“I know half of my advertising doesn’t work…I just don’t know which half!”
So we all know the marketer’s quandary. How to attribute conversions and success back to media accurately. Now sure I know there are many more tools available today to try and decipher the riddle, like econometrics, cross visit participation, outright asking users how they heard of your site. But can anyone, hand on heart, say that they know the exact contribution and RoI from all their media?
Here’s a bit of fun for a Friday!
It often strikes me that media is lot like football. In a football team, players work together, in concert, to achieve two broad common objectives – score goals, minimise goals conceded.
In a marketing campaign, media work together, in concert, to achieve broad common objectives – such as increase market share and block out competitors.
Football players, like media, have different jobs to do. Can we map the roles?
Let’s look at some goals to explore this idea.
Extending my analogy we could say that this is an example of TV (defender) ‘winning the ball’ ie generating awareness, and then perhaps frequency being built by exposure to outdoor, and radio, (a pass from midfielder Fabregas to midfielder Nasri) culminating in PPC (forward, Arshavin) converting a brand or brand+generic search because it was a great shot but he was in the right place, at the right time. Just like appearing in the SERPs at the right time to harvest latent consideration caused by ad exposure frequency.
If we looked at a different goal, say a midfielder scoring from range, I would say this is a user clicking through on a display ad. A rare thing, but it does happen! A midfielder who creates and scores goals himself is like a great DR display campaign.
What is the point I am trying to make? Well, on average, who is best paid in a football team? Below is the average salary for different roles in a Premier League football team according to a PFA survey in 2006. OK, a bit of date! It’s probably twice or three times this now, but it’s still true that strikers are paid more than defenders for example. If you were to apply the same ‘attribution’ to a marketing budget of £10M, I have shown what your breakdown would be. Looking a bit heavy on PPC! Does that mean that managers are suffering from last clickitus?
The fact is, we will never know the whole story of what contributes to a conversion, just as we never really know who contributes to a football victory. It’s the sum of the parts and has a million influencing factors. But one thing is certain. No one ever won a football match by putting out eleven strikers. No one ever won a match putting out eleven defenders. You should be tailoring your mix according to your sector, market position and strategic objectives.
Evolved marketing is about testing, learning and refining. Every now and then, eliminate a media from the mix and observe the results. In this way you can arrive at stats like the one that says that over 50 games, Arsenal averaged 2.1 points when Fabregas played, but only 1.75 when he didn’t play. Sure, still fallible, and many other factors may be involved, but more robust than instinct alone. Can you replicate this type of insight in your media mix?
Lastly, before we beat ourselves up about attribution, if you looked at UK adspend by media ‘forwards’ only represent about 18% of the total mix, so you could say marketers are actually doing a better job of attribution than Premiership football managers, with equally mystifying attribution problems to solve. What do you think? Does treating your marketing campaign like a football match make it more fun!?