Attribution models; how to value online marketing.
Internet is becoming increasingly important and the web more complex. The same goes for online marketing. We used to create a banner and watch how often it was clicked. These days it is not that simple, and we know now that conversion is preceded by a process. But how do you analyse this and how can attribution help you out here?
Conversion attribution examines the actions that preceded the final conversion and how the customer got there. Through which websites did the customer come to you? Which specific search preceded it? And which part of the search was most important in how they got to you?
The whole process that the potential customer goes through can be seen as a journey: the customer journey. For example someone wants to buy a new microwave. The client sets off with that aim in mind. They will first familiarize themselves with all the possibilities by obtaining product information. They probably then look for stores which offer a certain model, and what the price differences are. At a certain point they take their decision and buy the product – mission accomplished.
Traditionally, the customer is followed on his journey by the famous cookies. This allows mapping of the actions and intermediate movements of the client. These are then given a predetermined value.
To assess the value of different marketing channels you will need to apply an attribution model. There are several standard models that are commonly used.
- Linear: a linear model assigns an equal value to all channels
- Last click: this model awards all the value to the last visited intermediate visit before purchase. Here you can still consider disregarding direct traffic
- First click: this is the opposite of last click, all the value is assigned to the starting point
- Position-based: a position-based model combines first and last click. It assigns a high value to both the first and the last channel
- Time interval: in this model, there is less value assigned to channels, and the visit that took place in the past
By assigning a specific value to the different marketing channels you get an insight into the components of your campaign and their effect on conversion. This enables you to determine which component to invest in effectively, and which model suits your company and customer profiles. Developing your own model specific to your business, is of course the ideal.
Cookies with holes
To be continued
Conversion attribution is an area that is in full development. This applies both to the technology behind the tracking of the customer, as well as for the current attribution. In any case it is important to realize that the customer journey is a process that has a significant influence on the final conversion, and the click no longer rules.