Attribution 10 min read

Post-event round-up: “Poor data quality and flawed attribution: how to overcome the silent killers of marketing ROI”

By Chloe Henderson 21 September, 2020

Here at QueryClick, we’re reinventing attribution. With the shakeup of the marketing landscape in the wake of the Coronavirus crisis, conversation around accurate attribution is more pertinent than ever.  

It’s safe to say that marketing spend is under heavier scrutiny than ever before, and it’s critical for brands to reprioritise their budget to use their spend as effectively as possible.  

We were delighted to host an online webinar in partnership with Campaign to discuss these on-going challenges, and how brands can get more for their money from alternative attribution solutions.  

The event’s theme was; “Poor data quality and flawed attribution: how to overcome the silent killers of marketing ROI,” and it featured a presentation from our CEO Chris Liversidge as well as a Q&A with Chris and Paul McCallum, Head of Performance Marketing at XSellco.  

So – what were the key takeaways from the event? 

[Watch the full video of the event here] 

Most marketers rely on last-click attribution solutions that fail to provide the full picture

Throughout the webinar we conducted audience polls to identify the key challenges faced by marketers in accessing reliable attribution. 

Our first poll asked attendees about their current attribution solutions and found that 59% of attendees use the last-click attribution model – the same model used by traditional attribution platforms such as Google Analytics.  

The problem with last-click is that it provides an extremely limited view of the customer journey, which is far more complex and multi-faceted than it can account for. Last-click attribution essentially places all the credit for a conversion on the user’s last touchpoint, which ignores the valuable contributions of other touchpoints before that. 

For example, imagine the following scenario: 

A user first discovers your product through a paid ad on Instagram. Rather than immediately making a purchase, they spend a few days considering your product and conducting more research online, which includes arriving at your site from an organic search engine listing 

Feeling compelled by your web content, they decide to make a conversion and type your product into Google to find the right page. They click on the paid ad that appears at the top of the search results and go on to make a purchase. 

According to Google Analytics, all the credit for this journey lies with PPC with none for Paid Social. The initial Instagram post and the content the user came across in their research stage are not credited at all.  

[Find out more about attribution and download our Attribution Playbook today] 

Marketers are struggling to identify wasted spend

Due to the limitations of attribution models such as last-click, and of traditional attribution platforms such as Google Analytics, marketers are struggling to identify wasted spend.  

With only a limited view of the customer journey and a rudimentary understanding of what marketing channels are driving the most conversions, understanding their true value is extremely difficult.  

This is a huge and common problem across the sector, particularly as marketers are feeling more and more pressure to accurately prove the value of their activity in driving return-on-investment (ROI).  

Marketers are looking for more sophisticated solutions to help them identify wasted spend and make smarter budgeting decisions. 

Marketers are looking for a multi-touch attribution solution

With the limitations of last-click considered, it’s no surprise that 21% of attendees said they’re looking for a multi-touch attribution alternative! 

Multi-touch attribution models take a much broader view of attribution and attempt to place a relative value on all touchpoints across the customer journey.  

Some multi-touch platforms, including our in-house solution Corvidae, also allow you to blend your online and offline activity (TV, radio, etc.) for a much more complete picture of the customer journey.  

The solution to the attribution problem starts with your data

In order to attribute your marketing activity effectively, you must first re-build your core marketing data from the ground-up.  

In his presentation, Chris revealed that a staggering 80% of data acquired through traditional platforms such as GA and Adobe is wrong due to assumptions made about sessions, direct traffic, channel classification, and poor multidevice measurement.  

This has an enormous impact on the accuracy of your attribution modelling as – to put it simply – if the data you put in is flawed then the data you get out of it is going to be equally flawed.  

The only way to take back this data accuracy is to invest in an attribution platform that completely re-builds it. 

Introducing… Corvidae!

Corvidae is our proprietary solution to the attribution problem and was the focus of the discussion around alternative attribution solutions at this week’s event.  

Corvidae solves the issue with flawed data by reconstructing it from the ground-up, using machine-learning techniques to ‘see’ the individuals behind the clickstream data and get a clearer picture of their full conversion journey.  

This, combined with cutting edge multi-channel modelling, results in attribution data brands can trust, helping them to make more informed decisions around their marketing spend.  

[Find out more about how Corvidae works today] 

What can marketers do RIGHT NOW to start tackling the attribution problem?

The most important thing that marketers can do right now is to start asking questions of their current attribution and experimenting with alternative solutions.  

“Good attribution and good marketing solutions are there and available,” said Chris when asked to summarise what he wanted to be the key takeaway from the event. “Don’t just take what you’re doing today as the only possible outcome. Ask the question, ‘what am I looking at when I’m looking at last-click?’” 

These alternatives don’t have to be expensive – Chris also suggested switching to first-click attribution modelling for a completely new perspective (like last-click, but where all the credit for a conversion is attributed to the first touchpoint), and seeing if conversions increase.  

“Remember that last-click is just one version of the truth… these are lenses that we apply at a moment in time to where we are.”  

Paul echoed his advice and urged marketers not to be afraid of taking a new approach: 

“Don’t be afraid to try something new… when it comes to setting budgets, try and set yourself a budget to do stuff you’ve never done before. This can either be within a channel you’ve done before, but using a different tactic, or in a completely new channel. 

“As marketers it’s our duty to test new things out. And that’s one of the ways you will actually deliver incremental performance.”  

And that’s the round up! Why not watch it for yourself with our video of the full event? Make sure you keep an eye on our blog to stay up to date with more news and insights as well as our upcoming events.  

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