Attribution….is it a “new” buzz word in the digital marketing industry? It seems like it but it has been around for some time now. It is finally generating popularity and awareness as both brand and direct response advertisers are striving to measure all of their media cohesively regardless of their ad serving platform, agency or Analytics Company. The answer to this implementing a full funnel attribution solution from one of the 20 plus vendors that is out there. Just ask Econsultancy who put together a 184 page Attribution Vendor Buyer’s Guide. The report is $400 unless you find a company to send it you. I was lucky enough to receive a copy from one of the vendors that was reviewed.
I’ve been talking about attribution with my clients for the past year and put together an exhaustive search for the best partner. I didn’t realize that it would be such an undertaking. The project itself took about 2 months. I never knew how hard it would be to get a company to call you back. Usually, publishers are stalking you as an agency person but I found this to be much different. Once I finally got them on the phone and peeled back their offerings, I learned that a number of the companies listed in the buyer’s guide really weren’t attribution companies and didn’t offer a great solution.
It is necessary to take a client’s reporting, optimization and media intelligence to the next level with an attribution solution.
I narrowed down my search to 11 partners that would meet the need s of my client and then I chose the top 3 partners. I built a really cool attribution matrix for this too.
Here are some of my findings:
- One partner cannot 100% provide everything. The best partners for do not offer all 3 services of ad serving, attribution and web analytics.
- Some companies claim to offer attribution solutions and they really don’t nor do they even really understand what it is.
- Operational attribution consists of creating detailed records of every impression, click, visit and action for each visitor to your site, regardless of the source or channel.
- Data is then organized and reported in such a way that visitor paths and media placements can be effectively (and efficiently) analyzed.
- Statistical Modeling consists of analyzing impression data, search data, email data and web log files to statistically correlate patterns and trends to fine tune campaigns.
- This approach is useful but it depends entirely on the hard-coded assumptions and calculations in the model.
Here is my perspective on the partners that I reviewed:
- Adobe is not as strong as other partners for attribution and while it would be a no brainer to enable the attribution functions to a client that already uses Omniture, the cost to add the integration with DFA, etc. is extremely high and not worth what the client would receive.
- C3 Metrics offers lower funnel attribution only and has the highest cost among all partners.
- Coremetrics can offer web analytics and attribution which is what I was striving for, BUT the cost is much higher than other analytics partners and there are many “extra” fees.
- DFA: Doesn’t have an attribution solution- the only solution is E2C which we know isn’t a great solution.
- IgnitionOne did not call or email back after multiple attempts to contact them.
- Marin Software is very focused on search and there were other companies that had a broader focus on full funnel and all channels.
- Tagman is a tag management company and not a true attribution solution. I would thing about working with them because I really liked them.
- Webtrends presented their analytics capabilities. I asked for their attribution capabilities and they did not send back additional information.
The finalists were…
Encore wins on customer service and ease of implementation since I could piggyback their tag within a DFA floodlight.
- Encore is one of the only companies that provides full funnel operational attribution and will help client’s look beyond the last click and attribute credit for leads through the entire funnel.
- Encore provides a more accurate measurement of media by attributing conversions beyond just the “last action” - which is critical to optimizing spend and maximizing ROI.
- The only drawback is reporting and that they focus on assists which is great but I wanted to dig deeper with my client.
- Even though I hadn’t worked directly with CS yet, they have excelled on customer service throughout this discovery process.
- They also provide path metrics to aide in analysis: click-to-creative and interaction to optimize based on path.
- Visual IQ TrueAttribution is the application of algorithmic & fractional modeling to all of the attributes of all of touch points experienced by all of the prospects exposed to a client’s marketing efforts using unbiased machine-learning technology.
Clearsaleing! After an in depth review, their entire suite of services, reporting and capabilities are worth the investment.
Encore is a cost efficient solution with great customer service. However, I was underwhelmed by their reporting capabilities and the reliance on assists and lift.
Customer service is important, but reporting and the most robust solution is what I was striving for. And I felt that Clearsaleing provides the full package.
Farrah Hoehne is a ten-year veteran of the lnteractive Marketing Industry. She is the founder of FCH Strategy where she strategically guides clients on all aspects of their digital marketing mix. Farrah is a member of CIMA’s Executive Board of Directors where she serves as VP of Education.
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CHICAGO – January 25, 2012 –The Chicago Interactive Marketing Association (CIMA) is pleased to unveil the winners of its first annual Chicago Digital Startup Initiative.Read more...
CHICAGO – November 11, 2011
The Chicago Interactive Marketing Association (CIMA), the city’s only interactive-centric organization, announced the winner’s of its annual Star Awards at an honorary ceremony last night at the Renaissance Hotel in Chicago. The CIMA Star Awards honor those in the industry who work tirelessly to develop and enhance the interactive and digital business in Chicago. All winners received complimentary CIMA membership for one year.Read more...
The Chicago Interactive Marketing Association (CIMA) recently had the opportunity to give back to the academic community in the form academic scholarships for four Chicago-based students.Read more...
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