It’s a new world online — to attract new customers and retain existing ones, marketers are retooling their strategies from A to Z. No longer are customers only passive receivers of marketing materials, choosing where they shop based on which companies offer the shiniest ad campaigns. Today’s customers are digitally sophisticated to a degree that few anticipated, demanding personalized, contextually relevant, and real-time or near real-time experiences from the places they do business.
Today’s consumers have unprecedented access to devices — some having 4 – 6 screens they use every day — and they are spending an unprecedented amount of time online. In 2015, adult users in the US spent 5.6 hours a day online, and over half of that time was spent on mobile devices.
To get the attention of both potential and current customers, brands are being advised to have their analytics teams provide deeper cross-channel insights that incorporate a full awareness of the whole customer journey at every touchpoint and on every channel.
But, a March 2015 study — conducted by Econsultancy in association with Adobe — reported that a large number of global marketers and agencies are stuck, with many not measuring the performances of their mobile-marketing and media campaigns at all, particularly paying little attention to attribution. The report found that 49 percent of client-side marketers and 53 percent of agency executives polled said they did not measure mobile-user engagement and mobile return on investment (ROI) at all.
The measurement of user events — app installs, repeat app launches, level completions, and in-app purchases resulting from your marketing activities — is what has become known as attribution. It’s about assigning credit to touchpoints and customer interactions that influence a customer along the entire path to conversion.
How to measure attribution is the brass ring of marketing, the elusive prize that justifies your marketing expenditures. Measuring attribution in today’s world of empowered consumers takes some rethinking and retooling of your analytic strategies and fundamental marketing assumptions.
Here are some ideas for rethinking your analytics and data-gathering strategies.
- Understand How Your Customers Are Engaging With Your Brand Across Devices.
Seeing the visitors’ behaviors across their devices gives you a picture of their desires, allowing you to determine the next personalization step to take based on their positions in your particular sales cycle. Ultimately, the device doesn’t matter. Rather, the goal is to create increasingly better experiences for your customers on every device, on every channel, and at every touchpoint.
- Understand How Your Customers Are Engaging Across Channels.
Part of the goal of this step is to help you decide where to spend your money on paid-media channels. But, it is also an opportunity to think about attribution beyond the lens of paid media, to extend it further to owned and earned influence so that you are understanding user events through the lens of the entire customer journey.
- Consolidate Your Understanding of Visitors Into Profiles for Segmentation.
Mass emailing rarely works any longer. Careful segmentation will result in a higher degree of personalization, fewer emails sent, higher conversions, and a greater ROI.
- Allocate Spending by Channel — Not Device.
Rather than allocate paid-channel spending by device — as with mobile — allocate your resources by channel. Allocating dollars for mobile, for example, is too broad since it contains email, search, display choices, and apps — each of those is a channel unto its own.
- App Downloads and App Engagements Are Not the Complete Measure of Success.
These metrics were developed for games, and they don’t align with ROI and conversions. Rather, is your app driving conversions, and does it increase loyalty?
- Don’t Orchestrate Your Marketing Campaigns — Rather, Orchestrate the Customer Journey.
Historically, the campaign was all that mattered, and sending out thousands of emails was the goal. Today, it’s all about the customer experience, and the marketer’s job is to create targeting and channel-execution strategies that adapt to incoming results and changing customer needs.
In its report, “Moments That Matter,” Forrester said marketers must focus on identifying key moments of intent, delivering on needs in the moment, and measuring all moments to “create a customer experience that’s relevant and useful at every touchpoint in this new path to purchase.” They found that only 27 percent of the marketers surveyed felt they had the infrastructures in place to effectively deliver customer moments.
Rethinking how you measure attribution and retooling your analytics program can provide an exciting bridge to the new digital world of the empowered, tech-savvy customer. Start with a mindset shift within your organization to embrace the customer journey in your analytics program and to redefine your attribution goals — and you will be on the road to futureproofing your efforts.