How to get it right with attribution

I recently had the opportunity to speak with Mr. Cooper’s SVP of Marketing, Michael Hartman, on a panel at the CMO Club’s annual summit about How to get it right with attribution.

During the session, I shared insights on the challenges of attribution, the importance of data accuracy, how to create a people-based foundation and the role of today’s modern marketer—the CMO—and what she needs in order to succeed in our complex marketing landscape.

Let’s further explore.

The biggest challenge for achieving attribution

To me, the most difficult part is linking online and offline engagements to create a single customer journey.

The mathematics behind attribution is not hard. However, it is challenging to get the right data in place from all of the channels, along with understanding what incentivizes people to make the purchase within all channels. Ultimately, it’s the CMO who has to ‘pull all’ this together and look at the customer journey holistically.

This difficulty stems from the fact that organizations are still in silos, and their teams are focused on specific channels while their customer data is stored in multiple systems across the organization.

As a result, each channel team tends to take credit for a sale if they engaged the customer anywhere on their journey, so it looks like you have ten times the sales you are currently receiving.

The data silos result in some channels being under reported because they can’t be linked back to the customer ID. We see this a lot with websites not getting the credit they deserve for in-store purchases. Remember, no customer journey is single.

The importance of data accuracy

Data accuracy is a real problem within the industry and it’s important to spend more time on the data analysis than just the math component.

There’s so much fragmentation. In fact, on average, our clients have 29 different cookies on their customers from the past 90 days. As marketers, if you don’t have a way to aggregate this data, (along with the right data) you’re essentially thinking you have 29 different customers ‘on the books’, when in fact, it’s only one person.

The accuracy of understanding the individual is broken. There’s no single journey a customer takes, but as a marketer, it’s your role to understand (and know) each and every one.

Implement a people-based foundation

It’s important to make sure your internal teams (and attribution partner) are using a people-based foundation. Most companies skip over this because it’s hard.

It’s not enough to simply ask about match rate. You need to ask the right questions to make sure your partner is linking the names and addresses, emails, cookies, device IDs, etc. back to a single person.

Remember, your people (your customers) are the anchor to connect to the digital world.

The role of the CMO

The CMO is no longer focused on just marketing. Instead, you’re the head of social media, marketing technology, analytics, attribution and measurement and so on. You wear multiple hats.

Within this role, it’s important to get armed with the right information, and technology plays a significant role. At the end of the day, attribution is about measurement and as marketers, we need to allocate marketing dollars to the right channels and make the right investments to deliver better customer experiences.

As you continue to evaluate and modify your attribution strategy, ask yourself, “Are you able to understand your marketing performance across all channels with complete transparency?” If not, consider how Conversant’s Mesobase Attribution can help.

Interested in learning more? Hear Dave Scrim discuss the topic with The CMO Club.