In one of my ear­li­est blog posts, I dis­cussed how Con­ver­sion Vari­ables (eVars) have dif­fer­ent types of allo­ca­tion.  For exam­ple, if some­one comes to your site mul­ti­ple times from a few dif­fer­ent cam­paign track­ing codes, you can choose to give credit for any Suc­cess Event to the first track­ing code or the last track­ing code using allo­ca­tion.  The same is true for every eVar, but there may be times when you want to see all of the val­ues passed to an eVar prior to the Suc­cess Event tak­ing place.  In this post I will explain how to do this in Site­Cat­a­lyst through Cross-Visit Participation.

Cross-Visit Par­tic­i­pa­tion
So what is Cross-Visit Par­tic­i­pa­tion?  In Omniture-speak, it is a JavaScript plug-in that con­cate­nates a series of val­ues into an eVar for attri­bu­tion pur­poses.  As alluded to above, the most com­mon use of this plug-in is for what we call Cam­paign Stack­ing.  For exam­ple, let’s say that a vis­i­tor comes to your site from a CNN Dis­play Ad and the track­ing code is “cnn_123” and the same vis­i­tor comes the next day from a Google Paid Search key­word with the track­ing code “ggl_456” and then applies for a credit card.  In this case, if you were using the Cam­paign Con­ver­sion Vari­able (eVar) and the allo­ca­tion was set to “Most Recent” then the credit card appli­ca­tion suc­cess event would be attrib­uted to the Google key­word.  How­ever, that vis­i­tor may never have con­ducted a search on Google had he/she not seen the dis­play adver­tise­ment on CNN so we may inad­ver­tently reduce the bud­get for CNN and increase it for Google only to be sur­prised later that we are not get­ting as many credit card appli­ca­tions as before.  Some­times a lit­tle (incor­rect) data is worse than no data at all!

Omni­ture is well aware of this attri­bu­tion issue and is tak­ing steps to improve the over­all accu­racy in the future.  In the mean­time, the Omni­ture Con­sult­ing team has cre­ated the Cross-Visit Par­tic­i­pa­tion plug-in (some­times referred to as Cam­paign Stack­ing) that lets you see the entire pic­ture.  So in the pre­ced­ing exam­ple, while the Cam­paign eVar would always have the lat­est track­ing code value, the plug-in would pass the his­tor­i­cal string to a cus­tom eVar:

By doing this, when the credit card appli­ca­tion suc­cess event is fired, the Google track­ing code will get credit in the Cam­paigns report, but in the eVar12 report, the string “cnn_123:ggl_456” would get credit so you, as the online mar­keter, could see what per­cent­age of all credit card appli­ca­tions involved each com­bi­na­tion of track­ing codes.  This infor­ma­tion can then be moved to Excel using the Excel­Client, where more in-depth analy­sis can take place.

Vari­a­tions of Cross-Visit Par­tic­i­pa­tion
How­ever, the value of this plug-in reaches far beyond the realm of cam­paigns.  There are many fun and cre­ative ways you can use this plug-in such as:

  1. Track­ing which site tools/calculators vis­i­tors used prior to success
  2. Track­ing which prod­ucts vis­i­tors viewed prior to success
  3. Track­ing which videos vis­i­tors viewed prior to success
  4. Track­ing which search terms vis­i­tors entered on your site prior to success

The list goes on and on.  Any time you want to see a con­cate­nated list of val­ues in the order that they took place, you can con­sider using the Cross-Visit Par­tic­i­pa­tion plug-in.

Impor­tant Things To Know About Cross-Visit Par­tic­i­pa­tion
The fol­low­ing are some impor­tant things to know about Cross-Visit Participation:

  1. You need to work with Omni­ture Con­sult­ing to set-up this plug-in
  2. You must spec­ify the max­i­mum num­ber of val­ues you want to con­cate­nate in the plug-in and the time period for them to be con­sid­ered ger­mane in impact­ing conversion
  3. The plug-in will not store dupli­cate values

Real-World Exam­ple
In this real-world exam­ple, I will build upon the pre­ced­ing cam­paign exam­ple by using the Cross-Visit Par­tic­i­pa­tion plug-in to cap­ture Mar­ket­ing Chan­nels.  Let’s imag­ine that your CMO comes to you and wants to know how often Greco Inc. is pay­ing to drive peo­ple to its site from var­i­ous Mar­ket­ing Chan­nels.  The CMO is pri­mar­ily inter­ested in see­ing if paid acqui­si­tion con­vert­ers are always com­ing to the site first from Paid Search and then Paid Dis­play or vice versa.   Due to bud­get cuts, ad spend­ing may have to be cut back and the CMO needs to jus­tify which chan­nels and chan­nel com­bi­na­tions are impor­tant to con­tin­u­ing to drive applications.

To answer this ques­tion, you would need to clas­sify Cam­paign Track­ing Codes by Mar­ket­ing Chan­nel and use Cross-Visit Par­tic­i­pa­tion to “stack” Mar­ket­ing Chan­nels (i.e. Paid Search, Dis­play Ad, E-mail, etc…).  The clas­si­fi­ca­tion of Cam­paign Track­ing Codes by Mar­ket­ing Chan­nel should be straight­for­ward (if you have read the SAINT Clas­si­fi­ca­tions post).  The sec­ond item needed is a con­cate­nated string of “stacked” Mar­ket­ing Chan­nels so you can see the inter­play between them prior to web­site con­ver­sion.  There are many ways to “stack” the chan­nels rang­ing from cre­at­ing SAINT Clas­si­fi­ca­tions of stacked cam­paign track­ing codes to cap­tur­ing the chan­nel by using the Get Query Para­me­ter plug-in (I sug­gest you work with Omni­ture Con­sult­ing to iden­tify the best approach for your organization).

Once you have both of these set-up, you are ready for analy­sis, so let’s dig in.  Let’s say that Greco Inc. has a Cam­paign Chan­nel Con­ver­sion report, which is the report of clas­si­fied cam­paign track­ing codes, set to “Most Recent” allo­ca­tion as follows:

As you can see in this report, only 16.49% of Com­pleted Appli­ca­tions are com­ing from Paid Dis­play as com­pared to 66.59% com­ing from Paid Search (in this case, let’s assume e-mails are inex­pen­sive) so your first thought might be to cut the Paid Dis­play bud­get.  How­ever, if we look at the report that shows the “stacked” Mar­ket­ing Chan­nels described above, we can see the inter­ac­tions that vis­i­tors took with all Mar­ket­ing Chan­nels prior to com­plet­ing an appli­ca­tion as shown in this report:

When we look at this report we notice some­thing inter­est­ing.  Dis­play Ads are often times part of the mix that leads to suc­cess, but Paid Search is most often the one that is the last touch prior to con­ver­sion.  In fact, if we add up all of the times that Paid Dis­play is part of the mix (or used indi­vid­u­ally) the per­cent impacted is 47.43%.  If you only looked at the first report (Cam­paign Chan­nels) you would see a skewed pic­ture since the “Most Recent” allo­ca­tion would attribute most of the suc­cess to Paid Search.  Thus, you have to ask your­self, how much of my suc­cess would still come through if Paid Dis­play were not in the mix?  At 16.49% you might be will­ing to take the risk to save some money, but at 47.43%, you may not be will­ing to do so and might con­sider some more in-depth test­ing prior to mak­ing any rash mar­ket­ing spend decisions!

This is just one exam­ple of how Cross-Visit Par­tic­i­pa­tion can add more con­text to your analy­ses so that you can make the best mar­ket­ing deci­sions possible.

Have a ques­tion about any­thing related to Omni­ture Site­Cat­a­lyst?  Is there some­thing on your web­site that you would like to report on, but don’t know how?  Do you have any tips or best prac­tices you want to share?  If so, please leave a com­ment here or send me an e-mail at insidesitecatalyst@​omniture.​com and I will do my best to answer it right here on the blog so every­one can learn! (Don’t worry — I won’t use your name or com­pany name!).  If you are on Twit­ter, you can fol­low me at http://​twit​ter​.com/​O​m​n​i​_​man.

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17 comments
BUNANE
BUNANE

CVP I think we have a Unified Sources DB Vista rule on an eVar and then classify all similar sources to see aggregate referrals from each campaign.

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My concern is this; we have a Unified Sources DB Vista rule on an eVar and then classify all similar sources to see aggregate referrals from each campaign. This classification report is what I’d use the cross-visit part. plugin on, but what happens in this report if a tracking code comes through that is not classified? Does it show up as “None”? Thanks and love the blog.

David
David

Can the custom eVar which is populated with the s.campaign data pull in data from another eVar or prop if the s.campaign data isn't there (ie. if the click through on a specific visit is from an organic link or a non-tracked referrer site)?

Roop Kumar
Roop Kumar

Our Omniture Implementation Consultant has provided the custom solution as per requirements stated before. We can expire the stacking list in the cookie on a success event ( like purchase event or any custom event as per the use case) or after a preselected time period. The number of values to be stacked in the stacked list are limited by 255 characters, until which we can stack.

Roop Kumar
Roop Kumar

Hi Adam, We want to set the CVP plug-in to expire on an Purchase event instead of after a certain number of days, is it possible? (we are a ecommerce store and hence we feel expiring the campaign values on purchase event makes sense). Another question, we would like to stack as much values as possible in stacking list without setting a limit. Is it possible? Thanks, Roop Kumar

Penelope
Penelope

Hello, Is there any plans for Omniture to enable real time deduplication such as tools like TagMan? Thanks! Penelope

Michael Johns
Michael Johns

I was also wondering is the expiration date (ex) provided for the particular value being added to the cookie or the cookie itself?

Michael Johns
Michael Johns

How come the plug-in is not set-up to handle a cookie expiration of a session? Also the code sample doesn't explain what the "dv" variable is?

pamela
pamela

Hi just want to know how does Campaign >Tracking code > Tracking code ... works in Site catalyst?. Pls if anyone has an idea let me know!...

Ben Gaines
Ben Gaines

Ann: For standard campaign tracking, you can use the getQueryParam plug-in (available for download by going to Help > Help Home, then Supporting Docs > Implementation > Plug-ins. You could use it to capture campaign tracking codes in eVar3 by putting this (assuming that your campaign tracking codes are stored in the URL in a "cid=" parameter; this can be any parameter of your choosing): s.eVar3=s.getQueryParam('cid') The solution suggested by Adam here is a bit more complex, and the code snippet is provided only by Omniture Consulting. If you're interested in this approach, contract your Omniture Account Manager, who will be able to provide more details.

Ann
Ann

What could be the code snippet for the problem you explained above to track campaign at eVar12. We are using Omniture code to track the visits on our pages. i have a campaign code in a url and I need to track that and populate it on one of the eVar variables(eVar3 for example). can you please advice.

Fares Aldik
Fares Aldik

Are there any talks of incorporating at no charge (by default in the SiteCatalyst vanilla installation) the Unified Sources Vista Rule with the Campaign Stacking option (By specifying an eVar, a delimiter and the number of tracking codes to keep -i.e.: 5-)

Ben Gaines
Ben Gaines

Scott: Yes, an unclassified tracking code (including those handled by a Unified Sources DB VISTA rule) would show as "None" in a classification-based report. As you may already be aware, you can check out the unclassified tracking codes by exporting your SAINT data for the variable that serves as the basis for that series of reports.

Scott
Scott

Adam, this is really great and have actually been trying to find a solution such as this for a while. My concern is this; we have a Unified Sources DB Vista rule on an eVar and then classify all similar sources to see aggregate referrals from each campaign. This classification report is what I'd use the cross-visit part. plugin on, but what happens in this report if a tracking code comes through that is not classified? Does it show up as "None"? Thanks and love the blog.

Jordan LeBaron
Jordan LeBaron

Campaign stacking can be done on natural search keywords using the new Channel Manager plugin solution available through Omniture Consulting.

Adam Greco
Adam Greco

Mark - I am not 100% sure if that is possible, but if you are interested, I would contact the Engineering Services team. Adam

Mark Hanson
Mark Hanson

Is it possible to use a Vista Rule to perform the same thing that the campaign stacking plug-in does in the s_code? I would want to be able to stack SEO as well as all other campaigns.