In a perfect world, every online retailer would understand the influence of their online marketing spend on sales. And so be able to plan and budget accordingly.
But in a world where, too often, last click wins, there’s a risk that erroneous information causes marketing budgets to be cut, channels to be culled, and campaign effectiveness to be either exaggerated or ignored.
Imagine a consumer is looking for a new digital camera. They visit some review sites, clicking on some affiliate links along the way before finally finding a make and model they like.
So, off they go to a shopping comparison site to look for the best price, and then spend the next couple of days pondering the purchase. Finally, they take the plunge, entering the cheapest retailer’s name into Google and clicking on a brand-related paid search result.
After locating the object of their desire, they might return to Google to search for a discount voucher code before finally clicking back to the retailer’s site to make the purchase.
In this example, if last click wins, the discount voucher codes would receive all the attribution, with all other influencers discounted – running the risk that they’ll be turned off or down.
In reality, the voucher site had very little influence over the final sale as the consumer used it merely to save a few pounds. By the time the consumer reached this point, they had pretty much decided what, and from whom, they would be purchasing.
Ensuring all channels are credited fairly not only directs rewards correctly, but also helps retailers understand the true costs of doing business online.
Was a sale as profitable as it could have been? Are the right channels being promoted – and demoted?
The truth is in the detail. Without a centralised view over all campaigns that allows for easy comparisons, it’s a losing battle on the road to attribution.