How to Move Customer Relationships From Casual to Serious

by Drew Burns

posted on 11-16-2016

Customer relationships have many parallels to every other kind of human relationship. They have stages and must be nurtured, and — if not cared for — they will end. However, the big difference in today’s digital world is that you may never even see or speak with your customers — yet, those relationships must still be cared for.

This is where the right algorithmic-attribution capabilities come into play. Attribution modeling helps brands understand the complete sequence of events that lead customers to conversion — from web visits to email campaigns to display impressions and beyond. With advanced statistics and machine learning, algorithmic attribution can help enterprises objectively determine the impact of each marketing touch, which in turn, creates a better understanding of campaign effectiveness, allowing brands to make smarter marketing-investment decisions for future campaigns.

Of course, just like building a rock-solid relationship, developing your brand’s attribution strategy takes a bit of work. You’ll need to combine a sophisticated attribution model with advanced personalization solutions before you add dynamic-ad-buying tools that turn deep customer insights into truly actionable campaigns — and all while you ensure you have the most profitable mix of ads to both meet your marketing goals and keep customers coming back for more.

In the past, this was very difficult; but today, it is a readily available service. In fact, digitally mature companies are 250 percent more likely to do attribution modeling — and, many say it contributes to their success. Unfortunately, only 54 percent of businesses use any kind of attribution at all — and most only look at the customer’s last click before making a purchase, leaving money on the table.

Improve Your Customer Relationships First.
While determining the best way to implement algorithmic attribution in your business, you can start building into your process some of the characteristics that its leaders all share. First, you must understand how your customers interact with your brand on every channel and at every touchpoint. Then, you must decide what your specific goals are with regard to boosting the metrics that are most important for your business — whether that means attracting new customers, maximizing mobile conversions, boosting average order value, or something entirely different.

Don’t Guess — Know Your Customers!
Find out what inspires new interactions with your brand and what attracts new customers. Use the data you’ve gathered to understand the relevance of every interaction you have with them. When you are ready to explore algorithmic attribution, you can see your customers’ journeys across display, social, paid search, and email as well as direct mail, radio, billboards, and television. You’ll be able to understand exactly what delights them — as well as what doesn’t. You are not only measuring conversion, but also examining which channels build awareness, which drive deeper consideration, which build brand loyalty — and ultimately, which build advocates.

Look at the Whole Picture.
People don’t — usually! — fall in love on their first coffee date; similarly, customer don’t often make purchase decisions after only a single interaction. Create rules to weigh the value of each touchpoint. And, be sure that you not only determine why a customer relationship ended, but also learn from that experience. The live data used with algorithmic attribution allows digital marketers to see the whole picture — from who made purchases and what drove them to make those purchases to who dropped off and where (and why) they lost interest.

Understand the Influences of all Your Touchpoints.
Relationships are complex both in life and in marketing. Identify all your touchpoints and determine the impact each has on your customers’ experiences. Even unpaid touches, like product reviews, have impacts. When you are ready for algorithmic-attribution metrics, you can more easily discover your baseline from which to measure your incremental success. We used this technique at Adobe to measure the success of our Adobe.com ads that our partners were supposed to be presenting to customers. We discovered that two of our media partners’ ads were never even being seen by anyone, but we incorrectly assumed that they were in our success metrics — and, we were spending 26 percent of our budget on them!

Know the Desires of Your Multichannel Customers.
Just as with human relationships, different customers have different needs and desires based on the channels and devices they are using. Understand the desires of your customers on all channels so you can develop highly personalized messages, synchronizing insights across all your departments and business units. With algorithmic attribution, messages can be measured in real time, so you can continually gain new insights and optimize your campaigns based on the most current data.

The tools available to you today don’t just help you understand what is happening now — they help you predict what may happen next. By using attribution, personalization, and optimization together, you can build an adaptive content plan that not only ensures your marketing strategy is always engaging and relevant, but also achieves your business goals.

Learn more about taking your customer relationships to the next level with the Adobe guide, ON LOVE AND DATA. Use algorithmic attribution to define the relationship with your customers.

Topics: Analytics

Products: Analytics, Target