A Hybrid Attribution Solution Combining Google and Facebook’s Capabilities

Estee Lauder Companies is a global leader in prestige beauty with extensive marketing technology that helps fuel its success. For 2019, Estee Lauder were determined to redefine how they measure the long-term impact of digital media on their sales – both on-counter and online. Estee Lauder understood the necessity of moving away from a last interaction-based measurement model, to a better informed multi-touch solution where credit is weighted against channel influence. 

The Challenge

Upon moving away from a last-click attribution model, Estee Lauder invested in the technological solutions of Facebook Attribution alongside the attribution features in Google Analytics to utilise both platform’s data-driven attribution capabilities.

At present there is no single attribution platform that is the holy grail to measuring media performance. Even with this hybrid solution, Estee Lauder had one big problem remaining – the two siloed platforms provided two different answers for the value of their marketing channels.

Google Analytics’ data-driven attribution model provides a holistic view of all online channel performance. However, it is limited by its inability to integrate offline datapoints and track paid social impression data.

Facebook attribution was Estee Lauder's optimal solution to having a cross-device online measurement for social, as well as an all-channel measurement solution for offline activity.

Our Approach

At Merkle, we understand the importance of having a complete view of the marketing funnel. When Estee Lauder presented this challenge to us, we worked alongside Facebook to adapt a calibration technique that incorporated a statistical method of blending the data-driven attribution figures from Google and Facebook’s platforms.

By doing so, we've created a cross platform solution that provides a fair weighting to Paid Social, while also taking into consideration the contribution of paid and non-paid non-social channels. We further adapted the method to split channels by their role in the marketing funnel which was key to understanding each channel’s role for the business. This enabled us to provide the most relevant and actionable recommendations for Estee Lauder’s marketing team.

This process was built externally from the two platforms and allows for Estee Lauder to receive channel and campaign performance that is fairly distributed in credit. This enabled impactful budgeting decisions to be made for each channel within its funnel stages of Awareness, Consideration and Conversion. 

The Results

With a clearer view on cross-channel performance, Estee Lauder were able to have a complete view of how their media channels were performing. In their first holistic channel review, we were able to analyse and identify a consistently under-performing media channel. Upon our recommendation, Estee Lauder made the decision to re-invest the budget assigned to this channel. 

Prior to this analysis, Estee Lauder spent on average £422.4K on this inefficient channel and our calibration model empowered them to use their media spend on channels that showed greater fruition. Our cross-platform solution also enabled Estee Lauder to have a clearer view of the impact of Paid Social online as well as on-counter activity – identifying that, on average, for every 1 online conversion, there were 2.6 offline conversions.

This hybrid approach to digital attribution was an EMEA agency first and has since been adapted for two other Estee Lauder brands.

Client Testimonial

This holistic attribution solution allowed us to better understand what digital media delivered the most impact on sales. Results directly informed upcoming campaign strategies and drove efficiencies to maximise returns.

Georgia Walsh

Senior Manager, Digital Campaign & Media – UK & Ireland -

Being able to more accurately understand how each of our digital marketing channels impact sales on our beauty counters has been a game changer for Estee Lauder Companies.

Henry Arkell

Director, Digital and Media Innovation – UK & Ireland -