Cross channel attribution (view thru analysis, halo modeling, etc.) gets a lot of play in the marketing community (as it should). Much of the conversation around attribution modeling centers on debunking the myth of last click attribution. For years (as my CEO will attest) I’ve been a strong believer that paid search most likely doesn’t perform (meaning achieve an ROI) as well as it’s given credit for. The same can be said for offline (print and TV), it most likely doesn’t perform as poorly (ROI again) as the numbers state. I’ll get back to the print side in a later posting but for now, I’d like to discuss online attribution; SEM, SEO, display, affiliate, email, etc and how these work together.
If we as marketers, and in my case, direct marketer, want to get away from one-click convertors (ala paid search) and introduce the consumer to a brand earlier in the decision process, we’ve got to engage other forms of media. To be clear, all our buys play one of the three roles in the conversion path: Introducer, Influencer and Convertor. Display and its vast amounts of impressions is one very good way to Introducer and Influence the consumer along the path to conversion.
We’re typically held to a very high standard of ROI meaning a media buy typically needs to back into an appropriate ROI. As anyone who’s purchased display media on a CPM can attest that pretty hard to do when you’re competing against brand marketers and those who have different attribution methods. There are only so many keywords you can buy that can help Introduce the consumer to your brand that aren’t going to throw you’re ROI out of whack. These general keywords are usually very expensive and thus are highly competitive. Here is where the use of display advertising (and the 100M’s plus impressions you can gain) is an excellent way to accomplish this. One note of caution, you’ve got to have buy-in at the senior level that not every media purchase will produce a last click conversion and that media acting as an introducer or influencer can be valuable in scaling your business. By serving and pixeling your buys correctly, you can create a pathing analysis that begins to quantify the value of these “assists”. Only by understanding the amount of time a specific media buy is noted in the conversion path can you begin to attribute value beyond the last click to these media buys.
The area that I’ll blog about later, that Google really needs to step up to, is the valuation of the impression in paid search. There are (and I paraphrase), as McDonald’s states “Billions and Billions served each day” paid search impressions that are thrown by the roadside. Just imagine if we could attribute the “view” here? How much more profitable would our paid search campaigns be? This, I’ll discuss in a future posting. For now, get ahead of the curve and start measuring all your media buys and the impact each has on one another. This data will teach you a lot about your consumer.
Steve Jacoby, Managing Director, Search