To deal with the ramifications of the pandemic, marketers around the world are discarding their existing advertising and marketing strategies and shifting their focus on developing plans that cater to today’s consumer behavior and requirements. At the backdrop of this is marketing attribution modeling. Consumers have hundreds of interactions with brands via multiple digital channels before they become their customers. Brands can consider all these interactions to evaluate and allocate their resources to maximize return on investment. In an exclusive interview with MarTech Outlook, Alan Magee, Vice President of Digital Market, Church’s Chicken, shares with us how the marketing attribution will evolve in the future and what marketers can do to steer their strategies in the right direction.
"Marketing attribution is not a 'one size fits all' solution. It fosters the idea of analyzing available data and employing it in the most efficient ways"
In your opinion, how has the marketing attribution landscape evolved over the years?
The marketing attribution landscape has witnessed notable changes over the past couple of years. Previously, marketers had large quantities of user data that they couldn't associate together. But with recent widespread digitalization, marketers have even more comprehensive data to effortlessly connect to gain a broader perspective. Although marketers are still tracking user activities like before, they are acquiring much more powerful and valuable data. Additionally, consumer behavior has drastically changed. People spend the better part of their days on their cell phones and on social media channels, empowering brands to gain more insights regarding their behavior from multiple channels. With aspects of financial and location data, marketing attribution is evolving more rapidly than ever before.
What are some of the advantages of the current technological evolution?
The current evolution presents us with a broad array of advantages. Today's technologies are newer, better, and much more integrated. When I converse with companies every week, I often observe that they now have multiple options to solve discrepancies in the marketing operations that weren't solvable five to seven years ago. The transformation has been very robust, giving marketing countless means to integrate and analyze consumer data.
What are some of the challenges that plague the marketing attribution landscape?
There exist several challenges that marketers face, such as aggregation and disaggregation of data—both are complicated to execute well. Gaining a single view of the customer is complicated. Marketers have to analyze the actual medium or channel that led to particular customer behavior, not just the last channel before the behavior occurred. There are several players in the marketing attribution market who are touting to be highly comprehensive, but there is no solution that will benefit everyone. The efficiency and reliability of marketing solutions for a brand significantly depend upon its marketing and channel strategy, the role of attribution, and the final goals of its marketing campaigns, and these aspects often keep evolving.
How can these challenges be effectively mitigated?
Effective mitigation depends on a brand and finding that perfect partner that could use the data available and transform it into an actionable strategy that consistently optimizes the brand's value. Marketing attribution is not a 'one size fits all' solution. It fosters the idea of analyzing available data and employing it in the most efficient ways.
What technological trends are influencing marketing attribution today?
Tagging and tracking of marketing and messaging is much more robust than it's ever been. Marketers are able to examine reports from multiple different angles to gain different points of view. The one that will have the biggest influence is consumer privacy, and it will make attribution more complex for everyone, whether it's a brand or its media partner. It will reduce transparency and attribution at some point in the future as the market evolves, but it will ideally lead us to better attributions in the long run.
What are the best practices businesses should adopt today to steer ahead of competitors?
The primary best practice is the consistent review and analysis of marketing attribution strategies. Several brands have a 'set target and forget' attitude regarding attributions, tagging, and tracking. While in reality, they need to evaluate their strategies more frequently, at least every month. What they also require is to view user data and insights from multiple different angles. This will empower them to identify ways to optimize their strategies and stay ahead of the curve.
What do you advise the veterans or budding entrepreneurs from the marketing attribution space?
My advice is to prioritize consumer view and journey. Deep funnel metrics are tempting, but brands need to step back and gain a qualitative consumer point of view on the data. They need to figure out the overall message that the data is providing them and how they can optimize their strategies. I'd say that make sure you are utilizing the quantitative and qualitative aspects of the data.