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7 Marketing Attribution Reports For Your Executive In Attribution 360 & Google Analytics

by Michelle Matranga

We’ve made it to the 6th installment in our 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.  For this post, we’re going to walk through the valuable insights that can be gleaned by using Google’s marketing attribution tools, including Google Analytics and also the upcoming Google Attribution 360. Should you need more foundational knowledge, we’ve also written posts on the what, why, and how of marketing attribution.

One of my main remits while at Google and Adometry was to use these tools to help companies find juicy tidbits that they could actually use to make decisions in the vast expanse of marketing attribution data. While it is obvious that what is useful to one company might not be to another, some patterns began to emerge in the insights they were requesting.

I will be providing insights based on my knowledge of Attribution 360, Google’s as-of-yet unreleased tool for marketing performance measurement. It is the gold standard for this kind of analysis based on its Data Driven methodology – it’s where the industry and your competitors are headed. The world of marketing analytics is changing and Napkyn Analytics is in the unique position to help you prepare. While the tool isn’t available to the public just yet, we will provide a glimpse into the actionable recommendations that can be gleaned from its utilization. We’re among a small set of Attribution 360 Certified partners and have created a comprehensive practice to ensure your company can prepare now to get the most out of the tool when it’s launched. 

As the most comprehensive tool for marketing attribution in the Google stack, Attribution 360 is a focused marketing optimization tool, while Google Analytics is a broad spectrum analysis tool. Attribution 360 is made for depth of marketing analysis and Google Analytics is created for breadth of traffic analysis. Standard Google Analytics does not provide Data Driven analysis; only rules- based methodologies are available unless your organization has Google Analytics 360. That said, there are attribution insights to be found within Google Analytics – especially if your organization has Google Analytics 360 utilizing Data Driven Attribution reporting.

Disclaimers:

  1. All screenshots were taken using accounts in Google Analytics in which the proprietary revenue and cost data has been obfuscated. However, I wanted to provide examples to illustrate what you can expect reporting to look like. If your organization wants to analyze using cost and revenue those will need to be included in your tool of choice. Napkyn Analytics can help your team accomplish these goals if your team needs assistance.
  2. Attribution 360 does not allow screenshots at this time so I will be showing only Google Analytics screenshots, but describing the data found in both. I will update this post with screen shots of the tool when that is available.
  3. Attribution 360 is still in beta and may not be accessible to all customers. Contact your Google Partner for more information.

What Are Some Of The Most Valuable Marketing Insights?

Here are some of the most valuable marketing insights your executive should care about, that can be delivered through attribution reporting in Google Analytics at Attribution 360.

1. What is my return on investment?

Return on investment is one of the top queries we receive for a number of reasons. First, companies want to know what they’re getting back from all their digital marketing efforts and, second, they use ROI or ROAS (return on ad spend) as a key performance indicator to compare differing vendors and tactics against one another. This provides a clear and fair way to make budget allocation decisions. If one display vendor or one search campaign is doing better than the rest, reasonably (we will go into diminishing returns in a subsequent post)  increasing the spend for that vendor or campaign is a sound strategy. Once the adjustments have been made, I recommend keeping an eye on the ROI to see if it stays the same or increases for those modified line items. This verifies the optimizations or gives you the data you need to make further adjustments. This leads us to our next commonly requested insight. Below are reports available in Google Analytics and Attribution 360 that help you determine your ROI.

Google Analytics

Conversions > Attribution > ROI Analysis (only in Google Analytics 360)

*Position-based attribution was utilized to pull this report from Google Analytics,  but I suggest using Data Driven Attribution if your organization has Google Attribution 360.

*Position-based attribution was utilized to pull this report from Google Analytics,  but I suggest using Data Driven Attribution if your organization has Google Analytics 360.

Attribution 360

Performance > All Channels:  Configure to show the Attributed Conversions, Cost, Attributed Revenue, and Average Revenue Per Attribution Conversion (optional, but interesting). It will list the information for each media channel included in your data (i.e. Display, Paid Search, Email, Affiliate, Social, etc). Once here, you can drill down into each channel and view the data at the granularity you choose. Using the channel overview, export the data. Create a new column that calculates Return on Investment: Cost/Attributed Revenue and sort it by decreasing value. You would then be able to see which channels are contributing the highest return on investment. Replicate this process for vendor, campaign, and any other level of granularity that is feasible for optimization.

2. Where should we be spending money?

The question of where to allocate budget is a complex one as there are many facets of a digital marketing mix. I recommend your organization begins by agreeing on a common success metric by which to judge performance. As we just discussed, ROI is a popular one, and one that I tend to use as the default. There can be others based on your company’s objectives. For instance, number of leads generated, volume of emails garnered for your database, or lowest cost per acquisition. All are valid based on what business initiatives you’re trying to achieve.

Once your internal stakeholders are on the same page about which metric you’ll be using to make budget optimizations, it’s time to dig into the dimensions of the data. It is possible to reallocate budget across any level of granularity you include in your attribution tool. But where should you? Let’s discuss at what level your organization is able to make changes.

Are keyword or placement levels too granular for your media activation team to reasonably complete? As a marketing professional, I prefer to start with the vendor level. This allows you to optimize within each media channel based on the partners that are working best. Once that is completed, it is my recommendation that your team optimize on the campaign level, especially if your campaigns run across multiple media channels. This will give you a good basis for continued analysis. If your adjustments were successful, your team should proceed with augmenting the budget allocation at the most granular level your organization deems necessary for the top and bottom performers. Below are examples of reports that can help your organization determine budget allocation.

Google Analytics

Conversions > Attribution > ROI Analysis (only in Google Analytics 360): Add in Source, Medium, or Campaign as your Secondary Dimension.

Attribution 360

Performance > Individual Channels: Drill down to the Vendor level first and then Campaign, etc. Edit the report to include the metric you wish to gauge success upon and the time period to include at least a month and long enough in the past to include your look-ahead period.  Once you’ve applied the changes, sort to view the top and bottom performers and create a plan to reallocate the budget accordingly.

3. Which channels play well together?

Sometimes the questions turn from budget optimization to channel strategy. In some cases, it’s how well the media mix works against the objectives. Since attribution tools show you the full path to conversion, the overlap between channels is viewable. You can see which channel overlaps create the most conversions and for what percentage of revenue. The analysis of this data can help your organization plan flighting of media and cross channel campaign initiatives. Below are examples of reporting within Attribution 360 and Google Analytics that can help you determine the channel overlap.

Google Analytics

Conversions > Multi-Channel Funnels > Overview

Google Analytics reports are very helpful in determining the conversions that resulted from channel overlaps, but will not provide the revenue contribution for these overlaps. For that data, you must use Attribution 360. This data does not have an advanced attribution algorithm applied, thus it is created using Google Analytics default last indirect click method.

Attribution 360

Path > Overview: Choose the conversion you’d like to analyze and sort by % Revenue in descending order to review the revenue contribution. Hover over the venn diagram In order to view the impact of the overlap. Once you’ve identified those channels that work well together based on number of conversions and revenue percentage, a plan can be made to run those in conjunction.

4. What are my top paths to conversion?

Now that your organization has investigated which channels play well together, you can dig deeper into how that media is interacting to create your top conversion paths. Being aware of the customer journeys that led to the most conversions can help your organization properly align budget and flighting. For instance, if you know that you receive the most conversions when a display ad follows a paid search click, your team can create a retargeting list based off of website hits that came from paid search and serve display ads to those potential customers.

Google Analytics

Conversions > Multi-Channel Funnels > Top Conversion Paths

Attribution 360

Path > Conversion Paths: Edit the report to include the relevant conversion and all interaction types. Then, sort by Revenue in descending order. Once you’re able to identify those paths that provide your business with the most revenue, you can ensure your strategy takes into account the channels that work well together and flight them in the appropriate order.

5. How many interactions does it take to get a conversion?

This question came up a lot during our insights presentations. While it isn’t always immediately apparent how this is actionable data, understanding how many touchpoints, or how much time it takes, for conversions to happen can help inform your organization’s retargeting tactics and flight lengths. I’ve outlined some of the reports in Google Analytics and Attribution 360 that provide a basis for analysis.

Google Analytics

Conversions > Multi-Channel Funnels > Path Length

Conversions > Multi-Channel Funnels > Time Lag

Attribution 360

Path> Path Length: Choose Interaction Rate All. Once you’re able to see how many interactions it takes for your users to convert, your organization can utilize the data to 1) set thresholds for how many times a user is advertised to by lower funnel channels (impression based channels are addressed in Frequency Capping) and 2) push additional retargeting across your media mix.

6. What is the optimal frequency for my impression based media?

Knowing how many impressions to serve to your audience before you reach a point of diminishing return is key to ensuring that your media dollars are not wasted. Depending on your goals and media activation team’s bandwidth, this can be done at the campaign or site level.  Once you pull the results, you can set the frequency caps in DoubleClick Campaign Manager (DCM) or reach out to your publishers who are site serving placements. Once you’ve verified the results of your frequency capping, I would suggest adding the frequency cap requests to your Insertion Orders.

Google Analytics does not provide this reporting.

Attribution 360

Frequency Capping: Set your conversion, dimension of choice (site name, campaign name, both, etc.), the % of conversions captured to 100%, and do not include low value rows. Once you have your report, it will showcase your frequency cap recommendation, the estimated savings, and estimated cost per attributed conversion.

7. What is the optimal spend for us to maximize our KPIs?

This question was the most complex and hardest to answer previously. In Attribution 360, there is now an optimization report called Spend Optimizer that utilizes past attribution reporting to allocate budget for your desired dimensions (like campaign or site),  based on the best case scenario for a given key performance indicator (like ROI). In the examples below, the suggested budget allocation raised the number of conversions while also reducing the cost per conversion. The reports will give you an overview of the changes and the suggested budget breakout for you to implement with your vendors.

Google Analytics does not provide this reporting.

Attribution 360

Spend Optimizer > Optimizer: Add a new folder and set your constraints. It will ask for your model configuration which is the dimension you want to optimize based on, the conversions you’d like to optimize (up to 2), and the date for which you’d like the model based upon. You will need to choose a 60-90 day date range that includes the media you want to optimize. For instance, if you want to optimize a new product campaign, the campaign needs to have run during the dates you choose. The model will then generate a report that shows your starting and optimized budget, the starting and optimized conversion totals, and the starting and optimized cost per conversion. There will also be a budget efficiency graph produced that is a great internal visual to promote the new optimized plan. Attribution 360 will also create a bar graph of the largest increase and decrease in spend and a chart of the itemized budget changes.

Where Do You Go From Here?

Feel free to follow up with our team to help formulate your Attribution Enablement plan so your team can start informing your media decisions with attribution data and impressing your executive team! Next up in the series, we will be talking about Understanding Google Attribution Models.  If you haven’t subscribed already subscribe to receive updates on this series here or through the banner at the top of this post.

Michelle Matranga

Program Manager, Marketing Analytics, and Senior Practice Lead for Attribution

Michelle serves as the Program Manager, Marketing Analytics, and Senior Practice Lead for Attribution at Napkyn Analytics where she concentrates her efforts around creating a best-in-class attribution enablement practice. Her background in Google Analytics, attribution, and marketing allow her to see both the big picture and crucial details. Coupled with a deep knowledge of omni-channel marketing analytics, Michelle turns marketing data into implementable solutions.

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