The recent multiplication of advertising formats has led to significant changes in the on-line and off-line marketing costs allocation world. Marketing professionals now have to reach their audience at every step of their conversion journey: from the awareness of their need to which seller to trust. This observation equally applies to the B2C and B2B sector.
It is now more important than ever to check for the presence of one’s brand in the upstream, the middle and the end of the buying decision journey. In order to succeed, you have to focus on marketing investments that catch prospects’ attention, that inspire and spark interest among them, and then turns them into customers. That is what we call “Marketing Contribution“.
10 different sources leading to the final buying decision
ZMOT study made by Google
Today, we estimate that a buyer will use around 10 different sources before actually buying: blog, social network, comparators, press, recommendations, opinion and advice, etc. Marketing went from stimuli ==> Purchase to a much more complex process. The brands have now to initiate a conversation with their prospects and “contact” them with various media: e-mail, display, social media, search, etc. The success of an advertising campaign can’t be measured on a short-term period anymore, using indicators such as the ROI or the acquisition cost. Indeed, these metrics only value the marketing channels involved in the end of the conversion journey and therefore under-estimate the channels that are used to engage the marketing process.
Marketing Contribution: definition
A Marketing Contribution approach is about developing your marketing channels in order to reach your prospects at every stage of their decision process. To do so, marketing professionals evaluate the contribution of their different media (offline, retargeting, e-mail, search…) and their role (attention capturer, interest grabber, converter…). Marketing Contribution is therefore an iterative approach implementing considerable marketing initiative on the long term .
As an example, in a traditional marketing approach, Mr Smith could decide to stop all his advertisement banners that don’t bring enough customers. In a Marketing Contribution approach, Mr Smith does not only analyse the performance of his banners by looking at the number of clients they brought . Indeed, Mr Smith wishes to develop his reputation with this marketing channel. To analyse the performance, he therefore analyses the reputation gained thanks to the banners. This reputation will then be transformed in the acquisition of clients with other marketing channels.
Marketing Contribution: challenges
You probably know the quote from John Wannamaker : “Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don’t know which half.” This quote sums up pretty well the main issues related to Marketing Contribution. Indeed, this approach has as primary goal to optimize the allocation budget among the different marketing acquisition channels. By giving more status to the initiator channels, Marketing Contribution methods allow the marketing professionals to better manage their budget.
Of course, Marketing Contribution also helps to get to know your customers better. Knowledge of the conversion journey, (also known as the Customer journey)became a crucial information for marketers. By receiving the right messages at the right times, customers and prospects surely will be more receptive and more likely to purchase. For example, by analysing the period of purchasing decision of his customers, an advertiser could adjust the advertisement pressure of his retargeting campaigns.
Attribution, contribution or deduplication?
We often hear about marketing attribution and sales deduplication. Yet they are two different methods. Marketing Attribution is about assigning a conversion to one or more marketing channels (retargeting, RTB, e-mail…) present in a conversion journey. Marketing Attribution yet contains two different aspects: sales deduplication and contribution. Sales deduplication is about compensating the business providers’ remuneration (affiliates for example) according to their place on the conversion journey (last click, last paying click…). Marketing contribution is about analysing the performance of these acquisition channels and evaluate their roles. It is important to differentiate these two notions because they do not answer the same questions.
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