Modern marketers understand that the customer journey today is anything but linear. As consumer touchpoints continue to increase across print, broadcast, and digital marketing channels, accurately measuring each channel’s effect in driving conversions is paramount. Today, marketers are measuring a complex and fragmented marketing mix. In order to accurately attribute the value of each channel and to capture accurate marketing intelligence, marketers have to measure how each individual channel engages consumers while also measuring how those channels work together across the marketing mix.
In order to understand the effectiveness of marketing efforts, marketers need to rethink the way they leverage their omni-channel attribution measurement. With this in mind, we’re exploring what omni-channel attribution is and why it’s crucial that marketers change the way they think about this concept.
What is Omni-Channel Attribution?
According to Forrester Research, the term omni-channel is defined as the strategic coordination of all channels—including online, offline, paid, owned, or earned—as determined by a brand’s context and channel mix. With this in mind, omni-channel attribution should be defined as the holistic measurement of elements within a marketing mix, and the subsequent impact they have as they engage with consumers across touchpoints and drive them toward conversions.
Put simply, omni-channel attribution takes into account the fact that consumers today go through a variety of different touchpoints across the media mix before they make a purchase. This kind of attribution- measures each marketing element’s role in helping drive that eventual conversion.
For example: a consumer is driving along the highway and notices a billboard for a particular product. Sometime later, he notices a TV ad for the same product. Curious, he begins to research the product on his phone. Later on, he sees a retargeting ad on his computer. From there, he makes the decision to walk into a brick and mortar location and purchase the product.
Omni-channel attribution looks at all the disparate touchpoints that engaged with this consumer and scores their overall impact to understand both how each touchpoint facilitated eventual conversion, but also how each touchpoint helped the effectiveness of the additional channels used to engage the consumer.
Traditional Approaches to Omni-Channel Attribution
Today, the use of attribution is stuck at an impasse. Marketers are still holding onto the mindset of direct, rapid marketing for rapid conversions. The notion that marketers need to drive consumers toward an immediate sale means their omni-channel attribution prioritizes the channels that show the highest areas of engagement—effectively narrowing marketers’ focus away from the bigger picture.
The emphasis placed on direct marketing and immediate conversion has resulted in tunnel-vision toward short-term marketing strategies. As a result, marketing today is now over-targeting consumers in an effort to place the highest number of potential touchpoints as possible in front of them.
With the average consumer requiring up to 13 unique touchpoints before converting, marketers have begun to take a “more engagement is better” approach. This oversaturation of consumer touchpoints is beginning to translate into negative outcomes. In order to optimize marketing efforts and drive consistent ROI, marketers need to take a personalized and consumer-focused approach to their omni-channel attribution.
Shifting Toward Consumer-Focused Omni-Channel Attribution
Today’s consumers expect more from the marketing they receive. Given the massive amounts of data available on consumer engagement and trends, marketers have the opportunity to deliver better targeted ads—and that’s exactly what consumers want. Modern consumers expect marketers to use the plethora of data available to them to provide opportunities for relevant engagement that connect consumers with the products and services they need, without targeting them with an influx of ads they don’t want or for products they have already purchased.
With this in mind, marketers need to leverage their omni-channel attribution with a new perspective that focuses on the consumer at the person-level—helping better understand their individual interests and needs. From there, marketers can use those insights to deliver the right products with the right messaging, over the right channel at the right time. This key shift toward consumer-focused attribution provides relevant advertising experiences that resonate with prospects and customers..
Additionally, consumer-focused omni-channel attribution means that marketing efforts will have a positive impact on the brand of a business, and subsequently, the brand will begin to have a positive impact on campaign ROI. For example, if you’re flooding target audiences with irrelevant advertising across the marketing mix, consumers will view your brand in a negative light, further hindering the chances of meaningful engagement. However, if you target audiences with ads that address their needs and deliver these ads via the right channels at the right time, they’ll be more fond of your brand and, ultimately,more likely to engage.
Today, the true definition of omni-channel attribution has changed. Instead of simply looking for the best ways to optimize engagement for the sake of increased engagement, marketers need to leverage their omni-channel measurement efforts to offer value and relevance to their target audience. In doing so, they will garner quality engagement that helps generate a robust return on marketing investments while facilitating positive brand authority and awareness.