to marketing activities. But collecting this data is only part of the equation. The second part is to derive actionable insights that help to optimize their marketing. However, many advertisers still find it difficult to complete this task. This is shown by a McKinsey study, which demonstrates that applying expertise for decision-making and planning is much more complicated than simply collecting and processing the data.
In order to provide sufficient support in the planning and optimization phase, marketing attribution must be aligned and integrated more closely with corporate goals and strategies. Attribution needs to transform from an isolated tool used by a few specialists within the organization to an essential component of the company strategy. This change also requires transparent communication of the company’s vision in order to take away employees' fears and point out opportunities. Employees should be trained in the use of new tools and there is a need for a specific contact persons that accompany the transition in the company. The technology partner should provide support and actively help shape this path.
Marketing attribution is a continuous process. Technologies must regularly review their progress, remain flexible and make adjustments in order to offer advertisers a long-term platform for their marketing that actively supports them in optimizing measures and budgets.