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Marketing & Advertising

Cross-Device Attribution, Location & The Customer Journey

Marketing attribution has always been a tough area for marketers and advertisers. Attribution modelling has undoubtedly provided huge value. However, the ability to measure the effect of channels (or touchpoints) on the customer journey has often been fraught with difficulties.

Return on investment has been difficult for a variety of reasons. Understanding the entire customer journey has been problematic. This is especially true in the physical, offline world. Some offline marketing channels have also not been trackable. Attribution solutions have struggled with the multi-channel and real-time aspects that are crucial to understanding the full marketing picture.

Location intelligence has grown in terms of accuracy and scalability. This presents an opportunity. Some of the problems with attribution modelling can be solved with the application of accurate location data. Could this be the solution to the problems that limited marketing attribution in the past?

 

What is marketing attribution?

To understand the problems and the effect that location data can have it’s important to understand marketing attribution.

Attribution is the practice of allocating purchase revenue to the marketing touch points of a customer. In other worlds – understanding the effect of marketing efforts and channels on the purchase decision of customers.

Touchpoints can cover a wide range of customer interactions. Understanding the effect of these on sales or other valuable metrics allows for the optimisation of marketing channels, activity and budget.

 

What is offline location-based attribution?

Location-based attribution is the use of accurate mobile device data to fill in the gaps in traditional attribution models.

Smartphone adoption has grown rapidly. Understanding the where and how people move becomes scalable and precise. Customers rarely move without their mobile device, and this is the key. Higher levels of attribution precision are possible. Connecting the online and offline worlds becomes easier. Customer journey mapping and various touch point measurement is improved.

Until recently it has been impossible to understand the offline world. This has meant that advertisers have often been unable to attribute sales in physical stores and locations to a specific channel.

As smartphone adoption has grown using a device location has proved extremely useful in connecting the two.

Mapping the customer journey – cross device attribution

Basic attribution models have chosen to measure first touch or last touch. Much has been written about the failings of each. The choice lies in ignoring either early, top of funnel activity. Or failing to consider later, bottom of funnel activity that helps to move the customer along the buyer journey.

So the natural next step is to focus on multi-touch attribution. Focusing on touchpoints throughout the customer journey is important. But it requires accurate measurement across channels to be effective. The problem is that multi-touch attribution models don’t always incorporate what is happening in the offline world.

Location data allows a complete understanding of the customer journey. This means that it becomes possible for businesses to say the sort of thing like – okay this person saw our Facebook ad and has now completed a purchase. Previous attribution models would then attribute this purchase to the Facebook ad and not demonstrate how to generate leads on Facebook. But a more holistic view of the individual customer might point out that actually, the customer had visited the physical store previously.

This ability to model attribution across the online and the offline leads to a clearer picture of attribution. It allows brands to be better informed about the effect digital has on physical and vice-versa. Your customers exist across multiple marketing channels, so your attribution should too.

Previously brands have tried to close this gap by using various methods to map the offline customer journey. This usually took the form of a promotional code, which allows the brand to understand which channel had the desired effect. But whilst the picture is slightly clearer, it is not enough to be able to inform marketing budgets. Or to provide a clear understanding of the customer journey and the customer experience.

Only location intelligence can provide these insights. And it can do this across the online and offline world with a sufficient level of detail. Location data is versatile, quick and accurate. This makes it the perfect tool to help close the offline to online attribution loop.

Location data connect online advertising to the offline world. This allows for attribution in physical locations. This allows brands to measure store visits and link this offline activity to other digital touch points. It allows for more accurate customer journey mapping. This data can even be used to understand external offline touch points, such as OOH advertising. Already a complete picture becomes available.

Attribution has always had its problems. But brands and marketers should understand and implement insights from customer data points. In this way, location data provides a better understanding of the offline world. It allows brands to measure touch points more accurately. It allows them to map the customer journey in greater detail. And most of all, it allows them to measure the effects of cross-channel marketing in detail. 

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Marketing & Advertising

Retail Marketing Attribution Using Mobile Devices

What is mobile marketing attribution and what does it look like for retail?

Attribution is a term that is thrown around quite a lot at the moment in retail marketing. If your business is investing in mobile, then it’s time to understand what it means, and how it can help you.

 

But what does it actually mean? What can it do for your mobile strategy?

Attribution is the ability to measure marketing efforts. It’s about uncovering the inner workings of your marketing strategy and using this information to optimise, adapt and provide a great ROI.

 

What does this have to do with proximity marketing?

Proximity marketing uses attribution. This means that it’s possible to measure marketing efforts and directly attribute marketing decisions to events in the offline world. These can be store visits, for example.

This is extremely accurate and based on location. Not only can proximity provide attribution in the offline world, it does this with incredible accuracy. Using Bluetooth beacons and Wi-Fi hotspots it’s possible to pinpoint a consumer’s location with an accuracy of 1 meter. That’s incredibly useful for measuring attribution around individual products.

These insights are actionable for retail mobile marketers. More on this coming up, but armed with this information, retail brands can understand their ROI better, optimise budgets and create more engaging campaigns in the future.

 

Why is it useful in mobile marketing?

Attribution provides a clearer view of the customer journey. By measuring customers visits to specific areas of stores it’s possible to create a better image of how consumers interact with your store or product. By visualising your customer’s journey, you can gain insights into customer pain points and develop your marketing efforts to adapt to these. For example, you might realise that your OOH audience is visiting a competitor after seeing your advert. This is offline attribution and is only measurable through proximity technology.

This attribution also provides a better understanding of marketing spend. Get more specific information on your return on investment. You’ll be able to see exactly where your budget is most effective by assigning a value to individual mobile adverts or physical advertising. Your digital marketing is now measurable.

Understand the customer better in many previously unknowable locations. You can now see the customer journey from advert (physical, digital or mobile) to end goal. Know the exact number of store visits that your proximity marketing campaign caused, for example.

Create an intelligent mobile marketing strategy. Attribution allows for marketers to adapt mobile campaigns in real-time based on data that extends beyond clicks or site visits. If more people visit your store after seeing specific notification copy, then you can act on this information.

Find out how mobile marketing attribution can positively affect your brand’s retail marketing.

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Marketing & Advertising

Location data and retail – optimising OOH

Retail brands can utilise location data in order to optimise their OOH advertising and gain offline attribution based on store visits. 

 

What is location data

For retailers, it’s important to understand what is going on in and around your store.

This kind of retail insight is already available for online adverts. You can tell how many people view your advert, click it and purchase your product. But in the real-world physical store, the customer journey becomes more difficult to pin down. How can you determine the effectiveness of your out-of-home, physical advertising? Offline consumer attribution involves using accurate, proximity location data to understand how audiences react to your out-of-home advertising.

When we talk about location data, we are talking about understanding how consumers move in and around your retail space. This is what we like to call the offline world. Understanding it is valuable for brands and can present information that can dramatically improve footfall and sales. According to a recent report, over 96% of surveyed marketers believe that location data is a key part of their mobile marketing strategy. My question is – what were the other 4% thinking?

 

An accurate solution to an old problem

Retail brands are beginning to realise that this is important and that it’s a crucial part in any successful retail marketing strategy. What brands might not realise is how accurate this data can be, and the effect this can have on OOH advertising. Location data is precise – and provides an accurate understanding of the customer journey. With the right proximity sensors, you can measure this journey with an accuracy of up to 1m. 

This accuracy is provided by the number and precision of the sensors on our proximity network. This delivers valuable insights into retail environments, and how consumers move. One application of this data is to measure the effectiveness of OOH and redefine how your OOH works. 

It’s currently quite difficult to measure how real-world adverts are performing. Attribution is key for the modern marketer and It’s not always apparent where footfall traffic is coming from. Location data solves this problem by allowing unprecedented insights into the journey to store and to purchase. 

 

Let’s look at how this could work for retail brands.

Using location data, you can understand when a user is in front of your advert. You can then use in-store sensors for attribution – to understand which users then visited your store because of the OOH. 

Very quickly this can give insights into how your physical adverts are performing. You can understand which customers respond best to your OOH and determine how much of your footfall traffic is being generated from these adverts. This provides an accurate ROI for physical advertising.

With the accuracy of proximity sensors it’s possible to even determine which area of the store users visit after viewing OOH. This kind of insight is unprecidented and provides numerous advanatages for brands that implement this strategy. 

These insights are highly actionable for brands. For example, using real-time location data marketers can adjust OOH advertisements in real-time depending on footfall data.

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