Media attribution and media attribution models
By Christopher Skinner
When I look at the share of ad spend in Mobile right now, I'm struck by how undervalued mobile media is, especially when you consider how important it is to the Customer Journey. It plays a role at almost every stage, but because the 'industry' way of attributing sales relies so heavily on cookie data, most companies don't understand just how important mobile – and in fact, all of digital – is to their business' overall sales and revenue.
The current framework keeps digital small – and it keeps Mobile, the smallest part of digital with the most room for growth, even smaller. The way most brands and marketers value digital as a whole makes for small conversations about media, instead of boardroom-level discussions about how digital can impact the entire business. Most dashboards and analytics tools provide a heap of complexity at the low level – at the media level. They're focused on media metrics instead of business impact, making digital a conversation about efficiency.
Mobile is undervalued. Lots of people say this but it's even more undervalued than you think because it's part of a larger problem, which is that our entire framework for measuring digital is wrong. In order to grow digital as a whole and Mobile specifically, we need to elevate the conversation from efficiency to growth.
These are the types of conversations I've been having for the last 15 years, and I'm looking forwarding to presenting this work at the upcoming Mobile Marketing Association Conference in New York next month.
By Sally Crawford
We've all heard of Occam's razor, 'all other things being equal, the simplest explanation is the best.' Yet, when we're confronted with a puzzle, why do we so often reach for the complicated answer?
Somewhere along the way, we've learned to be skeptical of simplicity. Alfred Whitehead, an English mathematician and philosopher who influenced logic and virtually all of analytic philosophy, said, "Seek simplicity and distrust it."
I am thoroughly for the scientific method, of testing a hypothesis to prove or disprove it, but it is our inherent push-back against anything that 'sounds too easy' that I think gets us into so much trouble when we're talking about measuring digital media.
We think that methods that have been used for decades to measure and optimize traditional forms of media are somehow insufficient to understand the effects of online. The notion of geo-targeted testing, of looking at differentials in performance of overall sales before and after. Somehow, because these are simple ideas, they are not good enough.
So we become immured in complexity, tracking individuals (and not very well, I might add) rather than taking a macro perspective. We get lost in CTR and CPMs and ROI until we have no idea what it all means to the bottom line. Ridiculous.
Richard Cracroft, author and emeritus professor of English at Brigham Young University sums my feeling on the subject up well when he said, "I have learned an important principle: simple things work, often to our dumbfounded surprise, for we tend to distrust the simple and strive for the complex."
By Christopher Skinner
Every so often I hear about a company engaging in the type of online marketing I believe is the future of our field. This is one of those occasions: Kimberly-Clark (parent company for big brands like Kleenex, Kotex, Cottonelle, and Huggies) increased their investment in so-called Programmatic Performance media in 2012 – But the exciting part is they did so as part of a larger initiative.
This is where it gets interesting: according to the media operations head, "2012 was proof positive of the benefits [Programmatic offers] in both driving efficiency and quality…One of the first goals was to simply establish the structure to mine our own data, mold it with outside data, and optimize in real time. We’re now set up for addressing upper or lower funnel goals depending on Commercial Program objectives."
This means that KC started with a focus on efficiency like most brands looking to online marketing, and now they're interested in growth. But in order to go down that road, they had to install a framework that could evaluate performance of both Branding and DR media.
I'm excited about this because this is what MakeBuzz does; using our software, we establish frameworks for evaluating and optimizing media along the entire Customer Journey – and we do it by measuring media performance, most importantly, against overall business metrics. Our end goal isn't efficient media, it's business growth and profitability.
It sounds like KC is inline with this thinking and I'll be very interested to see how their framework operates, and if their process is similar to ours. In the meantime however, I'll settle for the knowledge that others see the incredible value such a framework offers.