Delivering successful marketing attribution projects

You might think that introducing accurate omni-channel marketing attribution is a sensible thing to do and that there would be a limited chance of failure. But think again, as these projects can and do fail.

The reasons are mainly to do with what they are replacing. Prior to the start of such a project there was probably no one person with overall responsibility for marketing attribution, or even someone with it in their job description. Instead, there are likely to have been many local attribution activities, each one designed to prove to the business that team X or Y, or channel Z, was doing a good job. The most typical team silos are digital and direct marketing, yet these teams have the most to benefit from working together on attribution.

Attribution projects

It is common to find attribution projects limited by media channel, such as including selected digital channels with no account for direct channels, or limited by sales channel, such as just including online sales with no account for call centre or store sales – or both. The attribution work may have been done internally, but more often externally by an advertising agency. And the external agency may be driven by a need to keep funds flowing through their channel, rather than necessarily being focussed on the end contribution of their activities.

Some marketing attribution looks at more superficial measures such as opens and clicks, rather than at the longer-term value generated by a campaign. Again, they often ignore the fact that orders are usually achieved through a combination of customer interactions in more than one channel.

So, a new omni-channel marketing attribution project, centrally and professionally managed, is definitely going to be disruptive for certain vested interests.

Avoiding disruption

To avoid internal alienation and disruption, it is essential that the entire company management team, from finance to marketing, buys into the project from the start and has confidence in the methodology that is being used. They also need agree that they will respect the results produced, even when they may upgrade or downgrade the value contributed by certain existing activities.

However, as one US commentator recently put it, ‘algos make a unified approach possible’. The ‘algos’ (or algorithms) are what make omni-channel marketing attribution possible, and if they are well designed, they will deliver trustworthy attribution results that can be used to guide marketing spend, and optimise budget allocation in the future.

If the business is aware from the start of the consequences – as well as the immense benefits – of introducing accurate omni-channel marketing attribution, then the project can succeed, and the business can optimise the marketing budget and reap the sales and growth rewards.

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UniFida is the trading name of Marketing Planning Services Ltd, a London based technology and data science company set up in 2014. Our overall aim is to help organisations build more customer value at less marketing cost.

Our technology focus has been to develop UniFida. Data science business comes both from existing users of UniFida, and from clients looking to us to solve their more complex data related marketing questions.

Marketing is changing at an explosive speed. Our ambition is to help our clients stay empowered and ahead in this challenging environment.