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Julia Manoukian


March 18, 2018

Who Sold It? Why OEMs Need To Measure Marketing Attribution at Events

Julia Manoukian

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You know that you're making sales at events and other live experiences, but you have one problem: who sold it? Marketing attribution for offline channels is a tricky challenge, but improving data visibility and learning how to work with the right information can put you on the right path.

Why You Need Clean Data

Clean data, in the context of marketing attribution, is data that provides accurate information about its source and other defining characteristics.

For example, you can look at the IP addresses of website visitors to start getting an idea of the neighborhoods that are visiting the company page. In an event environment, you can improve data quality with tools that streamline the collection process. Make it easy to enter the information and label it with the person and lead source.

Keeping data clean can be a difficult task. You may need to overhaul workflows or complete systems that are not suitable for gathering the information. Manual processes introduce the risk of human error, which can skew your attribution results and make it difficult to leverage your findings. Sometimes the errors don't get discovered for a long time, which allows them to make their way into more than one report.

Why Marketers Might Be Looking at the Wrong Data

All the clean data in the world won't matter if you don't have the right marketing attribution model.

One of the most common methodologies used is called Last Click Attribution. As you can tell from the name, the only thing that this model looks at to determine who made the sale is the last click before the conversion.

Many problems exist with this approach, especially when it comes to understanding the marketing influence of live events. You have no way of seeing the importance of the individual touchpoints as the buyer goes on their journey. When the full customer experience is so important to landing these sales, relying on Last Click Attribution is the same as flying blind.

A multi-click attribution model offers greater visibility for OEM sales. You have a better understanding of what the customer did before they attended your live experience, the steps they took afterward, and whether that lead them to a purchase decision.

You have a lot more information to work with under this model, so your current customer relationship management solution may not be capable of handling the additional information.

Depending on your marketing infrastructure, you may need to deploy one or more new solutions to accommodate this data. The disruption is worth it once you gain granular detail into the customer experience.

Training of your sales and marketing teams is also necessary. When the people working with the data only look at the last touchpoint, they need a mindset shift to work with multiple touchpoints.

At this point, attribution goes beyond determining the last thing the person did before they made a purchase. Now you need to assign varying levels of influence for each stop along the way.

Some trial and error is necessary to determine this value, and it's possible that it might not be perfect. However, ongoing testing and constant data collection give you greater clarity with each deal that closes.

A Move to More Meaningful Reports

Sales managers want more meaningful reports that show them the relationship between a recent ad or event and the conversion rate that comes after. By working with a multi-attribution model, you can give them the level of detail that they're demanding.

You can look at the event that generated the lead, the sales person they talked to, whether the prospect previously interacted with your OEM and other characteristics.

While a lot of emphasis is placed on the fine details of the customer's journey, you also get access to the big picture view when you look at all of this information as a whole. Patterns that were previously undiscovered in Last Click Attribution are seen with a multi-click attribution approach.

Smarter Budget Spending

When you're unable to measure the impact of individual events and advertisements, optimizing your budget spending is difficult. Multi-click attribution models that cover offline channels give you detailed information on your customer acquisition costs, conversion rates and other essential data.

Your budget gets to revolve around the most effective tactics and strategies. Since you collect new data all the time, your spending gets refined on a continuous basis. You free up the budget for other important parts of your OEM operation and have the opportunity to fund new sales initiatives.

The new information may also make it easier to get approval for your planned spending. If you run into difficulty from upper management on a frequent basis, this data-driven approach could be exactly what you need to make a difference.

Multi-click attribution offers a powerful way to track the influence of your in-person events on the customer journey. You also gain much-needed insight into their other touchpoints, which enables you to achieve fine-tuned control over the budget. Last Click Attribution needs to go into the trash at your OEM, as it makes it impossible to truly understand the factors leading to a conversion.

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