8 min read
Published On: 2023-05-20
Are you struggling to accurately attribute your ecommerce marketing efforts? You’re not alone. The world of marketing attribution is complex, and even the most seasoned marketers can make mistakes along the way.
A recent study by Forrester revealed that 77% of marketers still struggle with accurately measuring the performance of their marketing efforts. Even renowned industry expert, Neil Patel, acknowledged, "The biggest mistake marketers make is not picking the right (attribution) model. This leads to skewed data, bad decisions, and a lower marketing ROI."
In this article, we’ll explore some of the common mistakes to avoid in ecommerce marketing attribution to help you make more informed and effective decisions for your business.
A common mistake in ecommerce marketing attribution is relying on a single attribution model to measure success. Attribution models are algorithms that help you assign credit to different marketing touchpoints. However, no single model is perfect, and relying on one model alone can lead to incomplete or inaccurate data.
It’s important to understand the different types of attribution models available and their strengths and weaknesses.
Each model has its own benefits and drawbacks, and the right model for your business may depend on your specific goals and audience.
When choosing an attribution model, it’s essential to consider your audience’s behavior and preferences. For example, if your audience typically makes multiple touchpoints before making a purchase, a multi-touch attribution model may be more appropriate than a first-touch attribution model.
It’s also important to consider your business goals. Are you looking to increase brand awareness or drive conversions? Different attribution models may be better suited to different goals.
Ultimately, your choice of an attribution model should align with your business goals and the behavior of your target audience. By using multiple attribution models and analyzing the data from each, you can gain a complete understanding of the effectiveness of your marketing efforts.
Shri Kanase, an ecommerce expert shares his hot take on the topic:
One of the most common mistakes ecommerce businesses make is ignoring cross-device and cross-channel tracking in their marketing efforts. Cross-device behavior refers to when a customer interacts with your brand across multiple devices, such as a desktop computer and a mobile phone. Cross-channel behavior refers to when a customer interacts with your brand across multiple marketing channels, such as social media and email.
It's important to understand the impact of cross-device and cross-channel behavior on your marketing efforts. Ignoring this behavior can lead to incomplete or inaccurate attribution, as you’re only measuring a fraction of a customer’s journey. When a customer interacts with your brand on multiple devices and channels, it’s important to track those interactions to gain a complete understanding of their journey and to assign credit to different touchpoints accurately.
Let's say a customer sees an ad for your product on their mobile device, but doesn't make a purchase until later on their desktop computer. If you're not tracking cross-device behavior, you may not realize that the mobile ad played a role in the eventual sale. Similarly, if a customer sees an ad on social media and receives an email with a special offer, you'll want to track both touchpoints to understand which one was more effective in converting the customer.
By tracking cross-device and cross-channel behavior, you'll be able to gain a better understanding of your customer's journeys and make more informed decisions about your marketing strategy. You'll also be able to identify areas where you may be losing customers, such as if many customers abandon their shopping cart on mobile devices but complete the purchase on desktop computers.
To accurately track cross-device and cross-channel behavior, you need to implement effective tracking strategies. This may include using cookies and device IDs to tie interactions across different devices and channels to the same user. Additionally, you may need to invest in third-party tools to help you track and analyze cross-device and cross-channel behavior.
One effective strategy is to use a customer data platform (CDP) to unify customer data across all touchpoints. A CDP can help you track customer behavior across devices and channels, and can even help you create personalized marketing campaigns based on that behavior.
Another strategy is to use a multi-touch attribution model, which assigns credit to multiple touchpoints along a customer's journey. This can help you understand which touchpoints are most effective in converting customers and can help you optimize your marketing strategy accordingly.
Stepping into the complex world of conversions, marketers sometimes overlook one of the most crucial contributors – assisted conversions. While direct conversions are easier to track and credit, not all marketing touchpoints lead directly to a sale. However, they still play a significant part in nudging the customer along their purchase journey.
Assisted conversions refer to when a marketing touchpoint contributes to a sale but isn’t the last touchpoint before the sale.
For example, a customer may click on a social media ad but not make a purchase until they receive an email campaign. Without giving credit to the social media ad that initiated the customer’s journey, you’ll undervalue the impact of that touchpoint.
However, it’s important to note that not all assisted conversions are created equal. Some touchpoints may have a greater impact on the customer’s decision-making process than others.
For instance, a customer may have visited your website multiple times before making a purchase, but it was the customer service representative who provided the final push they needed to make the purchase. In this case, the customer service representative’s touchpoint would be more valuable than the website visits in terms of contributing to the sale.
You can measure and analyze assisted conversions using multi-touch attribution models, which take into account all of the touchpoints involved in a customer’s journey. These models assign a value to each touchpoint based on its contribution to the sale. By giving credit to all relevant touchpoints, you’ll gain a more accurate understanding of the ROI of your marketing efforts.
It’s also important to note that multi-touch attribution models can vary in their complexity. Some models may assign equal value to each touchpoint, while others may assign more value to touchpoints that occur closer to the sale. It’s important to choose a model that aligns with your business goals and objectives.
In addition to using multi-touch attribution models, you can also use tools like Google Analytics to track and analyze assisted conversions. Google Analytics provides a variety of reports that can help you understand the impact of each touchpoint in a customer’s journey.
Think of print ads, direct mail, and billboards as secret agents whispering your brand's name. Even a casual chat between friends can be a powerful advocate for your business.
In our digital age, these offline messengers carry your brand's message into the physical world, subtly influencing online buying decisions. While ecommerce thrives online, remember, it's rooted in the real world too.
A leader in content strategy Christoph Trappe, shares his thoughts:
Marketing attribution is not a static process, and a "set it and forget it" approach could lead you astray. The digital marketing landscape is continually evolving, and so are your customers' behaviors.
Therefore, your attribution model should adapt over time. If you stick rigidly to the same model without reassessing its effectiveness regularly, you might miss significant shifts in how your marketing touchpoints are contributing to conversions.
As an example, consider a scenario where you launch a new social media campaign. If you don't consistently analyze and adjust your attribution model, you might not recognize the impact this campaign has on your sales. In other words, you risk undervaluing the success of the new campaign and overvaluing other marketing efforts.
While marketing attribution can be complex, avoiding these common mistakes can help you gain a more accurate understanding of your ecommerce marketing ROI and make more informed decisions about future strategies.
Remember to choose the right attribution model for your business, track cross-device and cross-channel behavior, give credit to assisted conversions and account for offline conversions. By avoiding these mistakes, you’ll be well on your way to ecommerce marketing success.