Budget booster and fraud finder: Two key attributes of advanced marketing attribution

Ben Sidebottom, Director, Visual IQ
- Marketing - May 22, 2015

The marketing landscape has become increasingly complex, and consumer interactions with brands no longer follow predetermined, linear routes. Rather, audiences move seamlessly between online and offline channels and devices, carving out their own unique paths to conversion. To maximise performance at every step, it’s imperative that marketers have the ability to assess the individual performance of every touch point within a campaign. Technology innovations such as advanced marketing attribution hold the key to success. 

Marketing attribution enables businesses to better understand how consumers engage with their brand across all channels and at every stage of the conversion path. It brings together all marketing touch points to provide genuine insights into the factors that have the most influence on ROI. But marketing attribution is more than just a performance management tool. It offers other notable benefits such as fraud prevention, making it an invaluable tool for brands.

So how does advanced marketing attribution boost ROI and combat fraud?

Current default measurement standards rely on last click or subjective, rules-based methods. These approaches handicap marketers by giving all the conversion credit to the last touch point, or by arbitrarily assigning weights to each interaction —leading to misinformed budget allocation decisions and a sub-optimal marketing mix. Advanced algorithmic attribution changes all that. Using sophisticated mathematical models, it calculates and quantifies the true impact that each and every marketing touch point has on an organisation’s marketing goals.

Advanced attribution delivers increased ROI by producing actionable insights and recommendations for improving the performance of marketing campaigns. It allows marketers to assess marketing performance, down to the keyword and creative level, to understand precisely what works and what doesn’t. Using this sophisticated approach for analysis, marketers can isolate individual components of a campaign and measure their direct and indirect impact on the bottom line – both individually and as part of the overall mix. Hidden cross channel insights can be revealed, such as the impact of online marketing on offline sales, or the lift that a touch point in one channel generates in another. By assigning a value to each touch point, marketers can predict the likely results of any planned changes and allocate budget to the best performing channels, campaigns, and tactics; effectively optimising their entire marketing ecosystem.

In addition to maximising ROI, attribution can be used to assist in the detection of ad fraud. With bots now accounting for 61 percent of online traffic, ad fraud is an expensive and widespread issue that affects every stage of the funnel – from clicks and impressions to conversions. But by adopting a sophisticated measurement approach, marketers can more easily distinguish between legitimate behaviour and fraudulent activity. For example, while bots can mimic many human behaviours – such as viewing a page or clicking on an ad – there are some actions that they cannot perform, such as buying a subscription or completing a purchase with a payment. By using marketing attribution to quantify the impact that every touch point has on generating revenue or profit, marketers can enjoy a bot-proof understanding of the effectiveness of individual marketing tactics.

In an increasingly complex and fragmented ecosystem, it is vital that brands can measure the successes of their marketing campaigns across all channels and devices to improve both efficiency and ROI. The adoption of advanced attribution methods will empower brands to boost the impact of their marketing campaigns, maximising ROI and even uncovering fraudulent activity. With all that in mind, it’s no wonder that attribution is such a hot topic for global marketers.

Ben Sidebottom is Director, Solution Architecture at leading cross channel marketing attribution software provider, Visual IQ. With over eight years’ experience in the digital sector, Sidebottom has held previous roles at Moneysupermarket.com, where he was responsible for the design, implementation, integration and use of the brand’s online marketing technology stack, and Essence Digital, one of the UK’s leading media agencies.

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