Getting Attribution-Ready For The New Year
Start your marketing program off on the right foot in 2016. Columnist Eric Dezendorf has some key tips on how to get attribution-ready for the coming year.
Top brands like Walgreens have stated that attribution is on their wish list to figure out in 2016, so why shouldn’t it be on yours?
The new year is always a good time to review what you’ve already set up for the new year and what you need to do in order to grow your business, so below are my top tips to get your marketing programs attribution-ready for 2016.
Get Tracking Going
The first step to running any sort of attribution game is to make sure you have a persistent “user ID” across all media. The simplest way to do this right now is through cookies.
Once a user sees one of your ads or visits your site, they are cookied. Until that cookie is deleted, you can track everywhere that user goes on the journey to eventually convert on your website. This isn’t terribly hard to start, and it’s the first step toward real attribution for all of your digital marketing sources.
Establish Your Source Of Truth
Once your users are tracked, you need to be able to measure them. However you track user activity, whether through DoubleClick, FlashTalking, Signal, Sizmek or many other services, make sure all of your data is tracked by the same service.
This one source of truth now represents all of your marketing, conversion and site activity data and can be used to accurately calculate attribution.
The Name Game
Working for an attribution company myself, I find unfocused and seemingly random names are my number one pet peeve when trying to set up a new client. Unless there’s a defined naming convention, it’s nearly impossible to organize the data into something meaningful.
I know renaming all of your campaigns can be a hassle, but it’s one of the best things you can do when getting your company ready for attribution. If you have clean names on each of your placements, campaigns and strategies, the rules for your attribution system are going to be cleaner, and your data will be more meaningful to review.
If names accurately represent every level in your marketing plan, setting up attribution gets much easier.
Get To The Next Level
Attribution can be used to accurately measure your data in many different ways.
If you’re able to tie cost and revenue to your conversion streams, you not only can decide how each piece of your marketing is doing overall, but you can also see the relative cost per acquisition and compare that against what each acquisition is worth. This, in turn, allows you to make smart decisions about your marketing budget and helps you plan and target your next set of campaigns.
Remember To Stay Smart
It’s definitely okay to start at a small level and gradually build out each step over the next few quarters before you are able to fully execute your attribution plan. Maybe right now you’ve only got good tracking on your display and SEM campaigns. That’s okay!
Track it, and push all other conversions to your baseline. Once that’s set up and established, then add your affiliate placements, your paid social or your other channels of marketing effort.
Don’t be cowed by the big undertaking attribution can be. Take it in small chunks, and eventually you’ll be an attribution wizard.
So this New Year’s Eve, just before you pop the champagne, reflect on your current marketing setup and take a moment to think about how you can make one simple change to more effectively track how it’s performing. Hopefully, after three or four simple changes, you can say with confidence exactly how much revenue each individual ad of yours on each individual site is bringing in.
With this wonderful attribution model now complete, you’ll have the edge in 2016 to really start targeting your advertisements in the most efficient manner possible.