How Ready For Attribution Are You (Really)?
April 25, 2018 -
We’re really getting into the meat of the content now with our fifth post in Napkyn’s Attribution Blog Series. If you haven’t subscribed already subscribe to receive updates on this series here or through the banner at the top of this post. In this installment I will help you assess if your organization is prepared for attribution, where any gaps in readiness may be, and how to fill them. If you’re unsure of what is necessary to build an attribution practice, our previous blog post can help guide your team on the fundamentals. Should you need more foundational knowledge, we’ve also written posts on the what, why, and how of attribution.
We are pleased to announce that Napkyn Analytics is now GOOGLE ATTRIBUTION 360 CERTIFIED! This means that we are one of a small handful of companies that are licensed to service Google’s A360 offering. In addition to A360, we’re also focusing on helping companies create tool-agnostic attribution practices.
Attribution Readiness Self Assessment Quiz
Now, you’re probably wondering how ready your organization is to begin creating your internal attribution practice – aka how tall do you need to be to ride? The following post will give you the guidance you need to fill out our SELF ASSESSMENT for attribution operational readiness across all practices and tools. This quiz is a helpful tool to determine your organization’s ability to stand up and utilize attribution. Once you submit your answers, we will provide a score. If you’d like to talk about the assessment in more detail, contact us and we will reach out to arrange a call.
Do you have the following pieces in place?
In my years of experience working with attribution tools at Adometry and Google, there are eight key areas that help ensure successful attribution implementation, maintenance, and utilization of reporting.
In order for attribution to truly be worth the investment in tools, implementation effort, and service partner, there must be the opportunity for financial gain through attribution.
This means that your organization should have:
- Trackable actions on your website that are valuable to your company. Ideally, Ecommerce with tracked revenue on your website. Ecomm revenue can help garner the attention necessary for the project.
- A meaty digital marketing budget that allows for monetary shift within and between channels.
Marketing Data Volume
There has to be enough data to ensure that data-driven attribution models can run and reach statistical significance.
The following thresholds should be met to meet that criteria:
- More than 1k conversions per reporting period.
- I deem it a best practice to have at least 1M impressions per reporting period.
- Media investment portfolio must contain upper, middle, and lower funnel strategies.
- There can be no media dark periods throughout the year (A360-specific).
Each identified attribution team member (list of all necessary roles here) should have an appropriate amount of time allocated to the effort. The scale of your project and the amount of dedicated resources will determine the exact hours necessary.
Length of Time
An attribution enablement project can take anywhere from 1 month to 2 years (Yes, really. It happened more than anyone would like to admit in the Adometry days), based on the size and complexity of the project. It is important to remember that in attribution, setting it up properly is more valuable than setting it up quickly. The majority of this time will be spent validating and refining your marketing data and setup – the more hygienic your data is at project start, the quicker the implementation will go. It’s important to keep in mind that a proper set up and rigorous data hygiene done up front will pay dividends in the end. In order to shorten the time to value, Napkyn has created a phased approach to allow continuous measurement wins.
Ad Tech Tools
There is a necessary martech stack to ensure that the Google attribution tool of your choice is able to function properly.
Ad Serving Platform
It is best practice to have an ad server holding the impression data you want to use for attribution. However, Napkyn can help you set up data sources from multiple locations to flow into the attribution tool of your choice.
Website Tag Management System
There should be a tag management system in place that adheres to your data governance protocols. This includes the appropriate tagging infrastructure that ensures high data quality.
Marketing Channel Data Platforms
The sources of data that you want included in attribution should be vetted prior to inclusion in attribution. A list of all the necessary data inputs must be known and shared from the beginning of implementation. The implementation plan will be created to encompass the known inputs; if more are added it will cause delay in the timeline. An automated data feed from the marketing source into your attribution tool of choice will be required for the data to be included. A data hygiene audit of each source will need to be conducted during the implementation phase.
Attribution requires commitment, resources, and the authority to implement change. The practice will only succeed if there is a commitment to the project by a dedicated resource pool to ensure it is correct implementation, and the data coming out of it is used. The success of attribution is often tied directly to the ability of the stakeholders to implement organizational change. The authority to institute, maintain, and utilize the new analytics program is needed to ensure the work is completed and the insights are put into practice. Furthermore, an organizational shift to using the new advanced analytics reporting as the main source of truth for marketing performance measurement is key to a healthy program.
The accuracy of attribution reporting is a direct result of the data quality flowing into the tool. There are three vital pieces of data quality as it relates to attribution: Data Inputs, Data Governance, and Data Hygiene. Your organization must have the necessary data inputs and those inputs must adhere to a strict and comprehensive data structure. The data inputs you will need are:
- The campaign impression and click data collected by your ad server and website tags
- The corresponding media cost data from the ad server at the impression level to be joined to the campaign data via a unique ID
- Conversion data
- Any optional data extensions to enhance your marketing data that can be joined to the campaign data or conversion data via a unique ID.
Ability And Willingness To Participate In Training
Upleveling the attribution knowledge base of your team is a requirement for a smooth and well thought out roll out. It is a complex practice and should be understood well before jumping into an implementation. There will be many moving parts and it is my experience that confusion can run high when there is not an experienced practitioner leading the way. Napkyn has designed a comprehensive training curriculum that runs in parallel to each stage of enablement. We will be writing a separate post on the details of Napkyn’s training program that will guide your organization through implementation, maintenance, and garnering insights.
The Right Partner
You and your organization will need a trusted partner to guide you through the process. Based on our experience leading enterprise level clients through attribution, we’ve identified the following elements that create a great partner, and Napkyn’s Attribution Program is poised to deliver across all five. We will be expanding on these pillars in a subsequent post.
Where Do You Go From Here?
If you’ve read through the post and have taken the Attribution Readiness Self Assessment, you should have a better grasp on where your organization’s strengths and gaps lie as they pertain to an attribution project. Feel free to follow up with our team to help formulate your attribution enablement plan! Next up in the series, we will be talking about Attribution For Measurement Insights That Your Executive (Actually) Cares About.. If you haven’t subscribed already subscribe to receive updates on this series here or through the banner at the top of this post.