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3 types of cross-channel attribution

  • 3 min read

Measuring cross-channel performance is difficult.

In fact, according to a recent eMarketer study, 34% of marketers surveyed still rely on individual channel analysis and channel-specific metrics to measure the success of their marketing campaigns. Hardly surprising, once you add to the complex digital measurement landscape all the different media platforms and sales channels such as in-store, online, mobile, and digital.

On top of it all, just managing the deployment of all your loyalty programs and customer data metrics (like purchase frequency, demographics, and psychographics) makes keeping track of customers and measurement even more complicated.

The Measurement solution: Marketing attribution

Marketing Attribution is the practice of tracking and valuing all marketing touch points that lead to a desired outcome. The attribution model you use will depend on the channels you are analysing, but there is no one-size-fits-all solution. The right model needs to be connected with the right data inputs across all channels.

 Let’s explore three types of attribution measurement…

1: Cross-channel digital marketing attribution

This user-level approach generally uses a machine-based algorithm that tracks and assigns credit for every cookie-based consumer touch point. Because it’s often easiest to track data from digital marketing, it’s also one of the first areas that many marketers start their attribution measurement journey.

Attribution allows you to understand your marketing down to the user level, accurately measuring the impact of each touch point and tactic. By gaining insight into how individual channels are performing against one another, you can figure out where to move dollars for the best return on your marketing and ad spend.

2: Marketing Mix Modelling (sometimes called media mix modelling)

Marketing Mix Modelling (MMM) is the more established practice of analysing years of historical data (traditionally offline data) at a more aggregated level than digital cookies can allow, to predict future sales and revenue. It helps you look across all your marketing influences at an aggregate level, including factors like competition, to compare against your “business as usual.”

In recent months, there are more emerging solutions that blend both attribution and marketing mix modelling together to enable marketers to make strategic planning decisions and precisely measure individual-level interactions in near real time. After all, as marketers we need both the high-level, multi-year view of revenue and sales that marketing mix modelling provides, together with the intricate, user-level based insights from attribution. To create the best possible plan, you should make sure data-driven attribution insights are used to inform MMM activities.

3: Online to offline attribution

Whether consumers are buying in-store or online, they’ve been exposed to a variety of your brand’s messaging along the way. The consumer journey travels both online and offline, desktop to mobile to outdoor and can seem impossible to understand and track down.

People-based marketing allows attribution and marketing mix modelling providers to bring in these sales channels as another, and possibly the most crucial, data point for analysis. It takes user-level exposure data from attribution and high-level sales predictions from MMM and makes it truly tangible and concrete, since you can understand exactly how and where sales are coming from, and why.

The ‘who’ of it all

Once you as a marketer can connect the dots between your marketing attribution touch points, you finally want to be able to tie that back to your customer dimensions. Deciphering this path to purchase – by capturing and combining exposure and transaction data with people in mind – will add a whole new level of insight to your analytics.

Plus, by incorporating sales data from stores and CRM systems, you not only have your revenue indicators but also your customer segments. The who of it all.

While there is no absolute right answer for all marketers on which measurement solutions to pursue and in what order, it is incredibly important to make sure you are beginning to think about the variety of information at your fingertips.

Otherwise, you’ll continue to optimise with one eye closed.