As we have seen above, Marketing Attribution is a potentially complex, yet business-critical, piece of software. Choosing the right Attribution Software involves some key parameters for consideration.
The number and variety of channels that the Software can include to source data, ranging, say, from mobile-only to full-spectrum online plus offline channels. The range of devices/channels that your business needs must be supported competently by the tool.
Attribution Models Supported
Your business needs should drive the variety and complexity of attribution models that you should want supported by the Software you purchase. If your organization’s business reality requires the ability to test, optimize, iterate, or pivot attribution models, the Software must present a robust capability to support such changes.
Flexibility and Accuracy of Analysis
Must have the flexibility to support analysis and insights accurately at aggregate level just as well as for drilled-down touchpoint level for the kind of attribution model you want supported.
Especially in multi-channel attribution, the software must have the flexibility to report on each channel separately, as also present a unified view of all channels simultaneously. It must use intuitive reports and dashboards to do so.
Ease of implementation
Implementing Marketing Attribution Software in an organization, due to the multitude of sources that it pulls in data from, is necessarily heavy on integration. Whether this translates into cost-intensive integration effort or relatively quick plug-and-play in your specific organizational context is a key factor in the purchase decision. Depending on the breadth of channels you want to incorporate into the attribution exercise, the attribution models you want supported, reporting accuracy and flexibility, and pricing, you will want to consider current and future integration requirements while drawing up your consideration list of Marketing Attribution Software.
ROI from the Use of Marketing Attribution Software
Although likely exaggerated even in its time, this century-old quote sums up the conundrum that Marketing Attribution solves, viz., getting better and better at getting a louder and louder bang from the proverbial marketing buck.
Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted, and the trouble is I don’t know which half.
Marketing Attribution is about measuring, and thereby improving, the Return on Marketing Investment. When selected intelligently, Marketing Attribution Software can deliver directly to the bottom-line by enabling you to enhance the quality of your marketing campaigns more and more.
Attribution insights at the node level can be used to make micro-level adjustments in campaigns.
Macro-level insights too are available, and can be used to pivot and entire campaign segments.
Aggregate-level insights enable Marketing Mix Modeling and refinement in a unified manner across digital and non-digital platforms, over relatively longer periods. Entire multichannel campaigns and even multiple campaigns can become much sharper focused on a continual basis, if Marketing Attribution insights are acted upon.
What are the Challenges in Using Marketing Attribution Software?
When done right, implementing Marketing Attribution pays handsomely. The challenge is in getting it right. Choosing the right combination of attribution models to be applied to the right touchpoints is an involved, continuous process.
Getting Marketing Attribution right is usually an incremental process. The team has to be at it, examining results, tweaking and pivoting models, and never putting off follow-up action based on the insights generated. This level of commitment calls for focus, dedicated resourcing, and likelier than not, executive championship of the program.
Very commonly, the paralysis in progress is due to fatigue from trying to achieve perfection early on. As with any other worthwhile endeavor, the key is to simply begin. Then, going forward from there involves staying committed to implementing actions indicated by the previous run of the model, evaluating the results of such action, making modifications in the model, then running it again. Iterating this process is what delivers more and more efficiently effective conversion results from your marketing campaigns.
Having overcome extreme reluctance to begin, we could be sailing along and yet subjecting ourselves to incorrect, irrelevant analyses due to any of several possible judgement errors. Some of them are laid out below.
A conversion event may get associated with a touchpoint with significant frequency, and yet, the correlation may be coincidental. The touchpoint may not actually have a causal effect on conversion, but is still considered a cause.
A pre-decided customer (or one who has already made her decision based on an untracked touchpoint) converts, and the system attributes it to the latest campaign.
Disregarded content effect
Content varies significantly across platforms, yet, the weightage assigned gets determined entirely by differences in behavior on those platforms, ignoring the effect of the content itself.
Incorrect ROI attribution
ROI attribution suffers from a lack of nuance and does not reflect the true effect of the touchpoint.
Failure to conduct Unified assessment
Missing contributions to the conversion effect from offline touchpoints simply because the corresponding data is not being captured and is unavailable.
Disregarded context of conversion
The conversion event may exist in – and be influenced by – relevant factors in its context, but which have not been taken into account in the adopted model. The effect of the brand, regulatory environment, etc. could be some such contextual factors.