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Published June 2017

By Robert Hof, Forbes

If there’s a Holy Grail of marketing, it’s an answer to this basic question: Did that ad work?

Today, Google is aiming to help companies find that blessed vessel with a new service set to debut today at its annual Marketing Next conference in San Francisco. Google Attribution aims to provide a better way to track the results of marketing across devices from personal computers to smartphones and across channels from search to store visits.

Customers looking to buy something often have touchpoints with companies in a dozen or more interactions — search, social networks, apps, websites and display and video ads, not to mention other kinds of ads and in-store visits. Most current methods of tracking how people are influenced are limited, often losing the customer thread between devices and over multiple marketing channels.

That’s why most companies have simply attributed a “conversion” such as a sale or a response to something to the last time someone clicked. That misses many of the contact points that actually led to the sale.

Read the full article on Forbes.

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Further reading:

Giving credit where it’s due with smarter attribution

    At Google Marketing Next 2017, we took to the stage to share product updates that will help you transform your marketing. Watch the live stream recording and explore the collection of articles inspired by these talks to delve deeper into the insights, trends and innovations discussed.

    Transparent and comprehensive measurement gives advertisers full sight into the impact of their marketing. But reliance on last-click attribution poses a challenge. A holistic, cross-channel view of what’s driving your marketing performance is key to understanding how to value each customer touchpoint. 

    We have two new launches to help every business, large or small, solve the attribution challenge. On Tuesday, we announced Google Attribution, a new free product to help marketers measure their campaigns. Now, to meet the needs of our largest advertisers, we’re launching an updated version of our enterprise offering: Google Attribution 360.  

    Just like with the free product, Attribution 360 is an easy to set up, actionable, cross-channel, cross-device attribution tool. It’s also highly customizable, so you can get a view of your marketing performance that aligns with how you view your business. The updated version of Attribution 360 is currently in beta, and will roll out to more advertisers over the next few months. 

    Fast setup for higher productivity

    Enterprises shouldn’t need a team of data scientists to implement a better attribution model, or wait months to get results. That’s why we’ve built a frictionless system that lets you quickly set up your Google Attribution 360 account.

    Attribution 360 integrates seamlessly with Google Analytics, DoubleClick Campaign Manager, DoubleClick Bid Manager and DoubleClick Search. You simply link your accounts and receive all your marketing event data in Attribution 360 within 48 hours — no need for retagging and no data loss between systems.

    Tackling the attribution challenge with flexible data

    Data sits at the core of the attribution challenge. For marketing analytics to provide powerful and actionable insights, they must be rooted in accurate and comprehensive data.

    Attribution 360’s rich set of data management features allow you to connect all your external data sources. With enhanced preview capabilities, in-product data quality reporting and the ability to reprocess the numbers if you make setup changes, Attribution 360 provides the tools you need to ensure high-quality and complete data.

    Measuring the impact of TV

    Since many marketers leverage TV to reach their target audience, understanding the performance of TV ads is critical for determining overall marketing success.

    TV attribution in Attribution 360 lets you measure TV effectiveness as easily as you measure digital. Available directly in the Attribution 360 UI at no extra cost, the TV attribution feature draws in minute-by-minute digital and broadcast data to show how your TV commercials drive cross-channel performance.

    Tools that transform insights into action

    Insights are only valuable if you can put them into action. We’re making it easy for you to apply insights from Attribution 360 to optimizing your marketing through key features, integrations and support.

    A host of new programmatic connections allows you to enhance your bidding strategy and reporting by sending data directly to bidding systems so your media buys use the most accurate attribution data. The in-product Digital Optimizer lets you explore a variety of optimization scenarios to inform future marketing investments and make your media more effective and efficient.

    Attribution 360 in action

    UK-based insurance comparison site, Confused.com, used Attribution 360 to increase paid search conversion. They leveraged the tool to uncover how people really interacted with Confused.com’s marketing messages and what drove customers to convert.

    By revealing how each search keyword impacted the customer journey, Confused.com could align their bidding strategy to improve the return on investment of their paid search. This lead to a 28% increase in quote requests at a lower cost per acquisition.

    Sophia Glennon, PPC Manager at Confused.com, couldn’t be happier: “With careful data analysis and insights from Attribution 360, we’ve increased our quote volume and lowered our overall cost per acquisition. We’re now able to re-invest what we’ve saved back into paid search and put real pressure on our competitors.”

    Prioritizing solutions that help drive your performance

    Holistic insight into marketing performance is critical for enterprise businesses. By investing in simple and flexible solutions that help you understand the impact of your campaigns, we aim to solve the attribution challenge and empower your team with the right data to improve your marketing.

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