What you always wanted to know about attribution..
Measure all - attribute fair - be holistic - drive application - do it now. Here's how.
For marketing professionals, the control and optimization of marketing activities and determining the actual value contribution of these activities are essential for the company's long-term success. Thus, marketing measurement programs are currently in advertising companies' focus and have become an integral part of marketing investments. We have found that successful marketing measurement programs share common traits:
1. Existence of broad acceptance and connection to other business areas
Strategic marketing decisions should not take place in a vacuum. Instead, they ought to be part of a holistic business strategy. In high-performing programs, relevant business units cooperate to achieve common goals. Exactag's research shows that companies that focus on a coordinated, cross-divisional approach are many times more successful than companies that think and optimize in silos.
If there is a lack of buy-in from key stakeholders in adjacent areas of the company, marketing measurement programs are largely ignored, despite the number of valuable insights they provide. Relevant, adjacent business units include Sales, CRM / CSM, Market Research, Information Technology, and Finance & Controlling.
2. Consideration of holistic measurement and relevant metrics
To achieve broad adoption and to achieving business goals, marketing measurement programs must account for a wide range of effects. That is necessary so that the KPIs that marketing measurement programs report are free of influences that won't be attributable to marketing activities (i. e. seasonal, structural demand, and/or trends & disruption effects). For a more detailed explanation, also see our Blog Post Baseline
This elimination of influences is becoming considerably more difficult due to the increasing fragmentation of the media landscape and the mass of available data. Besides, it is not uncommon for many channels to implement and report on a large number of metrics that are not easy to align with KPIs from other areas of the business. Many marketing KPI dashboards get lost in a multitude of different metrics that are neither company-compatible nor actionable. Hence, it helps to focus on some substantial KPIs that allow a transparent and comprehensible examination of the profitability and optimization of marketing initiatives that make a demonstrable contribution to business success.
3. Automation and speed of processes
Many studies on the profitability of marketing measures use complex manual media mix models. However, the high effort caused by these manual and inflexible data processing procedures leads to immense delays in delivering results and therefore no longer fits into today's fast-moving times. For marketing decision-makers, the respective optimization recommendations usually come only after the strategy for the next campaign has already been decided. Therefore, up-to-date marketing measurement programs have to provide an automated and fast basis for decision-making. They must support strategic decision-making quickly and flexibly, and at the same time, have to map the complexity of marketing in its entirety.
4. Decision support through simulations
A large number of offered marketing measurement programs already end with the execution of reporting functions. The introduction of a balanced scorecard for marketing KPIs is a step in the right direction. However, this first step is hardly ever sufficient to optimize marketing activities. Best-in-class marketing measurement goes a decisive step further: These marketing measurement applications provide users with advanced capabilities, such as reliable forecasting and simulation of media plans and strategies. Thus, instead of simulating just one plan, marketing decision-makers can examine and compare many possible combinations of channels, effects, and media strategies. That way, they ensure that the best strategies are developed and selected in each case.
5. Uncovering and exploiting synergies
Simulations of different possible scenarios help to identify synergies of the media channels in the mix. They also help to uncover the influence of external effects on the marketing ROI. For the media strategy, it can also be crucial to place a brand message in the right target group at the right time. Exactag's research shows that such external stimuli can double the marketing ROI. For a more detailed explanation, also see our blog post Why CMOs need to digitise their marketing controlling now
With Extended Attribution and the AdSpend Optimizer, Exactag offers a toolbox that addresses these challenges in marketing measurement programs (cf. Fig. 1). Our tools help marketing decision-makers evaluate marketing activities quickly and accurately.
Figure 1: Schematic representation of AdSpend Optimizer and Extended Attribution
The Extended Attribution module puts digital attribution into a holistic context and extends it by automatically calculating a baseline. The baseline represents the proportion of conversions that is independent of marketing activities (i. e. seasonal, structural demand, and/or trends & disruption effects). The predictions from this model form the basis for the Exactag optimization tool AdSpend Optimizer, which allows holistic optimization and scenario calculation along the customer journey. These two attribution tools rely on data that is already included in the Exactag tracking. As a result, they enable the rapid setup of holistic marketing measurement programs and the reporting of fine-tuned KPIs. They can be activated in a plug-and-play mode in self-service by marketing decision-makers and channel managers and used for optimization within a few days.
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