“I know only half of my advertising works. The problem is, I don’t know which half.” – Henry Ford
Several clients have repeated this famous Henry Ford quote to me over the past 20 years, especially when I sold ads at the Seattle Times and in radio. Attributing leads and revenue to specific campaigns and media sources is difficult, but everyone wants to know where their business is coming from.
Technology has made closing the loop on advertising and marketing easier. On-page conversions and values are tracked by Google Analytics. Call tracking companies like Mongoose Metrics are granular and measure which keywords or email campaigns make the phone ring. For small and medium-sized businesses, setting up conversion and call tracking systems can be a significant marketing leap forward.
New technology is allowing marketers to “see through the last click” and provide attribution modeling. Credit can be given where credit is due. Organic search is regularly credited as the transaction source, but the strong marketing mix is actually creating the awareness and driving demand. The other tactics should receive the attribution, not organic search.
For larger businesses, “big data” collection and attribution is easier. Companies like Adometry collect personal consumer data from gigantic networks of cookied-websites and cross reference the information with their client’s online marketing tactics and campaigns. You can follow the daisy chain from the source to conversion. Most importantly, this collection of data provides validation for fine-tuning advertising tactics and marketing spends.
Henry Ford would be pleased to finally know which half of his advertising is working.