How Advertisers Give Credit Via Multi-touch Attribution

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Rapid change in the advertising industry has led to a disconnect between how brands invest their dollars and the most appropriate ways to measure the omnichannel impact.

Marketing Mix Modeling (MMM), statistical analyses first introduced in 1990 and still used today by many global marketers, uses historical data and makes assumptions about the impact of marketing tactics on overall business growth.

Brands, in turn, have been using this data to optimize cross-channel media spend.

The growth of non-standardized, log-in platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest, which provide unparalleled insight into their individual users, has given way to a clearer understanding of how media affects online and offline sales.

While ad viewability has been part of the chatter around transparency in the industry, the focus for advertisers has shifted to how different channels deliver on actual business objectives and how they work together to drive efficiencies.

Brands want to know which digital channels are most effective along the consumer journey, and how they’re able to increase not only favorability, but also conversion.

The path to purchase has become more complex, since consumers engage with brands at several touch points before making purchases. As behavior has evolved beyond a simple search followed by a purchase, the last-click marketing model has faded in popularity; it can undervalue ads that deserve credit.

For instance, a 2015 study by Datalicious, commissioned by Facebook, revealed that last-click discounts the effectiveness of Facebook ads by 911%. Barriers have taken longer to break.

In order for walled gardens, like Facebook, to demonstrate their value alongside traditional models, they have to share information to contribute to the greater good of holistic marketing management.

In the past, much of Facebook measurement data had been evaluated in silos, and it was not easily comparable within the multi-touch attribution model. Facebook has made significant progress recently toward giving marketers a more complete picture. It has partnered with Neustar MarketShare and Visual IQ to share aggregated data across ad formats, including reach and impression volume by week and geographic area.

Integrations with these third-party companies allow ads across Facebook, Instagram, and the Audience Network to demonstrate their full value in a multi-touch attribution model. They give appropriate credit across multiple impressions and clicks that live within the consumer’s path to purchase.

Facebook is also offering Advanced Measurement. With the solution, advertisers that are not currently leveraging Nester MarketShare or Visual IQ can gain an understanding of how ads across Facebook properties drive reach and sales–and how they stack up against campaigns on other channels.

These are just the first steps in platforms providing a more defined breakdown of ROI for advertisers.

When approaching the performance of omnichannel campaigns, there are four important things advertisers should do:

  1. Consider the complex path to conversion and how that goes beyond last-click attribution.
  2. Leverage a multi-touch attribution solution to get insight into how to optimize the media mix and use it to impact planning and buying.
  3. Take advantage of the instant feedback on paid social to iterate along the way to continue driving improved results.
  4. Get comfortable with the difference between media objectives and business objectives.

One final point to remember: While viewability is important and should be evaluated, behavioral change and tangible business objectives are most crucial.

The original article can be found on MediaPost.