Consumers generally do not choose to make a purchase immediately after first learning about a product or brand. Instead, they have many different contact points with different marketing channels of the advertiser before the final buying decision is made. In marketing terms, this kind of contact is called “touchpoint”. It’s how the path of a customer journey is illustrated. It’s vital to know how important these various touchpoints are for a customer’s purchase decision in order to play digital data-based advertising efficiently.
We‘ll show you the four necessary steps for a successful customer journey tracking and effective budget and campaign planning.
1. INTEGRATING ALL MARKETING CHANNELS
First of all, all advertising activities of various online marketing departments in the company must be bundled in one central place. These measures influence each other and thus also the customer journey of the potential customer. Business processes have to be largely digitalized and available data sources have to be interlinked. Data from different channels should not be collected and analyzed separately by different platforms. Instead, they should be centralized stored in one tracking system.
Channels without direct media costs such as SEO or social media need to be measured as well, since they often majorly influence paid channels. Offline channels must also be taken into account: For example, the exact time stamp can be used to make a chronological comparison between TV spots and online activity on the site. An advanced tracking system can calculate uplifts from TV spots which are later considered for the attribution.
2. DEFINING AND MEASURING CONVERSIONS
Every successful Customer Journey ends with a user action aimed at by the advertiser, which is also called conversion. A conversion doesn’t necessarily have to be a purchase. The type of conversion depends on the goals and the industry of the advertiser. A conversion can take place in the form of a newsletter registration, download or creation of a new customer account in addition to the purchase. Therefore, it is important to define measurable goals in advance.
Tip: Don’t just decide for one type of conversion. If there are micro conversions (leads) which are subordinate to the general conversion target (sale), these should be considered additionally.
The measurement of conversions requires the implementation of a “conversion tag” on the advertiser’s target page (e.g. the confirmation page after payment). Additional information, including basket value and basket content and whether the purchase was made by a new or existing customer, could be relevant later for the reporting and evaluation.
3. MEASURING VIEWS AND CLICKS
It is important to consider all user interaction with the marketer’s advertising. Therefore, always record clicks and views (ad impressions). Advertising banners, for instance, are only rarely clicked on, but even without a direct user reaction they tend to have a positive impact on how brands or a company are perceived. A view can influence a user just as positively as a click on an advertising measure, and lead to further action that draws the user closer to the conversion goal. Branding measures, for example, have a major impact on performance campaigns as they create broader commercial reach and provide first touchpoints between advertisers and potential customers.
For measuring clicks and views, you need tracking codes that are usually placed directly in the advertising media and executed as soon as the user either views or clicks on an ad.
4. FINDING THE RIGHT ATTRIBUTION MODEL
Once all data is centrally stored, it is important to evaluate it with the right attribution model in order to rate the value and efficiency of each measure. This needs to be done to optimize future budget and campaign planning. Because an efficient budget allocation to advertising measures largely depends on the attribution model used.
Ideally, conversions are split up and distributed as a percentage over the touchpoints during the customer journey. By default, however, the Last Click model is still too often used, where the complete conversion is attributed to the last touchpoint only. In most cases, it makes more sense to use data-driven models, which can show interactions between the individual touchpoints by means of statistical methods and intelligent algorithms.
Ideally, advertisers use a system which considers all factors that can influence the interactions between individual touchpoints within a customer journey, including the type of touchpoint (view vs. click), channel, time factors, the scope of the advertising measure, ad visibility, and more. Read our blog post to find out which data points you need for successful attribution.
The more granularly a customer journey is measured, the more precisely it can be analyzed and the more detailed will the conclusions be about the impact of individual advertising media. Advertisers can use these insights to better implement future budgets and plan campaigns more effectively.