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Connecting the dots through campaign attribution reporting


Most marketers understand the importance of diversifying their digital campaigns across a broad network of platforms. Taking an omnichannel approach reinforces brand recognition and expands reach to potential new customers across the entire media landscape.

A key benefit to multichannel marketing is that you are able to drive your audience down the purchase funnel by reaching them at the right time, on the right platform. For example, a user sees a CTV ad on 10play about hiking in Victoria. They then go to Google ‘best places to hike in Victoria’. Later they are served a Display banner ad for Anaconda hiking boots while reading an online news article. Later that day, they see a Facebook carousel ad showing a variety of Anaconda boots – recognising the brand from their previous exposure. Days pass, and once they’re ready to plan their trip and purchase new hiking boots, they jump back on to Google and search ‘best hiking boots’. They recognise Anaconda at the top of the search page, click to purchase, and viola – the buyer journey is complete. 

One of the challenges that many marketers face with this approach is the fact that digital platforms do not speak to one another and will all take credit for the sale. Most platforms track both post-click and post-view conversions, with an attribution window of up to 30 days. In the above example, the user was exposed to three different Anaconda ads, and though they only made a single purchase, all three platforms will show that they have driven one conversion (three in total), thus inflating the number of conversions driven by the media campaigns.

Fortunately, there is a solution for better understanding and analysing your media mix, and that is to run your campaigns through an Ad Server. Ad Serving is the use of an AdTech system that houses all of your campaign creatives in one centralised environment, from which attribution reports can be built. It has the capability to track the entire user journey, so that you can better understand the role each platform plays in the path to purchase. 

There are several attribution models to choose from:

  • First click: All of the credit generated from the sale is attributed to the very first channel or campaign that the user interacted with.
  • Last click: All of the credit is attributed to the very last channel the customer interacted with before making a purchase.
  • Linear: Where all credit is split evenly across every touchpoint a user interacts with.
  • Time decay: Similar to linear attribution, except this model takes into account when the purchase was made. So it will automatically assign a higher percentage of the attribution to interactions that occur closer to the moment of sale. 

Regardless of which attribution model you choose, the brilliant thing about an attribution report is that it validates the importance that all of your channels play by working together to drive users to take action. It will show you how many assisted (multi-channel ad exposure) vs. unassisted (direct purchase after single ad exposure) conversions you have driven across your campaign. More often than not you will see that the number of assisted conversions is much higher. The upper-funnel channels (such as display and video) will appear frequently in the path to purchase even if a user converts later via a bottom-funnel channel (such as Search). It also allows you to cull any channels that aren’t regularly appearing in the path to purchase, so that you can prevent ad wastage and utilise your ad spend on channels that are generating the best possible ROI. 

If you would like to better understand the role that each media channel plays in generating sales for your business, learn about our custom campaign measurement solutions or get in touch with one of our experts today.



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