There are two main aspects of marketing value chain- the supplier side “The Publishers” and the demand side “The Advertisers”. A few years ago, the innovation in advertising & marketing industry was driven by the publishers. One of the examples of this is the ad servers that provide publishers the opportunity to optimize their ad inventory, generating the demands and allocate prices for the ad inventories.
But with the increase in use of mobile, there has been a sudden decrease in ad prices and volumes leading to decrease in publisher’s revenue. This has made publishers look out for marketing attribution and post impressions tracking to measure the impact of their online marketing strategies.
With the consumers browsing through multiple media channels throughout their buying journey, cross channel attribution is the biggest challenge for the marketers. Marketers are finding it difficult to supervise user’s visit on certain platform, user performance, and conversions. Also, with the increased use of multiple devices, marketers struggle to track the activities on devices such as mobile, desktop, web or mobile apps etc.
This is the responsibility of a publisher to leverage user data and provide insights to marketers about the user’s activity. This is the point where publishers make use of the technology to craft better user experiences and maximize the inventory value.
Attribution and its types
Attribution is the process or approach that assists to measure which ad type, placements, ad channels or any other ad combination delivers the best returns. Attribution also helps in knowing the visitor quality and conversion performance for individual publishers. Attribution marketing is to monitor and track user touch points that contribute to conversions.
There are two types of attributions-
–Post Click Conversions
Post Impressions conversion plays an important role, considering the present advertising scenario.
Post Click conversions
These are the most valuable for advertisers, as they imply directly to attribution. In Post Clicks, when a user clicks any ad it is redirected to the advertiser’s site. This shows the consumer interest and assists in making necessary changes in the exact ad creative for data optimisation & campaign management in future.
Advantage:– Post Click attribution provides a clear data of the sources their direct conversions come from.
Disadvantage:- The major drawback with Post Click is that it does not work well if advertisers wish to build brand reputation
Post Impression conversions
If you are an advertiser looking for brand awareness, reputation along with conversions, Post Impression conversions model is for you. When an ad is served to the user, the user does not click the ad that time but revisits the site or make search regarding the same ad and click through the PPC ad, the credit goes to the ad displayed originally to the user.
Since, this display ad was the reason for the visitor to come back to the site, this conversion is termed as Post Impression Conversion.
Advantage:- Post Impression Conversions increase brand awareness in a subtle manner along with providing the user with a chance of clicking on the ad if they find it useful for them
Disadvantage:- It is hard to keep track of the conversion source when multiple ads are placed on the same page.
Importance of Attribution to Publishers
Publishers, who value long life of their digital inventories, have an engaging content in place for their website visitors. But unfortunately, this website traffic does not get credited to the publisher’s account.
A Publisher always goes with the strategy of providing right display content to the right targeted audience but the conversion gets into the advertiser’s account as the display ads are redirected to their website. The conversion is measured based on the “last click” event or single touch attribution. This attribution is considered as less accurate because it does not take into consideration all the factors that could lead consumer to decide on purchase.
Also, this attribution model undervalues the qualitative efforts a publisher put to the ad creative’s in order to receive the valuable & quality traffic. The advertisers make use of cheap media and higher volumes of ad inventories that run over the efforts of publishers, as the outcome is credited based on the advertiser’s ad click.
Thus, for publishers looking to achieve accreditation for their efforts to achieve branding, prospecting and better targeting for the advertisers, need to move to a premium environment of test and control cells wherein they can track the conversions throughout the consumer journey.
The publishers segment the audience for effective tracking as follows-
-A selected group of unique visitors are placed in test cell and are supplied with the advertiser’s ad content and another selected unique visitor group placed in control cell is offered other media ads.
– While segmenting the unique visitors into test & control cell, make sure that the attributes of both the audiences are similar, in order to calculate conversion rate on both the cells.
– If the conversion rate is higher on the advertiser’s ad content placed in the test cell, it becomes easier for the publisher to justify the efforts put in by them to get conversion for the particular advertiser.
– The higher the conversion rate in test cell, the more value it adds to the publisher side of inventory.
– This is one of the robust and best attribution approaches any publisher can use to measure their performance and conversion.
Data driven attribution approach is another process which enables publishers and ad networks rest assured of their ad inventory values delivering better performance. In this the credit is given for conversion on the basis of how consumers researched for your brand and decided on completing the transaction.
Data driven attribution model is specific to individual advertisers. Advertisers need to set clear defined objectives in regards to ad placements, ad content optimisation for publishers so that they can deliver improved conversions and revenue for advertiser.
Benefits of data driven attribution approach:
– Setting clear data driven goals benefit in learning about ads, keywords, and campaign content that assist in reaching business objectives
– It also helps in optimizing bids on real time data
– Also, the data driven approach helps in selecting the right attribution model (other than the guesswork like last click or first click) for particular brand or business
With the demanding needs of the advertisers and to gain their confidence, publishers and advertisers should look out for the common technology platforms to track post impressions conversion.
Attribution reporting is more towards getting insights about your business performance with respect to the objectives set by you. This attribution can be anything from improving campaigns, selecting publishers and gaining confidence in them.
The major goal of attribution is to release the power of data collected and tracked throughout the user journey. With the changing and ever-evolving digital advertising scenario, we are now seeing more and more brands & businesses making use of data and technology in order to optimize customer journey in real time contributing to the digital developments.