E-commerce is on the rise, and many businesses jumping on the bandwagon are starting to benefit greatly from it. But as more platforms, marketplaces, and strategies for online selling come up, the rising pain point now for businesses is determining which one converts the best.
In advertising, for instance, companies are spending massive amounts of dollars on paid spots but don’t necessarily see the return. The global advertising spending rate is set to hit $649 billion by the end of the year, but when companies are spending up to thousands of dollars on various online marketing platforms and advertising opportunities, getting a precise idea of the return of investment should be of great importance. In lieu of that concern, marketing attribution technology provides an amenable solution.
What is Marketing Attribution?
What is attribution in digital marketing, and how does it help marketers and entrepreneurs? When finding the right marketing software, measuring the returns should be a priority. Marketing attribution helps with that by assigning trackers to look at the impact of each marketing channel individually.
Most marketing attribution software uses unique links and cookie-based trackers to determine the traffic, click-through rate, and even unique sales of each platform or strategy. Meaning a company can assign specific links to various channels like email funnels, social media, Google ad placements, and other channels and then track the results each one has. By monitoring results per channel separately, we’re able to see the individual performance of each and evaluate whether they’re worth pursuing further or not.
Why Marketing Attribution is Making Waves
The marketing attribution model makes for a great way to hack the system. People who use this strategy are able to increase e-commerce sales, lower ad spend, and better streamline their efforts and campaigns by removing those that don’t convert.
What are some of the revolutionary aspects of marketing attribution and how is it changing the landscape of e-commerce and business as a whole?
- Precise and real-time results — With marketing attribution tools, marketers can calculate results to the channel level. So if Google ads are converting for a company and Facebook ads are not, a marketing team will know that via a marketing attribution system. Not only can attribution tools track performance per channel, but also per campaign, so a business or company can check the results of each individual advertising, content, or marketing campaign released and get real-time results.
- Optimizing advertising and marketing costs — Because an attribution system tells you which ads work and which don’t, a marketing professional or team can now rechannel more budget to the efforts that work and shut down those that don’t hit key performance markers. This sort of decision-making helps for more optimized marketing and advertising expenditures.
- Greater profitability — At the heart of all marketing and advertising campaigns and channels is the goal of increasing a company’s revenue and decreasing costs, leading to greater profit. Attribution systems help make this happen by allowing for more informed marketing decisions.
Trends in Marketing Attribution
Looking into marketing trends for 2021, it’s easy to tell that marketing attribution systems are quickly on the rise. As these systems improve and grow, marketers will have a better understanding of which campaigns and channels work best for them and use that information to polish out their marketing efforts. Here are some attribution trends to watch out for in 2021 and beyond.
Machine Learning-Powered Tools
Attribution isn’t a new model, but only now are companies able to automate and streamline them. This is thanks generally to an increased understanding and application of machine learning systems. Through artificial intelligence applications, systems can now better track results per category and release them immediately with very little to no manual processes.
Many of these attribution tools have free plans to try out, so make the most of them and see the power of artificial intelligence at work. In the future, it’s likely that these systems will be completely plug-and-play and automated across all kinds of platforms, channels, and systems.
The Rise of Affiliate Programs
One great application of marketing attribution is that it also allows companies to create an affiliate program. This kind of program allows for influencers and partners to promote your product or service and get a commission for their word-of-mouth efforts. Many companies are able to leverage this system and create another income stream for themselves and other people as well.
Recently, social media influencers have been making a great deal of revenue from these affiliate systems. Through their channels, they promote products and in exchange, the owners of the products can award them an affiliate cut for every sale made through their efforts.
Better Data Analytics
The future of technology is leaning towards data as a form of currency. Big data has grown as an industry and practice in the past decade and isn’t slowing down. Marketing attribution systems will also continue to leverage that by helping interpret more data with ease.
Companies are always trying to find ways to effectively allocate budget to high-performing channels, and marketing attribution systems have become more bent towards automating data analysis and interpretation to give marketing teams and businesses recommendations that will help create more effective campaigns. Some attribution systems are starting to roll out features like keyword tagging to determine which keywords in ads tend to get the most return on investment.
More Focus on Real-time Data
There was once a time that weekly reports seemed to be enough to give people a glimpse of their marketing performance. But nowadays at the level of agility that most e-commerce businesses have, marketing teams need more real-time data. Marketing attribution can go up to the minute when it comes to determining not just which channels work, but also which campaigns, time slots, content types, or any other factor works best for a company’s context.
What if a marketing attribution system could track not just the first level of attribution but subsequent levels as well? Let’s say you run a Facebook campaign which then gets shared to Facebook groups and you want to know how many of those posts shared to groups create sales as well. Or if you want to run an affiliate program that works like a network marketing company where someone still earns from a co-affiliate they invited. As systems improve, it’s not impossible that we will see these kinds of multi-level applications in the future.
Marketing Agility is the New Normal
Even before COVID-19, we were already entering a new normal because of how technology is changing the way we do business. One of the priorities of most companies now is to develop their organizations to be more agile and adapt to the changing times.
Digital innovation happens every single day and businesses that don’t keep up could very well be leaving money on the table or even ushering in their business extinction. More businesses are using different kinds of marketing software systems to optimize their processes. With marketing attribution systems, we can be more adaptable and shift and change as needed to stay relevant in an ever-evolving world.