The customer journey is complex.
It’s billboards, blogs, emails, paid social, organic social, search ads and much more. Every customer is unique, and to understand that journey is one of the hardest tasks a marketer must face – but Google has delivered a major insight with data-driven attribution.
One part of the customer journey is Google Ads. Many marketers invest in paid marketing methods to display their offering at the top of their customer’s Google search, to help raise brand awareness and drive more traffic to their website.
To understand which marketing campaigns convert, marketers use attribution models that help “determine which channels or media are driving the most customers to make a purchase”, Neil Patel.
So, what is an attribution model?
In simple terms, it can give you a better understanding of how your ads perform and can help you optimise across conversion journeys (Google). This means you can then target your marketing efforts to lucrative touchpoints in the customer journey.
There are several attribution models used by marketers. One of the most-used, relied-upon models is ‘last click’. This one does exactly as it says – it gives all the credit for the conversion to the last-clicked ad (Google).
Whilst this is one of the most popular attribution models, it comes with its flaws. We’ve talked about the customer journey and how it’s not as straight forward as ‘see ad, click ad, buy’. So, the ‘last click’ model may deliver skewed insights into what works and what doesn’t – resulting in money and efforts possibly being invested in the wrong places.
“By only considering the last asset or webpage that customers interacted with, last click attribution models imply that customers act with no prior thought”, says Marketing Evolution. We all go through a longer journey before making a decision, whether it’s buying a product, booking a holiday or downloading an app – it’s not as straightforward as one click.
Google’s latest update of data-driven attribution as the default model for all new conversion actions will help marketers fully understand the effects of their Google Ads campaigns.
The Nature of the Customer Journey
“Data-driven attribution will help advertisers future-proof their measurement”, says Ginny Marvin, Google Ads Liaison. It gives a much more rounded view of the customer journey, giving your company insight into the contributing interactions that led to the final purchase decision.
Yes, we’re talking about ads. But, referring to our first point, the customer journey is much more complex than just clicking an ad online. So, let’s take it offline.
Offline marketing informs and complements your online marketing. Take networking, billboards and speaking events for example – all these strategies complement your brand identity and put you in a position of authority to a potential customer. And these are the types of things that data-driven attribution can point to as influencing a customer decision.
It provides a much more accurate step-by-step process of the customer journey. And we think it will accurately match the journey your customers take to make a decision and give a much better picture of customer habits.
It will give you stand-out data that shows when an interaction is meaningful even if it didn’t directly result in a completed conversion. You can then tailor your marketing efforts towards specific touchpoints and get your customer back on board to make those extra steps.
“Data-driven attribution in Google Ads takes multiple signals into account, including the ad format and the time between an ad interaction and the conversion” says Vidhya Srinivasan, VP/GM Buying, Analytics and Measurement, Google Ads.
For smaller businesses, this hasn’t been an option before because of minimum data requirements – that Google have now scrapped to give everyone a chance to improve their performance across each campaign.
By using this attribution model, you can target your campaigns more precisely and ultimately save time and money throughout the process.
Future-proof your conversion tracking
The launch of this new default attribution model comes in the midst of a changing online landscape and the movement into a cookieless world. The data-driven attribution model helps future-proof your measurement that meets your objectives and puts users first (Google).
So, if you want to stay one step ahead with your marketing campaigns make sure to utilise the data-driven attribution model. And remember, it’s equally as important to analyse your results and tailor your strategy accordingly.