Bridge the Marketing Divide: Combining Cross-Channel Attribution with Data Onboarding


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Marketers are migrating to digital channels en masse. According to a recent eMarketer study, U.S. e-commerce sales will total $259 billion in 2013 - a 14.8% annual increase over 2012's $225.5 billion.

But there's a missing link. When consumers research products online, the majority of purchases take place offline, either over a phone or in a store. Forrester Research, Yahoo, and comScore all reach the same conclusion: As much as 92% of purchases take place offline following online consumer activity, while most digital marketers target online conversions only.

Targeting isn't about clicks, it's about sales, and 92% is a large percentage of missing data!

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Bridge the Marketing Divide: Combining Cross-Channel Attribution with Data Onboarding

  1. 1. Bridge the Marketing Divide: Combining Cross-Channel Attribution with Data Onboarding WHITE PAPER Adometry 6801 N. Capital of Texas Hwy. Lakewood Center II, Suite 250 Austin, TX 78731 1-866-512-5425
  2. 2. 2Bridge the Marketing Divide: Combining Cross-Channel Attribution with Data Onboarding Understand the Impact of Online Marketing on Offline Conversions The rise of digital marketing has drastically expanded the marketer’s toolkit, providing tremendous opportunity to connect with target audiences in new ways. Digital marketing channels offer a wealth of granular data, allowing advertisers to gather more information than ever before about the entire customer journey from discovery to conversion. However, while online purchases capture a greater percentage of overall spending year to year, offline purchases continue to drive the lion’s share of revenue for many businesses. Unfortunately, offline and online purchase data is typically silo-ed, making it difficult to understand which advertising touch points truly influenced conversions. So how do advertisers determine which marketing messages were the most compelling or which channels produced the best returns? Additionally, without being able to tie offline purchases to digital campaigns, how can advertisers accurately measure campaign effectiveness or know if/how to optimize budgets to generate better ROI? To accurately assign credit for all conversions and gain the full value of any attribution platform, it is important to understand a process called “data onboarding.” This white paper will walk through data onboarding basics, advanced capabilities and benefits, as well as the security and privacy features to look for in an onboarding partner Bringing Offline Data to the Digital World Historically, digital marketers’ attempts to understand the influence of online advertising on purchases that take place offline has been more a guessing game than an exact science. Recently, new technologies have become available that enable advertisers to onboard offline marketing data — such as purchase history, CRM databases, email campaigns, and loyalty program information — in order to create a comprehensive view of the individual customer journey and accurately assign conversion credits to digital marketing efforts. Purchases Following Online Research Online Offline 0% 20% 40% 100% 60% 80%
  3. 3. 3Bridge the Marketing Divide: Combining Cross-Channel Attribution with Data Onboarding How it Works Imagine a department store where the majority of sales take place offline. This retailer may wish to run an online campaign promoting their annual sale. They may collect purchase data tied to email and postal addresses via their loyalty card. But how can they measure the true impact of their online ad campaign on offline sales? Working with a data onboarding partner, such as LiveRamp, this retailer can anonymously match their offline data sets to online browsers. Once the offline transaction data is paired with corresponding online browsers, marketers have the ability to run attribution analyses on offline conversions alongside online conversions to understand the true impact of digital marketing campaigns — regardless of where the conversion took place. The department store can now attribute their in-store transactions during their annual sale to online ad impressions. Implementation 1 Working with LiveRamp, a brand identifies use cases for onboarding data and determines which data they wish to bring online. 2 Using secure data transfer protocols, the brand sends LiveRamp offline transactional data tied to email addresses or postal addresses. This email or postal address data is typically collected at the time of the transaction, either directly or via a loyalty card. 3 Using registration information from several hundred leading websites, LiveRamp compares offline profile information with recognized online browsers, creating a “match.” Once a match is confirmed, all PII received from websites is automatically discarded ensuring anonymity. • LiveRamp’s industry-best match rates typically range between 30 and 40 percent. • Results are typically delivered to Adometry in 72 hours • There are no limitations to the number of in-store conversion records that can be onboarded and data is refreshed on the same cadence as the brand 4 A fully-anonymized cookie is then assigned to the user’s browser tied to the offline transaction data. 5 Audience information (cookies) is then provided to Adometry, who then tie the cookies to online campaign and impression data for 360-degree attribution and campaign optimization.
  4. 4. 4Bridge the Marketing Divide: Combining Cross-Channel Attribution with Data Onboarding Accurate Attribution Analysis Marketing attribution is the process of identifying a set of user interactions “touch points” that contribute in some manner to a desired outcome, and then assigning value to each of these events1 . Advertisers can use this information to measure and understand the true performance of marketing campaigns. While there are multiple techniques, sophisticated marketers prefer data-driven attribution methodologies that take into consideration all marketing touch points—across multiple channels and campaigns—leading to a conversion. Using a combination of probabilistic algorithms and predictive modeling, the attribution platform gives the proper amount of fractional credit to every element of the media mix. Attribution insights can be used to: • Identify high-performing media inventory and/or publishers • Predict campaign performance among specific audience segments and geographies • Perform granular “lift” analysis across channels to assess relative value of advertising spend in multi-channel campaigns • Create flexible “what if” scenarios for advanced media planning and budget allocation • Understand the influence of and interaction between online (e.g., display ads, email, search, social) and offline (TV, print radio) media on desired key performance indicators in order to maximize advertising budgets Comprehensive Insights about the Customer Journey Consider an automotive company rolling out a significant, new multi-channel marketing campaign to generate awareness for its new fleet of vehicles and increase foot traffic at dealerships among target demographics. Working with a third-party data provider, the company has identified desirable audience profiles, and using optimization recommendations from Adometry, it has determined which touch points are most effectively leading to conversions—in this case, visiting the company’s website for more information about the vehicles or using the ‘store locator’ feature to find a local dealership. But how does the company account for customers that saw a display ad or read a review from an affiliate, only to later visit the dealership on their way to work? Also, how does the company effectively retarget existing customers that may be ready to upgrade to a new model? Without tying offline activity and purchase data with online marketing efforts, the company has an incomplete picture of campaign effectiveness. Worse, the company may be missing valuable opportunities to target existing and prospective customers with the right message at the right time. By bringing purchase history and valuable CRM data, the retailer can then run attribution models to evaluate the performance of the marketing campaign using both online and offline conversion data. “While more and more dollars are being spent on online campaigns, most purchases still happen offline. Any business that allows consumers to place orders via telephone, catalog, in store or just about anywhere that doesn’t involve only a mouse click is going to have offline data.That data becomes extremely valuable when brought online and fed into a powerful attribution engine like Adometry Attribute.” LiveRampCEOAurenHoffman 1 “IAB Attribution Primer.” Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB). June 21, 2012.
  5. 5. 5Bridge the Marketing Divide: Combining Cross-Channel Attribution with Data Onboarding Unlocking New Oppor tunities Using Offline Data Onboarding offline data offers marketers a plethora of benefits that accrue to more efficient and effective campaigns, such as the ability to: 1. Run attribution to assess the impact of cross-channel efforts on total purchases including online, offline and in-store purchases 2. Improve optimization recommendations through holistic investment-to-conversion ROI analysis 3. Increase predictive capabilities and performance projections for subsequent campaigns 4. Calculate more precise ROI and margins for specific campaigns using purchase data Applying Advanced Attribution With Adometry Attribute Once offline data is onboarded, Adometry Attribute™ analyzes it alongside online conversion data to assess which marketing touch points during a configurable “look back” period played a role in influencing the purchase decision. Adometry Attribute then compares converting and non-converting sequences to analyze how valuable each event was relative to the others. There is no limit to the number of data streams Adometry can integrate. The Attribute platform analyzes complete data sets, not sample sets. This yields highly accurate and insightful models. Powerful Tools to Optimize Results and Answer “What If” Questions Once advertisers have determined the impact of digital marketing on offline conversions, Adometry Attribute’s Media Modeler allows them to optimize in-flight campaigns and drive maximum results. Using incremental metrics, the Media Modeler lets marketers test various scenarios and re-allocate budgets to generate the biggest ‘lift’ in key metrics such as conversions, reach, or revenue. Optimization recommendations include saturation points, giving marketers a way to assess when additional spending will result in diminishing returns. HISTORICAL DATA ADVANCED OPTIMIZATION RESULTS Log Files Ad Tags Conversion Pixel Audience Data / DMPs XLS GUI Bid Management DSP Advanced Attribution Optimization Actions & Recommendations Data Collection Page Tag ADOMETRY ATTRIBUTE
  6. 6. 6Bridge the Marketing Divide: Combining Cross-Channel Attribution with Data Onboarding Evaluating Campaign Value in Dollars and Cents For businesses that provide a feed of offline purchase data through their data onboarder, Adometry Attribute can evaluate granular performance data and ROI calculations tied to specific marketing campaigns – down to the impression level. Consider a retailer selling goods both online and in a physical store. By onboarding offline purchase data, the company can better understand how marketing campaigns are contributing to sales – both on the website and in the store – allowing it to better assess the cost of each conversion and the best performing conversion paths. Once ROI is calculated for individual campaigns, the marketing team can utilize Attribute’s powerful predictive capabilities to determine the best marketing mix to reach desired audiences efficiently. Additionally, through onboarding real-world purchase information advertisers can feel confident that attribution and optimization recommendations are informed by all customer behavior, not just activity taking place online. This added context results in more precise performance data and increases advertisers’ ability to identify hidden marketing revenue streams. Protecting Your Data by Selecting the Right Data Par tners Data privacy and security are high priorities when evaluating offline data partners. Marketers should take the time to identify vendors that take privacy issues seriously. This is illustrated by having appropriate controls to ensure data is not only secure but also isolated from other data sources. Bringing together the online-offline world should be used to optimize ad spend and deliver consumers relevant content, not to invade individuals’ privacy or increase risk. While marketing data partners offer significant benefits, brands should evaluate the following: 4 Is the company considered a leader in its market as determined by credible third-parties such as analyst firms and experts from digital agencies? 4 Does the company have experience working with other brands in your industry? 4 Does the company have transparent privacy and security measures? 4 Is the company’s methodology transparent and backed by proven technology? 4 Can the company provide examples of real-world results?
  7. 7. 7Bridge the Marketing Divide: Combining Cross-Channel Attribution with Data Onboarding Key Ver tical Use Cases Retail – A department store targeting an audience segment of 25-34 year old females with display ads promoting an annual sale event can compute a more accurate campaign ROI leveraging both in-store and online conversions. Auto – An auto manufacturer retargeting site visitors with ads about their newest car model can measure campaign influence on purchases of the car at their dealerships. Travel – An airline targeting users searching for beach vacations with flight deals to the tropics can connect all the purchases to online ad impressions and determine how well the campaign performed. Financial Services – A bank running a multi-channel campaign to small-business owners with a line of credit offer can incorporate their in-branch conversions into their attribution analysis of campaign performance for each channel. Conclusion Bringing offline data to the online world allows businesses with large customer databases to benefit greatly from understanding the complete spectrum of customer behavior. In particular, data-intensive verticals such as retail, travel, financial services and automotive will experience greater prediction, precision and performance in multi-channel marketing campaigns. These businesses should strongly consider working with partners that can tie together all of their online and offline marketing efforts. About Adometry Adometry, Inc. redefines marketing analytics by combining and interpreting previously silo-ed sources of big data to generate actions that improve return on advertising spend and increase sales. Through its SaaS-based attribution platform, Adometry processes tens-of-billions of marketing touch points from online and offline media channels for some of the world’s largest advertisers to identify the true consumer purchase journey. Adometry’s scientifically proven methodology and flexible, easy-to-implement solution generates the industry’s most accurate insights, in the shortest amount of time. Headquartered in Austin, Texas, Adometry is privately held and backed by Austin Ventures, Sierra Ventures, Shasta Ventures and Stanford University. For more information, visit About LiveRamp LiveRamp’s data onboarding solution turns a marketer’s offline data such as CRM and purchase history into online audiences. Data onboarding empowers brands to reach their exact customers and prospects with display ads, enrich their online analytics with their CRM data, and measure the impact of their marketing initiatives both offline and online. LiveRamp is the only company focused solely on data onboarding and is integrated into more than 40 leading ad technology platforms. LiveRamp is how offline gets online. To learn more, visit Copyright 2013. Adometry, Click Forensics and ClickScore are registered trademarks of Adometry, Inc. Adometry Attribute is a trademark of Adometry, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 0613-3935