Who Should Take The Credit For The Big Salad?
Who should get the largest slice of the cake? The one who first found the cake, or the person who paid for the travel to the cake shop or the person that paid for the cake or the person that delivered it? So it is with online attribution, giving credit where credit is due for an online conversion. When credit is falsely claimed it can cause a lot of frustration. Do you recall the Seinfeld episode about the big salad? At Elaine’s request, George purchases a “big salad” for her from Monk’s. When his girlfriend appears to take credit for this, George becomes obsessed over the issue.
I have the same feeling of frustration when social media does not get its fair share of the online conversion credit. Those days are now gone.
Taking The Analytics Easy Path
The easiest and most common choice for online attribution credit is often the last touch. Is that fair? In my opinion no. Far too often we grab the easiest option, the low hanging fruit. Strive to use the metrics that directly correlate to the action you want to measure. What gets measured gets improved so measure the right thing in the first place. Do not use a proxy otherwise you could end up in social media jail.
First Touch Attribution
Social media can be used in many ways. It can be used to directly impact the conversion action. I have used social media successfully to do conversions in both B2B and B2C. In these cases social media often gets the credit as the last touch channel. However, the vast majority of the time social media is doing its job at the top of the funnel, often as a part of an integrated plan. In many of these situations, social media receives no credit for any subsequent conversions. In this respect conversions are whatever you have deemed them to be in your plan. Conversions can range from sign ups to buy now and anything in between. If you are deploying social media as a first touch channel, give it due credit for conversions by calculating the effect of the first touch attribution.
There are many attribution models that can be used. If you use Google analytics then you have the opportunity to discover how to apply them. Select “first interaction” or “position based” attribution if you are using social media for awareness at the top of the funnel. I like “position based” attribution as it gives 40% credit to the first and last interaction, and the remaining 20% credit is distributed evenly to the middle interactions, but select what is a best fit your your own circumstances.
I have described a practical example of using attribution models with Google analytics as step 7 of 10 in a post called “Pinterest ROI in 10 Steps”. Find out more about using attribution with Google analytics.
I really like the implementation of first touch attribution by Adobe in their Adobe analytics solution, which is a part of their marketing cloud suite of products, and was formally called Omniture.
I recently used the Adobe analytics attribution solution to show that a large investment in social media paid promotion in a B2B project resulted in over 80% first touch credit to social media. This can be calculated for page views, unique visitors or conversion actions etc.
It is simple to calculate this in Adobe analytics. Select a report showing the statistics you need, then click the icon to “breakdown” the statistics. In this case, select to breakdown by “marketing channel”, then “first touch channel” or any of the other choices, which include a detailed first or last touch summary.
Social Media Can Now Have A Slice Of The “Credit Cake”
Now social media can get a slice of the “credit cake”. It can get the credit when it has contributed directly to conversions at the bottom of the traditional marketing funnel or when it is applied at the top of the funnel for awareness.
Finally, the big salad credit ownership frustration is over. We can give credit when it is due. George would be pleased!
What is your opinion? Are you giving social media first touch credit when it is due? Let me know by leaving a comment below, or share this post with others. Thank you.