Are you accountable for the ROI of your company’s online marketing efforts? Do you struggle with how to measure the incremental impact of your media dollars when multiple influences or touch-points occur during the conversion process? If you answered “yes” to either of these questions, I invite you to join forces with your Shop.org peers in a new Online Marketing Attribution SIG, and participate in developing a series of best practices for online marketing measurement.
At the 2009 Shop.org Marketing Workshop, John Lazarchic (Petco), John Ardis (ValueClick), Dustin Engle (Range Online Media) and I participated in a panel titled “Measuring What Matters: The Secret to Online Marketing Channel Attribution.” In our panel, we explored current online measurement practices (and pitfalls), and discussed the importance of going beyond last-click conversion in determining the true impact of your marketing dollars.
Our conclusion: by measuring just the last-click (long the industry standard), marketers are very likely undervaluing the “introducers,” which occur at the beginning of the buying funnel; overvaluing the “closers,” which occur closest to the conversion point, and largely ignoring the “influencers,” which occur mid-cycle. As a result, marketers may reduce spending precisely where it is most likely to drive incremental sales.
Fortunately, many marketers have already evolved to more sophisticated measurement techniques which allocate sales across the buying cycle: introducers (first click), influencers (non-converting clicks) and closers (converting clicks). To date, however, there is no common framework for either the tools or the allocation process, and minimal capacity for evaluating the influence of offline media. As the methodologies and tools emerge to make these sophisticated multi-channel allocation methodologies accessible to all marketers, we need to join together to define the standards for our industry.
Our call to action: as marketers and members of the Shop.org community, we are best positioned to define the new allocation standards for the online retailing industry. Working together, we can develop a set of guidelines for marketing allocation best practices, a requirements list that meets retailer ROI measurement needs, and a directory of non-proprietary tools and techniques. Our findings can serve as a reference point for e-tailers and vendors—creating a non-proprietary measurement approach which can be tailored to the buying lifecycle for each retailer.
Members of this SIG will:
- Review current multi-channel allocation methodologies for determining incremental sales, highlighting the pros and cons of various approaches;
- Review available and emerging technologies for tracking and allocation;
- Recommend best practices for retailers to implement in their organizations to effectively measure the incremental impact of their marketing dollars.
I hope you’ll join us! Leave a comment or email me at email@example.com to express your interest in participating.