Traditional Media Attribution: It Exists!

What is Traditional Media Attribution?

Media attribution is the process of tracking which media channels have impacted your customer engagement and bottom line, then attributing each touchpoint within the customer journey back to individual channels. These touchpoints include all the actions taken by customers who interact with your ads. They result in sales, conversions, and leads. Media planners and buyers use this information to make the most of a client’s paid media budget by determining which content, promotion strategy, or channels achieve the goal most effectively.

Traditional Media Attribution
In the world of media attribution, the ways in which marketers have been able to attribute success back to offline channels has been limited.

Old methodologies using vanity URLs and dynamic phone numbers, while considered the norm for many years, do not take into account a number of key variables, such as:

  • Second screens – Searching for a product on your mobile device while watching TV.
  • Clicking on a digital ad after hearing a radio ad or seeing a billboard, which helped to establish brand awareness before clicking through online.

The Evolution of Traditional Media Attribution

As attribution technology has evolved, so has the media industry, now using various tactics to calculate traditional media attribution. We can now track and identify when new customers convert as a direct result of your TV ads.

New platforms emerge each day with greater ability to target audiences and follow devices, down to the IP address and SmartTV screen level. Identity graphs, first-party data, and third-party data sets also make reliable attribution easier to track.

New tools that allow for true cross-screen measurement provide a comprehensive view of campaigns. We can chart, attribute, and report on the following key performance indicators with greater accuracy:

  • Frequency
  • Reach
  • Conversions
    • Inclusive of linear TV and cable
    • Adaptable to any attribution model
    • Option to roll in call conversion data from CRMs
  • Efficiencies across platforms

Challenges and Nuances of Traditional Media Attribution

The line between traditional and digital (or offline and online) media is blurring, creating some challenges for media attribution.

For example, people are using more channels and devices than ever before. With an increasing number of media outlets and platforms to choose from, audiences are consuming information and entertainment in a variety of ways–this is known as media fragmentation.

Fragmentation, even on channels, like TV, has created another layer of difficulty as marketers untangle where and how audiences consume “TV” content. Digital privacy regulations also prove relevant as third-party cookies, one of marketers’ most useful data sources,  phase out.

Despite these realities, there are new and interesting ways for traditional and digital media to boost each other.

  • Cross-Channel – the ability for brands to connect with their customers on an array of different communication channels.
  • Cross-Campaign – the process of disseminating paid messages to prospects across multiple devices and on a variety of digital marketing channels.
  • Cross-Device –  the way in which a user may engage with a given funnel through two or more different devices at various times throughout the journey.
  • Cross-Domain – the process of recording visitor data and segmenting it over several domains or subdomains for analysis.

The more data and insight gathered, the better the results will be for a campaign or product.

Traditional Media Attribution Case Study

Marketing Doctor is the agency of record for a multi-state regional brand focused on new customer acquisition. The client values deepening their knowledge of their customers’ journey. These audience insights fuel qualified leads and contribute to higher ROI. Attribution models and tools provide enlightening information about where their customers are coming from prior to converting.

Given the omnichannel nature of these campaigns, we utilized an attribution platform to track linear broadcast TV, cable TV, addressable TV,  streaming CTV/OTT and Digital. The platform indicates how well we optimize media spend on linear, addressable, and streaming TV. It also ensures we attribute properly within the customized multi-touch attribution model. In other words, we accurately see all the channels and campaigns that impact conversions.

For this client, we were able to identify our total campaign frequency, identify cable networks that were under-performing, and accurately attribute leads from our cross-screen video campaign. We have also been able to measure the point of diminishing return on frequency for our ads across our video campaigns so we can implement a data-backed frequency cap. All of this information allowed our team to make strategic shifts to our approach that ultimately benefits the client.

What are some other benefits of using the attribution platform?

  • Greater trackability: Conduct granular analysis to reveal how the media spend disperses  across channels.
  • Insights across channels: Monitor performance cross-campaign, cross-screen, and cross-device using advanced technology.
  • Learning and optimization opportunities: Leverage learnings to maximize TV spend and identify the best next steps.

Building out the attribution model to include offline, non-clickable media allows our client to have a holistic view of the overall campaign, and gain a better understanding of the customer journey.

Why is Traditional Media Attribution Important?

Traditional media attribution can feed omnichannel synergy and return on ad spend (ROAS) by identifying under-delivering platforms, programs, networks, creative, dayparts, and more. It can create a full picture of the true consumer journey that includes all touchpoints.

The bottom line is whatever you are spending money on, make sure it’s attributable.

Traditional Media Attribution is Attainable!

Want to know how your traditional media campaign fits into your customer’s journey? Leveraging data and implementing attribution tactics is our specialty. If you have an advertising goal, we have a plan to reach it AND track it. Let’s talk. 

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