By Justin Firoozan

Most consumers believe that all the decisions they make online are their own uninfluenced decisions. They often don’t realise that all the advertising they see and hear online is affecting every decision they make. But how can you identify the consumers that you have influenced? Intrigued? Read on and find out more!

  • Display

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The Problem

The very nature of the internet makes it easy for the consumer to research and explore the various options available to them before finally deciding to make a purchase. However, many consumers’ decisions can be influenced by what they see and hear while browsing. Whether it’s an ad before a YouTube video or a banner ad on a website. All this exposure can ultimately lead to creating brand awareness and affinity, eventually leading to conversions. However, when you influence a consumer’s decision they are more likely to go to site directly or search for the product before buying, rather than clicking on a display ad. Therefore, it’s important that we can account for all these conversions that are influenced by programmatic display.

Post Click vs Post View Conversions

It’s important to distinguish between a conversion caused directly by a display ad and a conversion which is influenced by a display ad. This is where post click and post view conversions come in.

A post click conversion occurs when a user clicks on a display ad, then proceeds to convert on site.

Post click conversion example

When a user is served a display ad and doesn’t click on it, but returns to site and converts within a set period (known as a lookback window), then display will be awarded a post view conversion.

Post view conversion example

It’s important to note that post click conversions always trump post view conversions. For example, if a user is served multiple display ads and clicks on one of them before converting, then it is counted as a post click conversion.

The lookback window defines a time span prior to a conversion. It brings together all the actions carried out by a consumer, recording all the channels they interacted with before converting. If the user converts within the lookback window, then all the marketing channels they interacted with should receive some sort of credit. The value of post view conversions can easily be overlooked by advertisers. When they are assessing the performance of different digital marketing channels they are often only looking at direct (post click) conversions. Programmatic display acts further up the marketing funnel, driving traffic through to other marketing channels like search. This means display often gets many post view conversions, but if these aren’t accounted for then its vital role in the digital marketing landscape can go unnoticed.

The Solution: Attribution

We are not saying that post click and post view conversions are all created equal. Post click conversions are inherently more valuable, as the user has been directly influenced by the display ad. However, it is also important to take post view conversions into account. This is where attribution can save the day. Attribution provides insight into the impact of different marketing channels on the customer journey. Google offers multiple Analytics platforms including Google Analytics 360 and DDM (DoubleClick Digital Marketing). Both platforms provide reports which can shed light on the customer journey. Below are a couple of example reports which we use to help attribute conversions and show the worth of the different channels within the digital landscape.

Multi-Channel Funnel Report: This report breaks down how the different marketing channels contribute to a conversion using assisted conversions.

Conversion Pathway Report: This report shows the best performing conversion pathways. This reinforces the role of the different marketing channels, whether its creating awareness or driving conversions.

DDM Attribution: DDM is Google’s free attribution offering. Although its limited to 6 different types of report (GA 360 has 17!), it can shed light on path to conversion and assisted conversions at basic level. DDM attribution also provides 4 different models of attribution which can be implemented, including (the traditional) last click, first click, even distribution and weighted distribution. Google now offers a Data Driven Attribution Model. This automated model considers many factors of the customer journey including path length, order of exposure, and creative before assigning credit to the various marketing channels. 

Here at Merkle|Periscopix, we have a talented Analytics team, with dedicated experts in attribution. Using the tools highlighted above they can effectively analyse all your marketing channels and define the best attribution model to fit your needs. If you’re interested in running programmatic display, or in our analytics offering, feel free to get in touch!

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