Given the ever-multiplying number of marketing channels, today’s marketers must be able to tangibly evaluate their investments in each campaign, in order to determine which marketing mix combinations work best. Attribution and contribution are key aspects of this evaluation, and these topics are still more relevant than ever in 2017. In this interview, we’ll hear from Romain Baert, associate sales director at Mazeberry (marketing attribution solution and AT Internet partner), for an expert’s point of view on the latest trends in marketing attribution.
First, can you explain marketing attribution in a nutshell?
Marketing attribution lets us answer a rather simple question: Among my marketing campaigns, which one deserves credit for a given sale? This analysis makes it possible to highlight each campaign that has participated in a conversion.
Today, the most-used model by far (unfortunately) is the “last click” model: giving credit to the last channel used just prior to conversion. However, I don’t think this method best reflects the reality of the market…
Imagine if we remove your first visit from your purchase journey… there’s a good chance that your purchase journey will never even start. This first visit is just as important as the last visit, so why exclude it from your performance analysis?
Understanding the customer journey is therefore the key to a successful marketing strategy. This is why advertisers have fairly recently started using statistical models to analyse and weigh information coming from different points of contact; these “multi-touch” models are closer to reality.
Today, to optimise budgets across different marketing channels, it’s essential to link attribution with a dose of contribution. All budgetary optimisation decisions should take into account the quality of the channel and its role in the conversion. Indeed, an attribution model will recognise the fact that a campaign is present in the customer journey, but cannot tell us if the campaign’s presence is useful (if it creates incremental value, or generates a cannibalisation effect). How many advertisers have increased the budget for a certain channel, only to see that channel does not influence conversions the following month? Conversely, how many advertisers have cut off a certain channel thinking it was useless, only to see a dip in overall performance the following month? Therein lies the art of fully examining attribution.
In 2017, what are the newest challenges you’ve seen related to attribution?
Omnichannel, omnichannel and omnichannel!
Every brand dreams of having a 360-degree view of sales, whether they’re door-to-door, catalogue, telephone, tablet, television, or simply done in-store… The main challenge is knowing what the customer does, and which path he or she takes to arrive at a conversion.
The brick-and-mortar store remains the essential channel for purchases. This is why points of sale are, of course, at the heart of omnichannel strategies in the making. Since 2016, we’ve seen more and more strategies involving “pick and collect”, digitisation of shopping receipts, smart/connected stores… and all these projects have a common goal: offer (ROPO) customers a seamless journey, and make it possible for the advertiser to understand and measure that journey.
I think we are still a long way off from seeing the end of brick-and-mortar stores [laugh], but this process is truly transforming the concept of the “point of sale”. The physical store can be the driver of transactions, or simply a touchpoint in a more complex customer journey, and the same goes for the website or the mobile application. It will therefore be interesting to see how advertisers react to this, and what creativity and technological innovation they put forth to build an interactive and lasting relationship with their consumers.
What kind of trends are you seeing in the path to conversion?
We’ve recently studied the figures from customer journeys in order to create a benchmark based on 2,500,000 analysed conversions across all sectors, from October to December 2015.
What we observed in France during this period was that consumers might use two different marketing channels within one week, and visit the brand’s website four times before finalising their purchase. It’s therefore important for advertisers to not only work on a marketing mix that takes into account the performance marketing channels, but also understand the interactions between these channels in order to make a greater impact on the desired target.
Additionally, we observed that 54% of pathways to conversion were multi-touch, which confirms my previous point about why it’s so important to not rely solely on last-click analyses.
What synergies exist between analytics and marketing attribution/contribution?
The complementarity of digital analytics and attribution allows us to address current challenges in the market… The core business of a digital analytics solution is to collect data and process it in real time in order to optimise the customer journey on the website, or what’s site-centric (UX, conversion funnels, A/B testing…) whereas an attribution/contribution solution uses this same data with the goal of improving the multi-visit, ad-centric purchase journey.
To respond to advertisers’ activities and diverse data-driven needs, we’ve developed a connector with AT Internet which lets advertisers manage their marketing budget based on their data capital, and not just on their gut feeling.
By combining Mazeberry and AT Internet technologies, companies benefit from rich expertise in these two distinct core businesses, as well as specialised guidance for both of the above-mentioned objectives.
What main challenges do your customers face?
They need a full view of the path to conversion.
By identifying each channel in their marketing mix, these advertisers can understand their customers’ journeys in order to tangibly answer questions like:
– Does this channel fulfil the role I assigned to it?
– Does this channel contribute to conversion?
– In which channels should I invest for better performance on my KPIs? More qualified new visitors, better conversion rate…
I always advise our customers that in order to make strong decisions, they must be using analyses based on reliable, concrete results.
Romain, thank you for sharing your thoughts on attribution and contribution!
Readers, have questions? Leave a comment below and Romain will be happy to answer you.
A forerunner in multi-touch attribution in the French market, Mazeberry is a decision-making tool that helps e-commerce companies optimise their ad investments. Directly connected to data collection tools (CRM, DMP, web analytics, ad server), the Mazeberry solution offers a 360-degee view of the customer journey and gives advertisers attribution and contribution performance indicators. Advertisers benefit from optimised ROI, time savings, boosted productivity, and a 20% to 50% reduction in marketing costs. Created in 2011, Mazeberry has had growing success. After two rounds of fundraising, the Mazeberry solution has seen immense growth over the past 4 years and earned the loyalty of more than 150 major brands including Club Med, Voyages SNCF, FNAC, B for Bank, Aramis Auto, Dam art…