Full-Funnel Attribution Is Better for Everyone – Even Search Marketers

funnelAbout 10 years ago, I worked at a small agency in Los Angeles. Every day on my way into the office I would pass billboards near one of the busiest intersections in the world (the 405 and 101) and think about the millions of people that saw those ads every day. And I wondered how effective they were. The truth is that no one really knows. It’s too hard to know with billboards. However, there is still much-awaited hope for online advertising.

I was thinking about this concept on Sunday when I noticed that Donald Trump’s “Apprentice” is miraculously still on the air. For the brief few minutes I watched and even smaller period where I was refraining from jeering the contestants or the host, I saw two celebrity teams running separate pizza shops and competing to sell the most pizza in a day. The formula was pretty simple. There were some contestants passing out flyers, some dialing for dollars, some making pizzas, and some ringing the register. The teams did well when all parts were moving together and in cooperation toward the common goal. Read More

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Cookie bombs and fortune tellers

predictive modelThe heart and soul of marketing is targeting strategy, and when it comes to digital advertising, that strategy is increasingly data-driven and algorithm-based. Compared with traditional media, digital advertising has the advantages of targeting/personalization, precise performance metrics, and much greater flexibility in terms of reach and cost. These differences also spark two dramatically different views of advertising strategies like two dueling gunfighters in the Wild West.

In the east corner is the shotgun approach: let’s take advantage of the Web’s abundance of low-cost ad impressions and canvas the Web until we land on enough interested users to cover the cost. This is also known as cookie bombing.

In the west corner is the modern day sharpshooter: if the average response rate is around one basis point, only highly-targeted, well-placed ad messages can get the job done effectively. It’s a targeted approach with a well-researched plan (by strategically analyzing data to effectively drive performance), and no collateral damage.

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