Attribution Model – ‘Go Ahead, Make My Day’

Imagine the iconic Clint Eastwood, looking down into the camera hissing his famous, “Go ahead, make my day” from the blockbuster movie, Dirty Harry.

In his field of protecting the good and defeating the bad…it was the quintessential challenge.

As online advertisers and marketers, we face a different challenge. The #1 desire of every Chief Marketing Officer is more accountability with ad spend. Consequently, we’ve been challenged. We need to make our CMO’s day.

Marketers will tell you that even on their best day, the decisions made are only as good as their information.

And even though Internet advertising is the most trackable form of advertising on earth, today’s online measurement systems defining success of the $70 billion of online advertising spent each year worldwide, are…wrong.

Woefully wrong. Today’s outdated online ad tracking systems give 100% transaction credit to the very last clicked or last viewed ad before an online transaction.

Example: if four Internet ads contribute to a transaction; today’s outdated systems allocate entire credit to the very last ad–ignoring the first three ads, which actually drove the revenue.

Zero credit to revenue drivers, and 100% credit to the last ad placed. Nervous?

With limitless Internet resources—consumers research like they never did before making a final commitment. There are a lot of ingredients before your consumer transacts. And today’s online advertising is like a well-cooked dish—a combination of ingredients and methods, not just the garnish at the very end.

At C3 Metrics, the attribution modeling recipe takes an enormous amount of ingredients, and reduces complexity to simplicity.

At a basic level, C3 assigns credit to Originators, Assists, and Converters within a transaction. An attribution model should capture every online media source from the top of the funnel where sales originate…down to the very bottom of the funnel. So in a $100 transaction, an Originator would receive a fraction of $100 attributed to them—and the Assist and Converter would also receive fractional credit of the $100 attributed to them respectively.

100% of revenue credit is attributed and split among Originators, Assists, and Converters–accounting for the actual drivers of revenue. Then revenue and respective costs from paid media sources converge in a single, elegant number: Attributed Revenue-to-Spend Ratio (ARSR™).

It’s a simple ratio any marketer can grasp. If you have a 4.0 ratio for a specific keyword, or specific Display campaign–you’re getting $4.00 in revenue for every dollar spent on that particular media source. Conversely, if you have an ARSR of 1.25 for a particular media buy—you’re getting $1.25 in revenue for every dollar spent there.

Certainly, not all attribution models are alike. But C3 allows media buyers to scale media sources with high numbers, and cut/improve media sources with low numbers. The special sauce–is the numerator of the ratio (attributed revenue), derived from full funnel attribution. An actionable, and fully attributed metric you can pull the trigger on with minutes of analysis vs. weeks.

Clint Eastwood said, “I have a very strict gun control policy: if there’s a gun around, I want to be in control of it.”

If you’re measuring online media success, you should be in control, versus the last click.

Go ahead, make the CMO’s day…make it with an attribution model.