Google Attribution Allows Clear, Seamless Campaign Analysis for Marketers

July 28th, 2017 by Matthew Bains

How do you know which of your interactions with a customer mattered the most? How do you measure an organic search that someone performed for a product on one device compared to an ad clicked right before the point of purchase on another? Well, Google set out to solve some of these and other problems that marketers face daily with their newest rollout from their Marketing Next event—Google Attribution. Now, marketers can finally begin to answer the age-old question that is typically at the forefront of their minds—is my marketing working?

How Google Attribution Streamlines Data

Google Attribution uses machine learning and data to help marketers measure the impact of each of their marketing touch points, across multiple channels, and across multiple devices. It uses data that’s already there from Adwords and Google Analytics; it just takes that data and shows you how each customer moved through their buyer’s journey and attributes those conversions respectively. It provides a single view of the path to purchase to help marketers learn what is actually working compared to what seems to be working.

“The aim of Google Attribution is to simplify the complex problem of multichannel, multi-device attribution by leveraging data advertisers already have in Google Analytics, AdWords, or DoubleClick Search,” said Kishore Kanakamedela, director of product management at Google.

To give an example of how a richer lens of an entire campaign was able to better benefit a business, Virgin Holidays utilized store sales measurement to look at store sales after users clicked on a search ad:

“Virgin Holidays discovered that when it factors in store sales, its search campaigns generate double the profit compared to looking at online KPIs alone. A customer purchasing in-store after clicking on a search ad is also three times more profitable than an online conversion.”

Google already rolled out a store visits measurement in 2014. They’ll be rolling out store sales measurements as yet another touch point that marketers can analyze through Google Attribution.

And possibly the best part? Attribution is free for anyone to use. It’s in its beta version right now and will be more readily available this fall.

A Shift Away From Last Click

Until now, many marketers were left to use last-click attribution to measure the value of their efforts. With last click, the reward for the conversion often went to the last touch point that the user made, often with a sale after a click on an ad. This could lead to false impressions about the effectiveness of an ad campaign versus display ads, organic search, social, email affiliates, and many other interactions that a customer made with a business along the buyer’s journey. Maybe organic search is actually more important display ads or vice versa.

With Attribution, users can see how effective each step of a campaign is instead of just pointing to the last click of an ad before purchase. There are so many micro-moments that happen on the path to purchase. Now, marketers can have a more accurate view of business, and in turn, can then update bids or move budgets between channels based on such results.

Image Of Woman Typing On A Computer With Media App Logos Flying Around - Search Influence

This move to a more holistic view of a campaign makes sense. Video ads, banner ads, carousel ads, emails, social campaigns, and all other types of digital materials work together to drive solid leads to become conversions, so why would it make sense for only the final ad to get all of the credit and influence a business’ campaign and budgeting decisions?

There is already a slew of companies that have seen the benefit of implementing the data-driven results of Attribution. Check out the success stories that Google has touted so far.

Eliminating Waste and Annoyance With Unique Reach

Most people use multiple devices to access their multimedia channels, whether that be a phone, a tablet, a smart TV, or a computer. For example, let’s say you’re shopping for a new laptop. You may first see a search ad when searching on your phone and then find a display ad while on your tablet. Then, you’ll come across a shopping ad by the time you decide to purchase the laptop on your current computer that needs replacing. According to Bill Kee, Google’s Group Product Manager for Attribution presenting at Marketing Next, “30% of people use 5 or more devices today. If you reach each of those devices three times, you’ll reach that person 15 times.” It’s safe to say that’s a bit of an overkill.

With Unique Reach reporting in AdWords and DoubleClick, marketers will be able to measure how many people were shown display and video ads. It will show unique users and their average impressions. This helps marketers better understand how many people they reached in their target audience and how many times they reached them. This will allow businesses to find any wasted budget in over-saturated placements and, more importantly, better please their potential customers by not wasting their time with endless ads.

People are expecting a simple, frictionless user experience on their path to purchase. Unique Reach is, well, unique in that it puts the customer right at the heart of the journey. Unique Reach is available in AdWords now and will be available in DoubleClick in the coming months.

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The Customer Is the New Channel

Instead of the mindset of measuring your reports within online or offline channels, Google has highlighted the importance of recognizing the customer or user as the new channel. The line between being online and offline has disappeared.

Consumer expectations are higher than ever. So, the best way to meet those expectations is to try our best to understand consumers’ intent. Google also shared their Surveys 360 product connected to AdWords and Google Optimize. It helps marketers deliver more relevant ads with targeted surveys that seek to understand a customer’s intent along with their buyer’s journey.

Marketers are already working hard to develop a strategy that brings conversions for their potential and current clients; Google Attribution helps them work smarter with data. By using their machine learning to put context into the consumer journeys, this new tool should help marketers create a simple, more streamlined campaign that their users will love and respond to. To quote Sridhar Ramaswamy, Senior Vice President of Ads and Commerce at Google and opening speaker at the Marketing Next event: “To really assist people, we need to become smart in how we use data to assist them.”

Interested in learning how we can better market your business? Reach out to us at any time.


Image Sources:

Google Marketing Next

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