5 Tips For Building A Cross Channel Media Attribution Model

 -Steve Facini - Cross-Channel

We are thrilled to blog this on behalf of Steve Facini, CMO, OnDemand CMO who joined us at our Digital FSI Transformation event last week. See the original post here >>

Steve chaired a fantastic roundtable on Cross Channel Media Attribution. One of the most popular sessions from the event, here are his top 5 takeaways.

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While attending the Millennium Alliance’s Financial Services Digital Transformation Conference in Amelia Island, FL, I had the privilege of co-chairing a roundtable discussion on Cross Channel Media Attribution. My co-chair was Tom Prachar, Regional Vice President of Visual IQ.

The roundtable participants were an impressive collection of financial services technologists, strategists, and marketers. And whenever you put together such a diverse group, you are bound to get a lively and far-reaching discussion – and we certainly achieved that.

As we all become smarter and more comfortable with the digital tools available to us, the goal of understanding which aspects of our marketing communications mix is having the greatest impact on our bottom line is getting closer to reality. However, many of us are at different points in the journey, so to level set, I have compiled several interesting tips the group discussed and are worth considering as you develop your cross-channel media attribution strategies:

1. It is critical that you define “attribution”. Not only will that vary from organization to organization, but even within organizations, the definitions will vary. Getting on the same page is essential but not easy. Developing a common language is the first step. From there we can start asking questions:   What are our goals? What should we measure? How do we evaluate traditional media vs. digital media? How do we measure addressable vs. non-addressable data? How do we measure desktop vs mobile media? Are all activities weighted the same? If not, why not?

2. Make sure you tag all your marketing content.   Even if you don’t know what you will do with it once it is collected, tag it. Data storage costs are a fraction of they once were, so this is no longer a barrier or a constraint. The key is to build a culture around data, tagging everything that is consumer facing regardless of whether you’re a B2B or B2C company – it is a core tenet of building an attribution culture.  Without a feedback loop, you will be lost in the wilderness.

3. Bring more science to your marketing efforts. If you can’t measure it, stop doing it.  It is a process, and as more and more data becomes addressable, your marketing campaigns will be more effective because your targeting will improve.  Isolating variables and measuring their effects against the control group is essential in determining what is working and what is not.

4. Attribution is not necessarily a silver bullet. Just because you are able to assign attribution to a specific marketing action doesn’t mean you have achieved your goal.  Attribution is not black and white. An important element of the attribution model is “engagement”. Engagement refers to the volume and depth of an individual’s involvement with your brand.  It is a powerful data point that needs to be captured, studied and acted upon.  It is a strong purchase indicator and could help identify potential brand influencers and buyers.

5. Understanding the distinction between “causation and correlation”. For example, the correlation between variables (content vs media channel) does not automatically mean that a change in one variable will cause a change in the other. While causation indicates that one event is the result of the other event.  This is a critical distinction especially if you are trying to assign “weighted values” to certain activities and or media channels.   This is where A/B testing plays an important role in the attribution process.

Please share your thoughts, challenges, and successes as you continue down the path of building your cross-channel attribution model.

You can contact me at steve@ondemandcmo.com

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Steven FaciniFor more than 20 years, Steve has been an innovative, results-oriented marketing leader with extensive experience developing marketing strategies designed to build brands, retain/acquire customers and grow sales.  Over the course of that time, he has become an expert marketing products and services to high net worth customers for such world renowned brands as Morgan Stanley, Smith Barney, Citi, Jaguar Cars, BMW & Mini.  His experience working on both the client and agency sides of the business has helped shape his unique perspective to solving marketing challenges resulting in several industry awards.

Steve is a graduate of Fordham University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in History and holds Master of Arts degree in Sports Marketing from Ohio State University.  Additionally, he holds several FINRA securities licenses (Series 7, 24 & 63) and is a Certified Retirement Planning Counselor (CRPC).  He is an active member of the Financial Communications Society and an Adjunct Professor at NYU teaching a Business Planning course to graduate marketing students.

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