Marketing Attribution is a Billion-Dollar Problem

Adobe’s ecosystem of technology partners allows marketers to gain deeper insights on attribution to know what channels drive the greatest ROI.

by Adobe Communications Team

posted on 05-23-2018

Give credit where credit is due. It’s a great concept — but sometimes hard to implement. Think of how difficult it is to determine how to reward individual team members for their contributions.

For marketing leaders who want to justify their marketing budgets and optimize the dollars they spend, giving credit can get really complicated. That’s because the customer journey involves multiple stops, and, regardless of your marketing analytics, it can be challenging to parse out which stop had what influence on the ultimate purchase decision.

“How do I know the impact of every one of my marketing events across the entirety of the customer journey, in every channel touchpoint I have? That is the billion-dollar question for every brand,” says Jeff Allen, senior director of product marketing for Adobe Analytics.

Take JetBlue for instance, Jeff says. “If we were to start to map-out all of the channels where you interact with JetBlue, I bet we could easily come up with 15 to 20.” Those channels could include mobile apps on multiple devices like a phone, smartwatch, or tablet; browsers on those same devices, emails, SMS, text, live chats, phone calls, digital voice assistants, customer service, or chatbots; and offline branding such as billboards, the planes themselves, and even word of mouth.

“All of those are legitimate places where you might interact with the JetBlue brand and their challenge is, how do they capture that?” Jeff says. “How do they control the narratives in those channels? How do they inject their messaging into their channels — and then, what’s the impact of all of that?”

Adobe solutions, augmented by a robust partner ecosystem, can help marketers address these challenges, provide deeper insight into how each channel performs, and measure their impact on customer conversion, retention, and loyalty.

From measurement to context

Historically, cross-channel attribution has been about measurement. But increasingly with data-driven marketing, brands want to know more — specifically about cause and effect. How does a customer’s interaction in one channel affect his or her interaction in another? And how does the totality of these efforts contribute to marketing goals?

“Adobe Analytics lets you slice your data any way you want. We’ll tell you everything we know about all of these channels. The key to slicing is being able to understand behavioral data in a ‘session-ized’ context,” Jeff says.

A new rules-based attribution model built into Adobe Analysis Workspace gives marketers a better understanding of a customer journey, with a blended analysis experience that hasn’t been available in the past.

For example, if you’re tracking a customer who called the customer service department, you’ll want to find out what led them to make the call. If they were visiting the site, and the goal was to drive the customer to call in order to make a purchase, then that was a positive interaction. However, if the customer was looking for information on the site, was unable to find it and called the customer service department, the site failed to deliver what the customer needed, so the call to customer service was based on a negative interaction.

“Both of these situations are things brands want to optimize and understand, and if they can’t see both of those channels and stitch together that those were part of a journey, then it’s really difficult to attribute one thing to another,” Jeff says. “It’s important to think of attribution as a critical element that can give us better insight into how customers navigate from one channel, or one part of the experience brands offer them, to another.”

Adobe partners facilitate deep customer insights

Invoca, a Premier-level partner in the Adobe Exchange program, is one of Adobe’s technology partners that integrates with multiple solutions within Adobe Experience Cloud. Invoca helps its customers measure the impact of digital marketing on conversions that happen on the phone, and allows them to utilize data gathered from phone conversations to optimize campaigns, personalize the caller experience, and enhance digital interactions after the call. The Adobe Exchange ecosystem is comprised of hundreds of third-party technology or data companies that integrate with Adobe technologies.

“Adobe provides compelling solutions to help brands enable great experiences for their customers, and our partners extend the capabilities of these solutions,” says Cody Crnkovich, head of platform partners and strategy for Adobe Experience Cloud. “The Adobe Exchange Program for Experience Cloud is a thriving ecosystem of over 600 technology partners that provides complementary technology through the Adobe Exchange Marketplace.”

“For Invoca, the partnership was an opportunity to provide marketers in industries like financial services, telecommunications, healthcare, and travel with deeper insights on voice and phone interactions,” says Maria Bruno, Invoca’s senior product marketing manager. “Customers already valued Invoca’s ability to provide insight into the quality and outcome of calls, and when combined with the Adobe Experience Cloud, marketers can fully connect the phone call data to the entire digital journey,” Maria says.

With Adobe Analytics, marketers have a complete view of every customer. Invoca acts as a bridge to tie calls and offline conversions to digital marketing channels and web session activity. As a result, marketers can understand how to connect digital ad-spend attribution to real-time attribution, segmenting calling customers by behavior, and then using that information in Experience Cloud to develop further insights and actions.

“If a customer called about an insurance quote after seeing a search ad, Invoca can link the call to the campaign that drove the call,” Cody says. By pushing data from the customer’s digital journey to the insurer’s CRM, the policy rep can provide a more personalized experience, and marketing can attribute the call to its digital efforts and get credit for the conversion.

By combining online data with offline data (like phone calls), businesses can have a more complete view of the customer journey and more effectively measure the impact of each interaction.

“Adobe is the only analytics vendor that looks at attribution across paid, owned, and earned,” Jeff says. “It turns out that if you use behavioral insights to understand your customers past the conversion or their journey, you can generate more incremental revenue.”

And this may just help brands understand the impact of their marketing efforts across the entire customer journey, and finally answer the billion-dollar question of how to properly give credit where credit is due.

Read more stories in our Platform Partner series and learn more about Adobe Exchange _and _our Partner Program.

Topics: Digital Transformation, Adobe Summit

Products: Experience Platform, Analytics, Experience Cloud