Want to know where all your sales and leads are REALLY coming from? Google Attribution 360 is your answer. In this post, we tell you how and why.
In the past, it was difficult for marketers to know the extent to which each channel contributed to an individual sale. Fortunately, the Information Age is here.
Enter Google Attribution 360, a comprehensive marketing solution that offers deep insights into your offline and online marketing strategies.
Attribution? What’s That All About?
If you’re fairly new to marketing, you might wonder why the word “attribution” has found its way into a Google tool. There’s a very good reason for it.
In marketing, attribution refers to customer interactions with events (often called “touchpoints”) that make up part of the overall marketing strategy.
For example, if you’re doing content marketing, running display ads, and also showing retargeting ads, then all of those campaigns are potential touchpoints for customer interaction.
Sometimes those touchpoints work individually to drive a sale. However it’s often the case that they work together.
For example, somebody might see a link to your blog from a Google search. If that person clicks on the link and visits your site, then you’ve generated interest from your content marketing efforts.
Now suppose that same person leaves without buying anything. However, later on he or she sees a retargeting ad and clicks on it. Finally, the curious visitor becomes a customer by completing a purchase.
Note what happened there. Your content marketing generated some interest, but it was the retargeting ad that sealed the deal. Both campaigns played a part in driving the sale.
Attribution is all about determining which elements of your overall marketing strategy are contributing to your top line sales.
Applying a Value to Each Touchpoint
It isn’t good enough to simply know which parts of your multi-channel strategy are bringing in the customers. You also need to know how much each touchpoint plays a part in the sale.
That can’t be overemphasized. All marketing campaigns are not created equal. You need to know which ones are giving you the most bang for your buck.
Let’s go back to the previous example. If you find that most of your website visitors arrive through Google search, then it’s safe to say that your content marketing is generating some interest.
But how many of those visitors convert to customers on the first visit? And how many of them need to see the retargeting ad before they make a purchase?
That’s where the weighting comes in. If the vast majority of visitors convert when they arrive from Google search, then obviously your content marketing is more important than your retargeting.
On the other hand, if most of them convert only after seeing the retargeting ad, then you’re operating a successful multi-channel strategy. In that case, both parts of the strategy are important.
The End of Last-Click Attribution
Google Attribution 360 exists to put an end to last-click attribution.
If you’re not familiar with the phrase “last-click attribution,” it refers to a strategy in which marketers assume that the last touchpoint is totally responsible for the sale.
And you know what Benny Hill said about people who assume, right?
The reality is that last-click attribution is short-sighted marketing analysis. It doesn’t take into account all of the other factors that might have contributed to the sale.
Go back to the example above. If most of the people who visited your site from the search results bailed before making a purchase, then you might think that your content marketing isn’t accomplishing anything and stop doing it.
But remember: those people will also see a retargeting ad because they visited your site. If they click on that ad and then make a purchase, the content marketing clearly played a role.
However, the short-sighted marketer might think that only retargeting is successful. That would be a serious mistake.
The Complete Journey
So here’s what Google Attribution 360 does for you: it not only gives you a bird’s-eye view of your complete marketing strategy, it also assigns fractional values to each part of that strategy so you can determine how much it’s contributing to your sales.
In other words, it shows the extent to which each touchpoint pushed your customers farther down the sales funnel.
Even better: Google Attribution 360 lets you drill down into specific channels and campaigns for more detailed info.
How does it do all that? The tool integrates with DoubleClick, Analytics 360, and other Google products so that you have everything you need in one dashboard. Think of it as the front page of your entire marketing operation.
Google Attribution 360 uses machine learning to provide you with detailed information about all of your various channels.
In other words, the tool is still learning how to assign weights to various touchpoints.
That might seem ominous, but keep in mind that Google has been at this since 2013. The company knows how to teach its software to learn from experience.
The end result of Google’s scoring system: you make better marketing decisions by allocating resources to those events that are most likely to contribute to a sale.
If only our parents had this kind of marketing tool.
Wrapping It Up Google Attribution 360
Google Attribution 360 isn’t free. It’s an enterprise-level solution designed for companies that are willing to make a significant investment in their marketing efforts.
However, the tool does have a little brother, appropriately named Google Attribution, that is free. If you’re running a small business and you’d like to get a taste of Google’s attribution model, have a look at that solution.