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Buzz Wars: Super Bowl v. Digital

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As the 50th Super Bowl approaches with the usual reports from the advertising industry of record high ad spend–up to $5 million for 30 seconds of glory–we start to see brands making emotional decisions based on vanity to get in front of a large national audience instead of making business decisions based on ROAS (Return On Ad Spend) and strategy. The question is asked every year by folks like us…is it worth the spend? (See our previous posts on the topic here and here)

Not that digital advertising doesn’t have it’s “Shiny New Object” problems to contend with when it comes to ways to waste ad dollars. Sometimes these tactics can lead to costs just as disproportionate in hopes to reach millennials or hyper target an audience (Snapchat charging $750k for 24h). Advertising agencies contribute to this buzz that the Super Bowl commercial is worth the premium. You know why? Because producing a Super Bowl ad is a great chance to win an industry award, get industry press for the agency and spend lots and lots of money to earn client commissions on. Just like the network earns a lot of money from the placement of the ad. Nice work if you can get it!

So is spending large sums of ad dollars on single tactics a good investment? Most likely not. It is key to look past the ‘buzz.’ In the case of the Super Bowl, certain brands can effectively lift awareness and reach a very diverse audience with last year’s $3 per viewer fitting within budget. However, depending on a single spot to change opinions and/or spending over 30-40% percent of an annual advertising budget is hard to justify.  Especially when we know the measurable results of digital that offers much more affordable opportunities to reach tens of millions of targeted audiences for the same budgets.

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When we talk about digital, it encompasses many different advertising opportunities. The key to finding the right opportunity is working with a strategic partner. I’m not saying there isn’t room for TV. TV still outpaces everything in time spent and number of eyeballs. But, I am saying that spending budgets of your clients for media should be carefully considered for ROI and meeting sales performance goals versus the seduction of getting industry press for your brilliant creative idea that’s more a vanity play than a measurable influence on your corporate performance.

With digital we often talk about measurement and analytics, which give us results for our clients they can literally take to the bank.

Effective digital can actually be measured and can reach specific and appropriate audiences leading to measurable returns. Digital is not the end all, be all but it sure is taking over the industry with its effectiveness. Spending on single tactics both traditionally and digitally becomes more unwarranted. No one would say put all your eggs in one basket for anything, especially if all your ad dollar eggs go to a 30 second spot in one football game. If your advertising budget is $50 million a year then have at it, but if not, consider multiplying your reach ten or hundred fold with digital.

AdWeek even released a recent article of how the money spent on Super Bowl ads could be spent digitally. 

Some highlights:

  • marketers could buy 2.1 million mobile app installs—the equivalent of 55 million clicks—for a $5 million TV spot.
  • the TV investment translates into as many as 15 million search clicks…’between one-half and three-quarters of a billion search ad impressions’
  • At $475,000, brands could buy 10-and-a-half [Instagram] campaigns for the price of a Super Bowl ad.
  • brands could run 100 campaigns priced at $50,000 each or 200 for $25,000 each

 

By | February 3rd, 2016|ad agency austin, digital agency|0 Comments

CORT FURNITURE, A BERKSHIRE-HATHAWAY COMPANY, SELECTS AUSTIN AGENCY BROAD STREET CO AS MEDIA AGENCY OF RECORD

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

CORT FURNITURE, A BERKSHIRE-HATHAWAY COMPANY, SELECTS AUSTIN AGENCY BROAD STREET CO AS MEDIA AGENCY OF RECORD
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AUSTIN– January 11, 2016 – Broad Street Co. has been selected as Media Agency of Record for CORT, a Berkshire Hathaway Company. The agency will oversee the brand’s advertising, including strategy, for CORT’s furniture rental and clearance center retail lines of business throughout the U.S.

CORT is the nation’s leader in furniture rental for home and office and CORT Clearance Centers are located throughout the U.S. “We are pleased to expand our partnership with Broad Street into a third year on our account, their track record providing consumer insights and deep experience positioning brands to succeed in today’s rapidly-evolving digital landscape have resulted in steady growth of our business,” said Mindy Oliver, Online Marketing Manager for CORT. “Our focus on advertising  to reach our revenue goals means we are looking for a strong partner, and we are confident in our continued relationship with Broad Street.”

“We are thrilled to continue and expand our relationship with CORT into 2016. Working with a team that understands the complex moving parts of media gives both of us an opportunity to meet strategic goals for the client,” said Broad Street Co CEO Charlie Ray. “The relationship with CORT is a great fit for our results driven retail experience.”

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About Broad Street Co. 

Broad Street Co. is an award winning agency founded in 2007 with offices in Austin, Texas and Charleston, South Carolina. Broad Street Co.’s strong buying power comes from a deep understanding of media including strategy, insights, social, influencer marketing, search, analytics, and native advertising. The agency’s clients include Whole Foods Market, OneOK, Texas Gas Services, Sharpe Vision, and TruFit. For more information visit us at broadstreetco.com, or follow us on Twitter @broadstreet.

About CORT

CORT, a Berkshire Hathaway Company, is the nation’s leading provider of transition services, including furniture rental for home and office, event furnishings, destination services, apartment locating, touring and other services.  With more than 100 offices, showrooms and clearance centers across the United States, operations in the United Kingdom and partners in more than 70 countries, no other furniture rental company can match CORT’s breadth of services and companywide commitment to providing excellent customer service. For more information, please visit www.cort.com.

 

By | January 19th, 2016|ad agency austin|0 Comments

Native Advertising as part of a media plan

Native Content by Media Agency Broad Street Co.

We’ve been exploring more native and sponsored content for our clients this year and worked to find ways to make the native content measurable and valuable as a part of our media strategy.  Until recently, there was a lot of ambiguity around the performance of native and we struggled to find ways to measure success.  As vendors and publishers become more advanced on reporting metrics, we’ve become more confident in recommending native and sponsored content as part of the media strategy to build awareness and engagement with brands.

Native content is most successful when it does not disrupt a reader’s experience on a publisher’s site and has the same look, feel and editorial voice of the publisher’s premium original content. This has put a lot of pressure on brands to hire experienced writers and focus on good storytelling as opposed to marketing speak about how great their product or service is according to the corporate marketing department. Readers are sophisticated and can spot this fakery right away and publishers don’t want that content associated with their content and damage the trust established with their readers.

As publishers clamor for good content, brands as publishers can help fill the insatiable appetite for content on today’s Internet. It’s a win-win if executed well and provides an opportunity for brands to tell their story in meaningful ways that we can’t do through display, search and even some video.

We also rely on reporting to provide insights for the brand on the performance of the content. We want to make sure we’re providing good content that is consumed and not just floating around without any actions. We can measure time spent reading, how far down people scroll through the article, how many shares and earned reads we get as well as any interactions with the content images or video. These types of insights help us determine if our content is good quality and being read and shared.

This type of media isn’t right for all brands, but those with needs to tell their story and introduce new products, new ideas and new ways of doing things mean we have a way to introduce these ideas to market.

By | November 17th, 2015|ad agency austin, digital media agency|0 Comments

Here are the Top 5 Tips for the Non Profit Social Media Team (By team, we mean volunteer)

Social engagement for non profits is a great way to engage your supporters and keep the community aware of your organization and its mission. Navigating the social media landscape may not require big media budgets, but it does require attention, effort and planning.

There are key ways to engage your audience and keep them informed of your mission and successes that provide opportunities for meaningful conversations with supporters, constituents and the public.

Here are the top 5 tips to step up your organization’s social game

1.       Be a “Come to” not a “Run from”

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Create a social media voice the presents you as a resource and “subject matter experts” to provide meaningful content in the social media space. Using social media to solicit donations and post press announcements don’t engage an audience to feel as passionately about your cause as your existing supporters already do. An authentic voice will drive engagement and build support for your organization.

 

2.       Be the “tortoise” not the “hare”

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When starting a new social channel, it is easy to get fired up and post five times a day for a week and then nothing again for months. Be the tortoise, not the hare; slow and steady wins this race. Someone should be able to look at your timeline or feed as a chronological look-back window to understand the sequential development and progress of your organization. Consistency builds familiarity, familiarity builds trust, and trust gets donations.

3.       Show & Tell

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Tell a story that people want to hear and illustrate that story with visual elements. Share relevant photos and videos of team members and events. Photos and photo galleries consistently get more engagement than just text. Use photos with people that your audience can relate to and see which images get engagement to build a strategy of image use in your future posts.  If a picture is worth 1000 words and you only have 140 characters to tweet with, sharing an image is the way to stretch your communication coin.

4.       Keep it Fun

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There are so many wonderful (and not so wonderful) resources out there that all claim to have the secret recipe or formula for the perfect social media strategy. And while many of these offer useful information and insight, when the conversation gets so technical there is an eminent danger of overcomplicating and losing sight of your primary goal: to connect people interested in your organization. When things start to get hazy, don’t forget to keep it fun. Think about your organization and what you love about it. Share something that is fun or humorous. Making someone smile or laugh is the easiest, most foolproof way to engage someone when there are scrolling through their feed.

5.       Conduct your symphony

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Quality content, consistency, and telling a visual story, will all be instrumental in strengthening your voice across all of your social media channels but don’t forget your most important responsibility: YOU are the conductor of your organization’s digital symphony. Without you to lead the conversation, all of the voices are reduced to different sounds that make senseless noise and competing for focus; and in some cases can even cause us to cover our ears and tune it all out. Be a thought leader in your organization, provide your opinion and ask the valuable questions that invite your community to engage and contribute. When done right, social media for nonprofits can drive membership and donations and gain exposure for your cause, and that is the music we all want to hear.

By | June 17th, 2015|social media|0 Comments

Viewability Metrics and Media Efficiency

The digital advertising industry loves to glom onto a trend and a buzzword like nobody’s business. The latest is “Viewability” and boy is it suddenly the most important metric you’ve ever heard of and if you aren’t on top of it you’re failing as a media buyer.

While we see the importance of viewability, let’s keep things in perspective. First, what is it and what does it mean?

The media world is so fragmented in how advertising is bought and sold that it has compounded over decades into an era where not only are the delivery methods so vastly different, but so are the negotiating tactics.  In offline media, say for this example, broadcast (TV and Radio), most media is purchased through a measure of GRPs or gross rating points, which is a percentage of the target audience.  Because media vendors compile this data primarily through surveys, it has created an investment landscape where much negotiation goes into rate reductions and added value because the margin of over and under delivery can be high, and as a result these added value pieces which can be perceived as “rare opportunities” are pretty much an essential part of a buy.  Simply put if you’re buying broadcast at rate card price or without added value, you’re being swindled.

Go to digital and the entire negotiating landscape changes.  Media is not purchased on a rating point system, but rather on impressions, where each impression counts as a potential for an ad to be seen.  Because the very nature of digital is to be highly measurable, negotiations are often more matter of fact, and added value either comes not as often or as very light compared to what you see in offline media.  This is because, for the most part, advertisers and the industry as a whole believe that going digital means not expecting a significant under or over delivery (broadcast usually considers an over/under delivery of 10% as the benchmark where makegoods are given from the vendor).

But what we’ve seen this past year more than anything is that impressions simply aren’t enough.  An ad can be placed on site and can technically seen, but what if it’s not?  What if a person went to the wrong site, or clicked directly out of the ad, or even scrolled before the page even loaded?  The ad still counts as an impression but it was never viewed.  That’s where viewability comes in, arguably one of 2015’s most important buzzwords.

What Is a Viewable Impression?

A viewable impression is destined to be the new form of digital media currency that will replace served impressions.  To quote an article from the IAB, “The industry standard… calls for desktop display ads to be considered viewable if 50% of their pixels are in view for a minimum of one second and for desktop video that standard is 50% for 2 seconds. In addition, the standard stipulates that for larger desktop ad units, 30% of pixels in view for 1 second constitutes a Viewable ad.  Custom ad units and important elements of sponsorships are not consistently measurable today. The measurement standard and the technology are still evolving.”  So in simpler terms, a viewable impression is an impression that will count ONLY if they are in viewable range of a site for a specific period of time.  Viewability-39-percent

Why Is This Important?

This shift into viewable impressions means two things: the first is that is allows advertisers to be efficient with their inventory purchased.  Although it varies by campaign, plenty of impressions are considered “wasted” when they’ve been served but not viewed.  We as advertisers (thanks to these things called “privacy laws”) can not see when a person has their eyeballs looking at our ad, as much as we’d love to know that.  But what we can do, is trace user behavior on a site and determine by that whether or not a served as was really viewed.  Viewable impressions means less media waste and more accurate portrayals of how well our delivery numbers are doing, woot!

The second important aspect that comes out of this media shift is accountability for the vendors.  With the growing concern over data privacy in the US, it’s becoming increasingly important for advertisers to know exactly how well their campaigns did with a specific vendor.  While the optimist in us all wants to believe our vendors will deliver as they report, some larger data companies are making it harder for third party auditors to review campaign data to see if what was claimed in a report actually did happen.  Regardless, a viewable impression means more accountability for a vendor, because if hypothetically all the ads were served, but say, 50% were actually viewed, that’s a completely different window into campaign performance.

While today the IAB is calling for 70% of all measurable impressions to be considered for viewable standard (because 100% viewability is not at this time possible with our capabilities) it is only a stepping stone on the path of total viewability.  The era of purchasing digital and having the inventory and negotiations be “matter of fact” are ending.  Accountability and standardization are finally coming into the digital world, and it means positive  changes not only in the way we measure ad impressions, but also in the way we can leverage delivery as a negotiating tactic when selecting our media partners.

Cost/Benefit Analysis

All that being said, we are not buying inventory for most of our clients based on a “Cost Per Viewable Impression” yet. We still purchase inventory on a Cost Per Thousand (CPM) rate and we keep an eye on our vendors performance with a viewability report. If our vendors are well below our threshold for comfort with viewable impressions we will discuss with them the need to increase performance. We also look at our existing cost per conversion for the campaign and how the overall performance for the campaign relates to our viewable impressions. If our cost per conversion is performing well, we aren’t going to insist our clients purchase only viewable impressions and increase their media cost (and diluting their actual media spend) just we have a good metric to report. If we strategically believe that our cost per conversions are high and if our viewable impressions were better then we may have a case for buying only viewable impressions and seeing our overall impression count in the media plan go down, but theoretically see our conversions go up because we’re getting more viewable impressions.

This theory has not been tested. All the talk about viewable impressions and how important they are is great, in theory, and another case in yet another long line of digital media folks painting themselves into a corner on how measurement is the end all be all for digital media. But, if we don’t do an analysis on the true efficiency of our media dollars we’re just trying to do more with less. The more layers we build on to a media spend, the more the actual media budget gets reduced and overall delivery and results will surely take a hit.

By | March 31st, 2015|digital media agency|0 Comments

CORT, A BERKSHIRE-HATHAWAY COMPANY, SELECTS AUSTIN AGENCY BROAD STREET CO AS DIGITAL AGENCY OF RECORD

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AUSTIN, TX/CHARLESTON, SC– January 7, 2015 – Broad Street Co. has been selected as Digital Agency of Record for CORT, a Berkshire Hathaway Company. The agency will oversee the brand’s digital advertising, including strategy, for CORT’s furniture rental and clearance center retail lines of business throughout the U.S.

CORT is the nation’s leader in furniture rental for home and office and CORT Clearance Centers are located throughout the U.S. “Broad Street impressed us with their track record in 2014 on our account, consumer insights and deep experience positioning brands to succeed in today’s rapidly-evolving digital landscape,” said Mindy Oliver, Online Marketing Manager for CORT. “Our focus on digital marketing to reach our revenue goals means we are looking for a strong partner with deep digital experience.”

“We are thrilled to continue and expand our relationship with CORT into 2015. Working with a team that understands the complex moving parts of digital media gives both of us an opportunity to meet strategic goals for the client,” said Broad Street Co CEO Charlie Ray. “The relationship with CORT is a great fit for our results driven retail experience.”

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About Broad Street Co.
Broad Street Co. is an award winning agency founded in 2007 with offices in Austin, Texas and Charleston, South Carolina. Broad Street Co.’s strong buying power comes from a deep understanding of digital including strategy, insights, social, influencer marketing, search, analytics, and media. The agency’s clients include Whole Foods Market, OneOK, Sharpe Vision, and Better Business Bureau. For more information visit us at broadstreetco.com, or follow us on Twitter @broadstreet.
 
About CORT
CORT, a Berkshire Hathaway Company, is the nation’s leading provider of transition services, including furniture rental for home and office, event furnishings, destination services, apartment locating, touring and other services.  With more than 100 offices, showrooms and clearance centers across the United States, operations in the United Kingdom and partners in more than 70 countries, no other furniture rental company can match CORT’s breadth of services and companywide commitment to providing excellent customer service. For more information, please visit www.cort.com.
By | January 7th, 2015|ad agency austin|0 Comments

Stop Complaining about Millienials

Morley Winorgrad, author of Millenial Momentum: How a New Generation is Remaking America, spoke to a sold out crowd at the December iMedia Agency Summit. Winograd took a room of agency media execs through the minds and characteristics of the Millenial Generation. The key takeaway for the group was to stop complaining about them and learn how to communicate with them in their environment and with messages that resonate with this audience.

IMG_20141209_095519459The room full of mostly Gen X’ers chuckled at the the differences between Gen X and Millenials and there’s plenty of differences between the two. As Generation X moves in the C Suite to replace the Boomers it is important to learn how to work with and communicate with folks across generations.

Millenials are ‘digital natives’ and know how to use technology to make their lives better, but unlike Gen X’ers who understand how technology works, they don’t care about how the technology works but how it works for them. The Millenials are not only embracing technology and disrupting how we advertise, they are changing the way we communicate with each other. A shocking 19% of Millienials have never had a cable TV bill, and 37% of them prefer to communicate with images…whatever that means.

Gen X’ers are much more self-reliant than Millenials that were raised as part of a group and do not cherish individual achievement over group achievement.IMG_20141209_095738605

Millenials are connected to multiple devices, engaged with each other in robust online and offline communities and expect brands to listen to them. This change in how we advertise from a one to many to many to many to one to one is an evolution in the advertising messaging that resonates with the audience we’re targeting.

New social media advertising opportunities is an example of how the Millenial audience is responding to brands reaching them via Snapchat, Vine, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and YouTube.millenials behavoirs

We heard from three Vine users with over 1 million followers each discuss how they work with brands to build six second videos that fit the Vine platform and drive awareness and brand affinity through leveraging the Vine celebrity’s audience loyalty. Brands that are willing to reach out too these new platforms are seeing how their efforts pay off with brand lift that is measurable.Vine family, Eh Bee, spoke about how brands approach them and their content is family friendly but they retain creative control and decide which brands that are a fit with their brand. Bottlerocket spoke to how he uses Vine to connect with his students and how he cultivates an audience. Ginger Wesson uses Vine to reach a short attention span audience and told the audience she couldn’t imagine having to fill fifteen or thirty seconds for video. A hearty laugh erupted as we thought about creatives that can’t seem to get it that we need 15’s and 30’s for pre-roll and not 60’s!

Ultimately, it’s time for us to stop complaining about Millenials and learn how to communicate with them in a way that speaks to their risk averse, high self esteem, and changing work ethic so we may embrace some changes in the agency model.

 

By | December 13th, 2014|digital media agency|0 Comments

iMedia Kicks off Agency Summit: Best Apps You’re Using Right Now Edition

Top 10 iMedia Apps for ProductivityThe 2014 Agency Summit kicked off with the Aspen Meeting of Agency executives and my favorite takeaway to share with everyone is the favorite apps everyone is using for either fun or productivity. Here’s a few of them from my list:

  1. Charlie. This app combs though social media and pulls together a profile of people you have meetings or connections with from their online presence. Genius! What a great way to be prepared for a meeting!
  2. Mobile Day. Dialing into conference calls is a chore, especially when you’re driving. This app takes your conference call credentials and syncs with your calendar for easy breezy conference calls.
  3. f.lux for iOS and Twighlight for Android are great apps that adjust the hue and color of your screen according to the time of day.  Believe it or not, the hue and brightness of your screen can keep you up at night and contributes to eye strain. These are great tools for those of on our devices a LOT.
  4. Afterlight. We always are looking for the best photo filter. This app makes us look as beautiful as we are in real life.
  5. Room 77. This app is great for travelers that want to see exactly what the rooms look like in hotels. This is a pet peeve of mine when booking travel. There’s always a picture of the nice big suites overlooking the beach, but what about the regular room near the elevator because that’s the one I usually wind up getting. Use this app to see a map of where a room is located and what it really looks like. Brills! I tell you, BRILLS!
  6. Dashlane. Speaking of brilliant, this app is my new lifesaver. I am terrible with passwords and maintaining them. This app is a great password keeper and will keep me from having post it notes next to my monitor with a list of all mine!
  7. Expense It. If you travel for business and are scatterbrained like me, you never have your receipts when it comes time for expense reimbursements. This app saves your bacon and your expense reporting nightmare. Snap a picture of a receipt and there, you’re done! Organized and Laurie in accounting doesn’t hate me anymore!
  8. Slick Deals. This app aggregates all the best deals around you on tech products and makes it easy to get the best price on what you’re going to buy anyway! Love a deal, as long as it’s easy.
  9. Yik Yak. This is just for fun. Use your location to see what people are talking about around your and join in. I have a feeling this is built for me to flex my online troll muscle, but that’s probably just me.
  10. Tempo. Here’s another calendar, dialing productivity app. Try a few to see which best suits your and is easy to use. I’m all for using the right app to increase my productivity and create shortcuts for meetings and conference calls.

So, there you have it. My Top 10 apps from iMedia so far! Add yours in the comments.

By | December 8th, 2014|digital media agency|0 Comments

Cyber Monday Shatters Sales Records

While Black Friday sales figured dropped 11% from last year, Cyber Monday saw a 16% increase over last year. Unfortunately for
Broad Street Co Digital Media Agencyretailers the dropoff in Black Friday is not made whole by the rise in Cyber Monday. Online sales broke records in 2014 with sales exceeding $2 Billion. The heaviest online shopping day in history continues to show the strength of online shopping behaviors of consumers. We used to talk about the deals that drove people online such as free shipping to explain this shift, but today we know that consumers are comfortable online and we look at where the traffic is coming from for Cyber Monday.

Interestingly, mobile traffic accounted for 41.2 percent of all online traffic, up 30.1 percent over 2013. Furthermore, these visitors weren’t just browsing: Mobile sales reached 22 percent of total Cyber Monday online sales, an increase of 27.6 percent year-over-year. (VentureBeat)

IBM found smartphones drove 28.5 percent of all Cyber Monday online traffic, more than double that of tablets, which accounted for 12.5 percent of all traffic. That said, tablets drove 12.9 percent of online sales compared to 9.1 percent for smartphones, a difference of 41.5 percent. All of this comes down to a big reminder that the desktop is far from dead. PCs accounted for 58.6 percent of all online traffic and 78 percent of all online sales. Consumers also spent more while shopping on their PCs, with an average order value of $128.24 compared to $110.72 for mobile shoppers, a difference of 15.8 percent. (IBM)

The interesting takeaway this year in online sales is the period leading up to the traditional shopping days are seeing large increases in sales, effectively extending the holiday shopping season to pre-Black Friday and Cyber Monday shopping. This trend is an important measurement for online retailers when planning 2015 campaigns. It’s a benefit to consumers as well because deals are becoming more widely distributed prior to holiday sales and retailers are increasing inventory as demand surges.

The real bottom line is that if you haven’t finished your holiday shopping already you’re way behind! Enjoy!

By | December 4th, 2014|digital media agency|0 Comments

The Era of Last Click Attribution is Over

In today’s world of digital media, the quest is no longer just about how many conversions one is looking for or how long a page view is.  Digital marketers want to know about the process a consumer takes in their path to conversion in hopes of seeing how much each ad, whether it be display, search, social media, or more, contributed to a conversion.  For marketers using attribution modeling, the easiest way was to attribute 100% of the sale to the last clicked ad.  The problem with that, is people hardly convert after seeing one ad.

What is Last-Click Attribution?
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Last-Click Attribution is a method of attribution modeling that weighs the last clicked ad before the conversion at 100%.  In terms of compensation, this means only the vendor who provided the space or content for that direct channel will be credited with the sale.  In past years when attribution modeling was a relatively new concept, Last-Click was a popular choice for advertisers.  In fact, it is still the default setting on Google Analytics.  But the truth is that the attribution model discussion has evolved.  As data becomes more and more important in the advertising world, compiled with the growing availability of cross channel monitoring, many types of attribution models have emerged on the scene.  As Digital Evangelist and Google Guru Avinash Kaushik points out on his blog, “Historically, all tools used last click attribution because the one thing they could confidently say is what drove the converting visit. And they did not have the technical horsepower to do Visitor-centric analysis. Both these problems are solved now.”

 

So Which Attribution Model Should I Be Using?

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Excellent question!  The truth is: it depends on goals and the business.  For businesses looking to use the most up-to-date model but don’t have the time to create a custom model, then a Time Decay is most widely recommended.  The theory behind Time Decay is that each touch point is considered and given weight in the overall conversion, but the amount that each touch point weighs increases the closer one gets to the direct channel.  While not perfect, it allows all points to be considered in the conversion, and helps paint a better picture of what it took to make a conversion.  This is important because in terms of a conversion funnel, the first clicked ad is seldom the last time a person will be exposed to a product or service on the web.

If looking at a typical conversion which focuses on sales, the first click ad is only the beginning of the sales process.  You have your first-click ad, which could be driving users to learn more on the website or on social media, then retargeting would be utilized to help reel your consumer back in.  Additionally you need to be considering if an individual has been learning about your product from beyond their desktop, and ensure that mobile plays some type of part in their conversion.  Now you may be asking yourself why this all matters, but the truth is that this attribution model (in fact any modern model) can be used to better understand how effective creative is, how strong your media mix is, and how relevant each touch point is to a conversion.  The goal is to be constantly optimizing and figuring out what touch points are making sense vs, which ones aren’t, which will help save time and money in the long haul.

However!  Though Time Decay is a good choice, if your company has experience in attribution modeling and is willing to get more hands on with the attribution approach, a custom model makes the most sense. The truth about digital advertising is that the process one company has for a conversion is not going to be the same for another.  You need to take into consideration that the number of touch points in a conversion funnel for your business will not be the same for another.  Not only that, but you will also weigh different touch points differently depending on your goals and KPIs.  For one client, the conversion may the most crucial point and so the last channel is important, but for a campaign focusing on brand awareness, maybe that first initial ad is actually the most important for beginning the consumer journey into learning about your brand.  Taking these unique points into consideration will make your model a lot more specified to your business or client, and will help paint an overall more accurate depiction of what your consumers are doing from starting point to conversion.

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So shake off the shackles of Last-Click.  The truth is that there is too much data today that is lost with Last-Click that can be utilized if a different model is used.  Whether it is Time Decay, Custom, or the other types that exist (see Occam’s Razor by Avinash Kaushik), go explore and figure out which one is right for you or your client.