#028: Attribution!

Attribution is like a box of chocolates. It can be really expensive, or it can be really cheap. It requires making a lot of decisions as to how you actually want to consume it. It may leave you feeling ill! Join the guys for a 45-minute walk across the attribution landscape. And back. And back again. Because mama always said you shouldn’t stop at the last click.


Episode Transcript

The following is a straight-up machine translation. It has not been human-reviewed or human-corrected. We apologize on behalf of the machines for any text that winds up being incorrect, nonsensical, or offensive. We have asked the machine to do better, but it simply responds with, “I’m sorry, Dave. I’m afraid I can’t do that.”

[00:00:26] Hi everyone. Welcome to the digital analytics power hour. This is Episode 28. To what do you attribute your stance on attribution. Are you 50 percent influenced by last click close by linear. How many contact points have you had within attribution. Were they all the same channel. Well we’re testing response rates from a new channel on attributes. It is this episode of The Digital Analytics power hour and if you’re playing at home any time someone says the word incremental or incremental ality you take a shot. And who better to join me on this customer journey. But my two expert shot taking Pels it’s Jim came double CEO of napkin and Babbit systems. Mean he takes two shots every time. I think so yeah.

[00:01:08] Unless you’re driving on the way to work of listening to this or on the way home you say you’re on the way.

[00:01:13] But if you have a bet on whatever unless you have a fancy electric car is that going to be allowed once an electric car like self driving cars are self driving cars. Drink and be driven.

[00:01:24] I think I’ve been ambivalent on self driving cars until the very moment and that of course is our good friend and senior partner at analytics demystified. TIM WILSON If you’re if you’re going to listen to podcasts listen responsibly OK that’s probably going to get us some negative phone calls from some concerned citizens. All right gentlemen the temperance movement of the community. That’s right. There are a powerful lobby.

[00:01:55] I’ve never seen them in the lobby.

[00:01:56] They were in the room. I think there’s somebody with an axe coming through the lobby bar hotel.

[00:02:04] Maybe guys attribution. Where do we want to start. I think I will start with my story because it’s the most important. No I’m just kidding. What do companies mean when they say they’re going to do attribution and what could they possibly hope to gain. I think that’s a great place to start. And then we’ll go into how the terminology is confusing and everyone’s screwing it up.

[00:02:25] Well I mean I think what they want to gain is the classic I know I’m wasting 50 percent of my spin but I know it’s 50 percent. So I think it is a little bit. There’s definitely a degree of a unicorn of I just know it’s this thing attributions like a 360 degree view of the customer that there is this lofty aspirational and maybe it’s based on who is saying they want to do multichannel multi touch attribution. I think generally the higher up you go in the organization the more aspirational unicorn seeking it is and it is this oh I am going to understand the specific combination of touch points and I’m going to be able to ratchet back my paid media and get step function improved results which I think is a not where any journey you know starting down the path looking for doing attribution is actually going to wind up. But I’m a little bit of a skeptic on the on the topic so maybe maybe Jim can weigh in and I shall.

[00:03:31] So there’s there’s a real concern with this particular podcast that we could end up where we were probably about a year ago when we did big data which is US going What the shit is big data for like 45 minutes and that coming up with a clear definition.

[00:03:45] I feel like it was a reasoned and intelligent discussion where we’re asking what is big data.

[00:03:51] Thank you editing. This is definitely no doubt about it.

[00:03:56] I think for this one we can very clearly bound at least with attribution means to us because I do think that there is some boardroom speak around attribution in omni channel and customer journey and the emphasis that I want to make mostly today is around attribution as a digital only endeavor.

[00:04:14] Digital only visits or is digital including impressions.

[00:04:20] I would include impressions but not for certain kinds of attribution. But this is the conversation I want to have. So we want to talk about the likelihood that someone saw a commercial on CNN and then went to the Web site and clicked the branded ad word and filled out your e-mail and six months later buy your shit.

[00:04:34] I mean if I sent them for catalogs this year and their purchase happened four days after they got the last one and then they use paid search. It’s hard to do digital only there.

[00:04:45] I’m not saying it’s bullshit but I’m saying that when you look at it mean if we surveyed 100 companies right now and ask them how many of them had a legitimate activity using an attribution practice like not answer one question or get one in. But we actively use this to do better to kind of what we are talking about Gary in the last podcast about you know how do we have data be a spoonful of sugar like it’s not a separate silo it’s part of everything we do with attribution as an on purpose thing. That’s part of everything we do trying to do omni channel is a couple of years away from now in my opinion if we bounded exclusively to things that zeros and ones and them that live on the web or that can be measured in the way that we do them. We’ve got a very very good story to tell today and I think if we were to talk about all of the ways that people can can come up with attribution plans and what it could mean to different people we’re going to have a big data chat which isn’t bad but I think that there’s all three of us have been involved in some pretty significant winds around tying hands session multi campaign data together for digital.

[00:05:44] Well I mean I think I think to me definitional fundamentally there are two ways attribution get used and they are very very different. And they they get used it kind of gets thrown out. But to me that the same thing happens for reports and analysis. And there is attribution when somebody says oh you’re just using last click as retribution. Both of these approaches they agree on what last click attributes is but then the next step is one way is call it kind of the Google of free available to everyone who’s got Google attributes and where you pick how you want to attribute and it’s limited the last click and it is you pick a model and you pick if you want to be linear you could do first click. You could make your custom models and models is a tricky tricky tricky word there because you’re choosing how you want to assign value. You want to choose how your tributing value. And that’s kind of one way that attribution gets used. The other way is what more the Tier 1 enterprise attributes and management platform sell which is more we’re going to try to figure out how much value the first click in the second click and the impression that happened after that and God tell a story that is incredibly vague and hard to understand how it works of how they’re going to tie in TV and print.

[00:07:08] But they can tie in they’re kind of anything you can pixel plus wave their hands and we’ll do this other stuff but we’re going to kind of try to model it and that to me is really really hard to conceptually I get it in kind of a hermetically sealed universe where you only have maybe a million different unique past the purchase.

[00:07:27] I don’t mean to like totally disagree with you Jim because in a lot of respects digital attribution is about as much as can theoretically be accomplished most of the time unless you really simplify contact points and unify them you know in a central data warehouse or something and then you could in theory see sequence of points of contact up to a certain level of granularity across every touchpoint both online and off line for a known customer. But at the same time like to what you were saying Tim I think honestly where I struggle the most with this is that I feel like so much importance is placed on attribution where it is seen as something really core and strategic but at best could probably be used for tactical purposes to align spend to better channels and sort of see where you get more bang for your buck in individual digital marketing channel.

[00:08:23] Let me try this out Jim. Jim’s made a point you know prior not not today or not since we’ve been talking but made a point about kind of the starting point is are you really nailing the last click and Jim or maybe putting words in your mouth but I think it’s actually a hell of a place to start because all your direct traffic. Now if you have your CNN dot com sure you’re getting a crap ton of direct traffic. But for your direct and organic search and stuff that doesn’t click through on a campaign tag channel do you believe that there was was or was not influence that you provided through marketing stuff that you did in the past. So if you’ve got a bunch of referral traffic and that’s because it’s not tagged with campaign tracking you know that’s a problem. So there is kind of a you know is your last click attribution really robust. Do you really really believe in that. Because as soon as you go to any other step beyond that quick you’ve just gone to an order of magnitude more complexity if you don’t have your last click nailed. Right. I don’t know Jim. I may have just extrapolated from comments you’ve made in the past and unfairly put words in your mouth.

[00:09:34] I know you did right Tim. And you know that part of the reason I’m so bullish on this topic and attribution in general is that I really firmly believe it should be a first class item for anybody who’s spending on the web. Along with understanding your e-commerce data you should be understanding your attribution data at the same level of detail. So I’m huge on a topic and I think that you can’t get started unless you’ve you’ve done your blocking and tackling and you’ve got fundamentals and we’ve never talked to a company that really wants to get in attribution before they could answer the point that Tim made. What’s your level of confidence that your current campaigns are being tracked properly. So if we want to do just last pass a poster last click attribution. Well I look at it and go yes. There it is. And now I want to do something more sophisticated with it and the answer is always no. But the interesting thing is the conversations around figuring out what someone’s campaign naming conventions should be like. I get to use Google as the example. But you know medium source campaign. Now at the top level channel figuring out what business rules apply that are as business relevant as possible tend to help create some of the initial parameters for doing interesting attribution. But absolutely you need to have your your house in order before you start doing the interesting stuff. And most people don’t think to do that.

[00:10:45] I liked that point and I agree with it. Here’s a question for you Jim. Can people effectively use attribution tools that come inside of POCs like Google analytics or do they need to buy a standalone solution.

[00:10:58] So I think the attribution functionality in Google Analytics is to attribution what Google Analytics was to measurement three or four years ago. Very very good. But once you hit a certain level of sophistication you can graduate past it and to be clear I wouldn’t say that about Google analytics product in general but their attribution functionality is very good for an tool suite. You will hit a point where you need to graduate once your practice gets to a certain level but the thing that I actually like about it. Per Tim statement earlier about you know being able to pick your own model is that most people who buy an attribute suite go from I don’t trust last click to I spent a shitload of money on algorithmically driven attribution that’s giving me a report and I guess we’ll just go with that.

[00:11:38] But I don’t really trust that either I just paid them blackbox.

[00:11:41] Yeah that’s always the fundamental problem. Yeah you either go from a very simple model that you don’t believe is the real world because it’s too simplistic or an algorithm a black box that you also don’t trust because you don’t fully understand it.

[00:11:56] Well it’s tricky in Google’s it’s very I mean the the one where you pick the pick the assignment of value. I think that’s tremendously useful. I don’t think I don’t want to call it attribution because I think it’s more very very healthy visibility understanding into for the visit to click through for the ones who came to the site multiple times through multiple one or multiple channels before they converted. So we’ve kind of narrowed it down to a subset of visitors a subset of people and are a subset of devices a subset of cookies and we rely on having a meaningful conversion event on the site right. So that’s kind of narrative down to a limited set of what we’re looking at. But it’s still super super useful because I’ve had clients where they’re getting almost no traffic. They’re getting 85 90 percent of the traffic is first time visit and they want to dive into those reports and I’m like knock yourself out. You know what. Pick every single Flippen model and you’re playing at the margins right. You’re you have bigger issues than trying to figure out if it was you know paid search than e-mail and display. Oh you’re not running in the display. So I think it’s an exercise of saying let’s just get a handle of how many visitors are actually coming to our site multiple times before they convert Oh look it’s a tiny tiny tiny percent and that’s not the case for many many sites. There are some that are there. They’re set up to have recurring business and that business may be coming from multiple channels.

[00:13:25] So I think it gives a ton of visibility but I don’t know that it’s necessarily attribution or if you say pick two or three different models compare the models and see is it a material difference. More often than not it’s not a material difference because you’re playing at the margins. Yeah and that’s it.

[00:13:41] So you can say it’s a very good point that if you don’t have enough traffic or you don’t spend enough money on digital looking and attribution is about as smart as doing multivariate testing that there is there is definitely you must be this tall to ride criteria for some of this advanced data stuff.

[00:13:56] Tim you said something which I would disagree with which is it is absolutely an attribution model even if you go in and pick it I mean that was the all clear sailing. You know many years ago just go in and be like I think 15 percent is how much well you’re choosing how to trim your choosing how you want to. So you’re making an attribute model less click is an attribution model. It’s just you know a well understood poor model you know and if I tend if I say OK I’m going to give 35 percent search and 10 percent you know display and 15 percent to e-mail and I’m just making arbitrary choices that is also an attribute model. It’s just not the one.

[00:14:38] And that’s the distinction I’m trying to make between visual like you are Adamah true your career selling your pick your poison.

[00:14:44] Well as an algorithmic capability now. So the point being is that that’s that’s the tipping point is like whether or not you’re going to let into your point. Jim you’re going to have enough data to pore through that to create an algorithm is smart enough to actually build human tribunal model that works.

[00:15:01] But when you’re doing that when you are picking how you want to assign value definitional. So if you are attributing value on the last click and maybe this is where I just get a little hung up on this semantics that maybe it is attribution is me picking how much value I want to give to each touch point that I’m measuring. By the way we’re ignoring in many cases we’re ignoring impressions we’re ignoring TV we’re ignoring the legacy of the brand and the fact that you know gee I grew up with my parents use time and I’m using tide like I which in many many cases I would argue for many many brands is there’s not shit you’re going to do with marketing other than making you know maybe putting some tiny little incremental offer but you’re going to have a hard time overcoming whatever they grew up with Colgate or crest.

[00:15:53] Yeah I mean obviously. But now we’re straying outside of digital and therefore moving out of the arena and that Jim has for us. But I think it’s part of the challenge of that tradition.

[00:16:02] You know I’m fine to go out of it and I’m fine to talk about brand loyalty and i’m fine to talk about omni channel and print and what have you but there’s a reason that people tend to do AB testing or any kind of testing initiative at the landing page level. It’s because focusing on the landing page and a visit or intent gives you the most possible control and the highest likelihood of getting a win. The nice thing about taking digital and I actually think using impression data for attribution is bullshit too and that’s a little controversial but I like using click driven multi visit multi channel attribution campaigns because it gives you the most possible control the most accurate data and the ability to do what you talk about a lot. Tim which is sit back and say in looking at this linear model I believe that if by reweight branded paid search to have a higher percentage at the third touch I will see something that will allow me to optimize my paid search spend. So I really look at it at the same way that you would look at a testing tool and less like a customer journey tool which some people do.

[00:17:02] I think what Gary was making the comment I’ve definitely made the have evolved from the five years ago saying everyone’s in digital and TV is therefore going away. And now I’ve kind of shifted to say wow throw a bunch of money at TV and even if you’re getting time shifting and all these other things it’s happening. I

[00:17:23] was thinking actually today before we were recording of some of the some of the brands that you know Carbonite which I’m no longer a customer or Squarespace right that’s kind of a joke amongst podcasters. Everybody knows about Squarespace Squarespace. I’ve recommended Squarespace to people although I’ve never been a customer and that has been through podcast impressions and I get that there’s some level of I want to do attribution limited to the channels that I can control. But I do look at it I’ve got clients that are spending a huge chunk of what they’re spending is on TV and that can be frustrating as the digital guy when I have zero visibility and they probably don’t even have a and call to action to point to the site. You know at the end of the ad but I kind of think yeah TVs working because into a sense in a sense they have it logically it’s working but also they may be doing mixed modeling which is this big kind of macro level attribution which they can’t control as much. So I get I get very conflicted of saying well we’re going to a we’re going to be the three blind guys with an elephant and we’re only going to we’re going to worry about the rough surface that we’re feeling and that’s what we’re going to operate in when there are a ton of other factors in play that are all part of what marketing is doing and part of what the brand’s doing just it just feels disingenuous to call it pretend that we are accurately attributing when there’s a bunch of factors we’re just ignoring.

[00:18:53] It’s almost it’s almost like 50 percent of our spend we just don’t even know where it goes. You should write that down. I told you I’m going to make a quote that I Tim. Tim when GM both you and maybe it is more to the world. My rant is one of the things I see is wrong with the pursuit of attribution out there is that it’s sort of like this pursuit that will magically create a Frankenstein of perfect marketing and perfect advertising because the computer told us what to do when it’s the advertisers responsibility to have a plan for how to get customers and attribution tells you how successful that plan is and how to tweak that plan and I think that’s the tipping point where I see people go off the rails. They’re like attribution we’ll answer every question and filled this lifeless body with movement and create a marketing juggernaut for our company when in reality you have to sit down and answer some strategic questions like Is it more important for us to go get new customers in this phase of our business. Or do we need to look for ways to retain loyal customers. And how does that impact how we go into the marketplace and spend their advertising dollars.

[00:20:03] That’s an issue of digital analytics overall right. Saying I want the data just to answer the question but I think to that point and this is when we tie everybody together here one to one of Jim’s clients who happen to be friends with who happens to be a listener and he knows who he is said hey paid search. You know what the best way for us to figure out this attribution thing is to actually sit down and do an experiment with our paid search and to control for the DMA as we’re running this. And I remember hearing Jim Novo actually speak at any metrics where all of the sudden became a little bit of a more of a believer in attribution because he was kind of pointing out and I think it’s aligned with your point that you have to have that plan you have to say this is what I think works. Now what can I do to actually test if that works or not. Digital is actually trickier with with TV and print. You’re kind of built in and certainly with email and print mail direct mail you can control and say I’m going to do an experiment I’m going to do this heavy spin here and I’m not going to do it this demographically similar DMA. It’s a little tougher with just my Web site but I can do it with display I can do it with with paid search but it does argue for saying how are we setting this up. Where can we hold out a group that from exposure to our advertising and then compare that group and see what.

[00:21:28] See what happens in that particular customers and CPG company that you know did that with sat with Google and basically said yeah you know what this works. But oh by the way we’re also we have diminishing returns like we shouldn’t spend necessarily more than we’re spending there which is another challenge with attributes. So what do you understand the perfect world of where things work. It doesn’t mean that you turn around and shift all your spend from one channel to another it no longer necessarily works. That’s kind of another challenge with that tribunal. And so what if you have a perfect understanding of exactly how things were working today. As soon as you say I’m going to pull out of radio or I’m going to pull out of paid search then the model is is kind of by definition going to change those two or three rants and one shows a respond to bus rant.

[00:22:19] It was it was a valid point and I don’t want you guys to think that I’m trying to spike anything that’s not digital attribution or you know omni channel or what have you. And we’ve done some neat work in the past. You guys have seen the routine I did before on looking at the impact of losing a catalog list on On-Site conversion as part of my presentation last year. And we’ve done some work. We’ve also done some work before at the metro level on the impact of Focused Radio and TV on a Metro and comparing it to a DMA for a metro. That is of the same size and I’m sure you guys have done similar stuff before. There’s neat stuff you can do there. It’s just my real concern is that for anybody listening to this they’re going to get off the phone and go shit that’s really hard or that’s really enterprise or I need to buy really expensive software. And there are so many wins that you can generate with a well thought out initial approach to getting into digital only attribution and then realizing that as the technology gets a little bit better and some of the other marketing tools get a little bit stronger the business is going to come to you with the rest of those channels. I don’t think we’re far from seeing TV given the amount of net connected TVs.

[00:23:21] We’re not far from seeing TV as part of a measurable non digital marketing mix and if you have a solid foundation and you can add that in as opposed to kind of wait for Shoeless Joe to show up you know you can get wins. Now I think that’s my really big big point for today.

[00:23:35] What’s your name rattle off. What those. And I’m not I’m not challenging you I’m literally saying rattle off what some of those winds are. I mean give the hell the catalog examples. Not a bad one. Give a couple of examples of kind of the SPSSI omni channel once you just did.

[00:23:51] Anybody can get them digital only once anybody can get themselves.

[00:23:54] I have earning a premium of ngat or I’m earning D.A free and have meaningful traffic to my site and I’m spending on paid search. I’m sending e-mails and I’m maybe I’m doing some display.

[00:24:08] Couple of examples. The second that you start and again the criteria here is that all of your campaigns are being properly tracked at the ideally medium source campaign level. So you’ve got some detail and in a perfect world you’ve built channels for your marketing that are business relevant and ideally tied to how finance pays for shit. If you had those in place and you were arbitrarily a retailer because we were with lots of them you would quickly realize that you have two kinds of affiliates. And one of them are what we call coupon stuffers. And the other ones are what we call content marketers coupon stuffers. And you can do this analysis and I’ve probably talked about it before. You will find that certain affiliates one of them rhymes with me tell me not. You’ll find that someone makes it all the way through to the shopping cart which is a much higher likelihood of buying than your average visitor. They see the coupon code box. They leave the site they come back. Retail Me Not so not only did you lose or did did your abandonment numbers get kind of artificially inflated but you had to give up X percent of the sale to someone when you had a visitor who was going to buy anyway.

[00:25:10] And to make that you would you would have you would update your I will go a little Google Analytics Pacific here. So you would up that your URL and those were Adobe to you’d have a channel that you’ve defined as affiliate and you’re saying in that case you would see a bunch of different channels direct paid search organic whatever and then right before the conversion well in Google’s case you’d be resetting a new visit. You’d see them coming in through affiliate. Is that what you’re seeing when you look at those models and say wow affiliate if I do a linear model 50 percent is going to affiliate when I look at it. It’s always the second channel or my misstating how you see that you see enough for the channel level to start to again start asking some detailed questions.

[00:25:53] So even in free Google if things are set up properly you can say I just want to see the attribution at the affiliate ID level. So you can go down to a level of detail that lets you see which of your affiliates are highly weighted towards being closer and which affiliates are highly weighted towards not just being the closer but very very crappy influencers in terms of bringing people in earlier then you can build them into custom segments and isolate them and kind of do some hypothesis validation. But being able to find a subset of your affiliates that are not making you anywhere near as much money as you thought is a pretty straightforward win with any free setup properly attribution practice. And the other thing that is starting to see the impact of email and really optimizing when you send and how you use your email.

[00:26:36] No I was just going to mention especially around affiliates depending on the look back window you can even be paying multiple affiliates at that point. It’s like you almost need some sort of system to manage the tags so that doesn’t happen because you get the number and virtual and other like called AOL attribution or something.

[00:26:57] Oh yeah.

[00:26:58] Absolutely Bircher was my first exposure to attribution because the founder of Converse trow was the founder of online retailer. I worked as a long time ago and I had a customer who was getting all the bills from. And he was this particular retailer was doing way too much cost per acquisition marketing. So he was he was just getting hammered with his bills every month and it was it was more like you know I know that 80 percent of my marketing dollars wasted. I reached out to convert bro and I said I’d like you to build parameters into your tool that are tied to the cookie window and the payout percentage for each of the marketing partners at this particular company has because in there their return on ad spend models that actually be tied to the bill and not to the opinion of convert. And they’re like that’s a really cool idea. That’s impossible. Like no one does that. But again that that’s part of why my approach is always around how do they understand what happens when I make when I spend a nickel. How do I optimize that nickel. It’s all about revenue generation. If you’d replaced me with someone who has a brand marketer they would say everything I just said was bullshit because you’re thinking about customer journey or thinking about customer loyalty. You’re thinking about long term engagement and branding. But you know my response would be the model that I’ve just described which you can do again in free tools.

[00:28:12] You could ask the hypothesis How much does it cost to generate a first time purchaser and what is the optimum marketing mix for a first time purchaser and how is that different than the cost per acquisition and marketing mix or a returning purchaser.

[00:28:27] You could do that right now and that’s big kids stuff and that kind of how do you how are you doing that when I mean take take our take this medium right here right. I’m doing podcasts advertising I can attribute sales if I provide an offer code right. Every podcast says go to my site dot com and enter the offer code power our attribute.

[00:28:49] From that advertising that’s trying to make it to be more brand correct to make the offer code analytics hour.

[00:28:56] Just keep going. Yeah. Well that’s one of if you look at our guide like the guide soon as we have a sponsor because I think that’s still a challenge right.

[00:29:06] Because if you’re if you’re Wind-Up definition early saying we’re only we’re going to skew the channels that we can measure the click through and I mean the funnel is dead essentially. I get that. But at the same time there is the concept of I got to hear about a brand 17 times.

[00:29:24] Take Squarespace take Carbonite take. Oh my God. Audible dot com if you’re listening to podcasts I don’t know about display. I mean you know I’m trying to think what who is just completely carpet bomb me with display ads. Nothing’s coming to mind only retargeting is so when you’re not in a direct response world when you are saying we have a new product or we are a new brand and we need to get that out there and we’re going to have multiple exposures before people say you know I’ve gotten enough. I’ve seen presold video you know I’ve seen the home page takeovers and it’s just kind of worked its way into my psyche a little bit now six months a year down the road when I’m looking to build a Web site or to find a way to listen to audible audio books or find a cloud based backup solution for my company or looking for Citrix has done a lot in that area for whatever the go to meeting I’m plugging all these non sponsors. It is it is hard for me to wrap my head around where the biggest impact were. I now have them top of mind if and when I have a need that I’m going to go and check them out as an option. And I think that’s a huge challenge with trying to do retribution. If you’re just looking at it digital clicks.

[00:30:45] The only reason that you would look at impressions as part of an attribute initiative is if you’re paying for impressions and that’s part of why display companies make so much damn money and they provide frankly not as much value as they generate for themselves.

[00:30:58] In my opinion but that’s the big screen TV. There are there are podcasts impressions that are radio right. This is way more than just play. This is one of the fundamental problems people also have which is we set all channels equal to each other and they all have to be measured in direct response. I can’t believe I’m the one defending display advertising here but all of the channels agree don’t mean the same things. They don’t actually. You don’t start out trying to accomplish the same goals and this is I think where people just sort of get Dom around analytics in contributions and they just have to think about the fact that like fundamentally I want customers to do something different when they come face to face with this method of advertising that I’m putting out there when I’m advertising and paid search. I’m looking to intercept intent as people are they’re looking to do some action or find something. And so I’m going to advertise in front of that in a way that’s going to get me to where I need to go whereas display is much more of the old model of I want the world to know who I am and I’m going to pay money to try to build that awareness because people are still dumb enough to pay for impressions.

[00:32:10] Google doesn’t charge for impressions of Edwards. If you buy a billboard on the side of the highway you don’t pay for the number of fucking cars that drove by it.

[00:32:19] So I don’t disagree with you.

[00:32:22] Have an impression is to generate a click and the purpose of a click is to generate a conversion.

[00:32:29] No no no it’s not. I do I disagree with that a lot.

[00:32:34] Yeah all right. Well on display like you shouldn’t be trying to get a click because a it doesn’t work. Everybody can see that. We’ve tested it a lot. He doesn’t like response rates from display our late rejects the list. Yeah they’re like less than half a percent or worse. Probably maybe less than a tenth of a percent. Like bannered blindness blah blah blah there’s a whole other podcast about this play. And now adblock. But but that’s why impressions do matter because it’s the build of those actions and what propensity it creates to put you into a channel that you can then convert in that you’re actually trying to capture to understand at least some tactical fashion and you can actually measure this rate. You can do. You can do blackout tests with display just the same as you do with other Marki channels and this is another whole topic which is measuring that stuff in digital takes you away from what you’re really trying to figure out which is did you have any impact at all or incremental impact as it pertains to customers or the value of those customers. Well and that’s that’s where a lot of people are missing the boat.

[00:33:44] And let me throw beyond just display ads even if they’re rich rich media or not. I mean I think there’s a reason that video is getting a lot of hype. Take video freeroll. You know there is a level of needing to educate people that this is a legitimate concern. I remember when Carbonite was kind of pushing hard and saying your stuff should be in the cloud right. You got Dropbox and Google Drive and lots of other things. And hey my 14 year old said yeah sure why my whole CD My whole laptop. Everything is in the cloud now. Right. That’s not the world we were living in. Three or four years ago and there is a value of kind of impression based stuff be it video I think video more so than display of saying we have to a lot of times companies are saying we have a product we’re different this is new. You need to understand that you have a problem. There’s a four Ps you know marketing 101 aspect of where YAG you’re just trying to get people to understand there’s other thing they could buy they could they could be excited about a pumpkin flavored drink at the holidays and it’s really really hard to try to say we’re just going to measure that based on the click. So I guess I’m echoing what you’re saying Hellboy 2 to 1. I

[00:34:54] had to change my mind then.

[00:34:56] Yeah that’s true he has a although I’ll tell you one more we. Go ahead Jim.

[00:35:01] I’m just going to say I would love to. And we’ve said this before. I would really like to have someone on the show who could give a strong defense of display and I shit on it all the time. I have a bad experience with people who are trying to justify their paychecks selling these kinds of things. I know it’s important. It just seems like the majority the measurement is B.S. I would love to have someone come in and tell me what time it is I’m I’m actually kind of with you on that as well.

[00:35:28] I mean just to add blindness banner ads do sort of drive me a little preserve.

[00:35:33] But I will also argue that ad words ads are there’s no way in hell those are going to catch your attention unless you’re looking at them you’re not going to get messaging around. Those are kind of keyword driven and that’s a whole whole other topic to go down.

[00:35:49] Yeah. So I heard that although a lot of times in talking to those folks I find they’re on a train to Houston and I’m on a train to Chicago.

[00:36:00] We don’t want to. We don’t want to be you know in a shadow over again. It’s not that I’m going to the right place or they’re not going to the right place.

[00:36:08] It’s that you know they have a very. Never mind. Let’s get it. Guess we’ll find one for our listeners.

[00:36:16] With 80 percent of all world class metaphor I was following along like a fatal crash.

[00:36:22] The other thing that I’m really curious to see what happens that allows a lot of people to start to do something that’s a little more sophisticated than what they can do today with the tools that both Adobe analytics and Google Analytics are starting to introduce the concept of cohort analysis more into their tool sets in and in a more fundamental way. And the timing aspect of cohort analysis from a channel perspective is going to be very helpful in answering some very simple test then that type questions and I’m really excited to see how that emerges as a way for people to get sort of up that first step of attribution or understanding how channels interact with each other because again if you think about it from a customer journey perspective it’s not about creating a magical path right which is sort of sometimes the way that people talk about a really good point. Let’s get to takeaways. Did we even say anything smart enough to take away. What do you guys think. Nope. Jim how come the one topic I seemed to know something about is that when you say no for.

[00:37:24] What the hell.

[00:37:30] This is a fun one. And you know again the big thing for me I narrowcast us from like minute 2 and I know those kind of the holy hand grenade. But this is just such a cool topic and it seems to be one of those ones like big data or you know some of the other things we’ve talked about that are broad where people feel that they can’t get started like I almost felt like we’re getting into the shades of web analytics is easy hard debates of 2005. And now you know there’s no canned open to Wilson which is that.

[00:38:02] I’m an idiot I’ll tell you a couple a couple quick google search and you’ll get back to a ten foot pole and Tim off.

[00:38:11] So you guys are like super sophisticated into all these channels and you take these things into consideration. And I couldn’t agree more. I just feel that if you were to treat it treated more as a maturity process which is not a phrase I’m a huge fan of but something where there’s there’s you can walk before you can run. There are some very very sophisticated things you can do quickly with purely digital that will grease the skids for you to really win with some of the omni channel especially when the data starts to get unlocked. The

[00:38:38] clickstream all of do the cheating where maybe throw in something that’s a little bit of a new concept on my on my wrap. I don’t I don’t disagree. I think the ideal of attribution is absolutely fine to chase.

[00:38:54] If that is in the service of saying we’re going to understand how our marketing works which to a point Michael made maybe halfway through means that we’re going to sit down and think how do we think it works. The more we can start with if we have the assumption or the belief which I think is just never going to work out that we are just going to feed all this into a machine and it’s going to come back and tell us what the right formula is doomed to fail. And that would be kind of my one one piece of advice for anyone who has an executive saying we’re going to chase attributes or we’ve got a vendor in here telling us this is what it’s going to do that is just not going to work. It’s got to start with saying hey do we have a really really good sense on our last click. Now how do we think when we’re spending money on these other things. And I would say digital or not. How do we think those were playing in and how confident are we. If we’re super confident you know what let’s just roll with it and if we’re not confident then let’s figure out a way to validate whether it’s working that way or not. And that is going to lead us down an attribution path. That will give us incremental value along the way. I just think it can’t be looked at as a panacea. And I think that’s it’s interesting. We spent many with down many rabbit holes of saying what is the scope. Is it only digital. Is it only quick.

[00:40:13] Is it. Oh my God. It can’t be that because there’s all this other stuff impacting it. And then we swung all the way back to saying Yabut if we just look at the stuff that we can measure now today with confidence we’ll still get some value. So it’s a messy messy space and maybe that’s my big takeaway is and maybe it’s because I’ve ranted about it now for a while. Anyone who thinks that that’s attribution is like the question and the answer is just insanely naive and don’t do it don’t go down that path.

[00:40:42] Yeah. No I mean I think I really like that too. Which is. Well the first question to answer is How confident are you in your last click. And is that being captured today really as effectively as it could be. I certainly think we are you know we’re stumbling around the issue but have some pretty good spidey sense about it. And I think it’ll be really interesting to get an adult in the room with us and to another show maybe about this topic again because if we know because I think that will help that will help our listeners out of quite a bit. But you know I really like what you guys had to say about it. I think my favorite book on advertising and marketing I’ve ever read was scientific advertising by Claude Hopkins. And what I wouldn’t give to go back to such a simpler time where attribution was pretty straightforward. We live in a crazy multifaceted world but the principles still remain the same. We just have to disassemble the sweater of the Internet that we’ve created. How’s that for a metaphor.

[00:41:43] It’s not.

[00:41:44] It’s not Jim came like let me just. Anyway you nailed it.

[00:41:48] And it reminded me of actually my favorite marketing book which is the original monster’s compendium by Gary Gygax 1984.

[00:41:59] But guys this is good and it’s a good start on a topic that confuses many and frankly gets a lot of people in a lot of hot water because it can take you down oh some weird trails and it could cost a bunch of money to do and may not give you results you want. So if you’re listening and you’ve got comments or you just want to jump in and tell us wow you guys really tried to bunted this one or you hit it over the wall it’s a homerun or I can’t believe you made me drink in my Tesla post us a message on Facebook or Twitter or on the measures lack or hell leave us leave us a review on iTunes. You know we know every one of us for that. It is 2016. We got to get that going again. Again thank you for listening. We’re going to wrap up and we’d love to hear from you. For my two cohost Jim Kane and Tim Wilson keep analyzing.

[00:42:58] Thanks for listening. And don’t forget to join the conversation on Facebook or Twitter. We welcome your comments and questions. Facebook dot com slash analytics or analytics now on Twitter. You know how it. Works.

[00:43:19] Out recording right now. I just made Texas State Fair and two. Years compelling you came. By having your ten minute walk everybody. Was going to be like No.

[00:43:40] Drinking. We’re open to. Napkin isn’t hiring anyone and doesn’t want customers.

[00:43:47] And models. Is a tricky tricky tricky word there. Well you set me up to say something vulgar that I want. Oh look it’s a tiny tiny tiny percent. It’s.

[00:43:58] Just a talk. Wow. That is literally less than a minute. We have we have Luber for sled dog. Rockers an attribute.


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