What is Attribution?

Hale Soucie

Friday, September 1, 2017

So, you have decided to try and give your dealership a leg up on local competition by implementing multi-channel digital marketing (a very wise choice). You’ve set aside a budget and already have some great ad ideas. However, since you don’t have much experience in the area, you’ve hired a company to help you with the dirty work. Everything seems to be falling into place, but you can’t help but wonder if the agency you’ve chosen is doing a good job and your money is being well spent. How will you know if they are – or aren’t –  delivering on everything they promise? The answer is a word that everyone in marketing likes to throw around whether their audience, or they themselves really know what it means: attribution. So, what is attribution?

 

at·tri·bu·tion

atrəˈbyo͞oSH(ə)n/

noun

  1. the action of regarding something as being caused by a person or thing.

 

In regards to marketing, attribution is how an agency or a customer determines the efficiency of spending and assesses how successful their advertising is. Simply put, attribution is associating a specific marketing effort with an individual sale.

There are several different schools of thought on how attribution should be carried out. For quite some time the thought has been that last click, or the last impression that resulted in a response can and should be credited with the sale. However, many people, including ourselves think this is a flawed attribution model and the market is starting to shift in response to that.

While clicks are a significant milestone on the consumer’s journey to a sale, they are just that: a milestone. Clicks are an excellent way to “check the temperature” of a marketing plan, and are an extremely valuable metric, but ultimately, they are just a step in the process. A click gives zero return on investment unless it leads to an actual sale. If you put too much focus on clicks alone, you may be losing sight of your ultimate goal: to sell more cars. In fact, this click obsession has led to the proliferation of bots, spammers, and companies that use them to sell over-inflated numbers with no results. To learn more about bots, crawlers and how to protect yourself from them click here.

So how should you really check the success of your marketing? Well, if the only thing that gives you a return on investment is a sale, why not focus on that? Point of sale match back is the best way to model your attribution because instead of assuming a high number of clicks means a high number of sales, it associates specific transactions with the marketing the customer received. Unless you are serving ads to every man, woman, child and bot in a 50-mile radius of your dealership – an expensive and sloppy technique we not-so-affectionately refer to as carpet-bombing – your marketing should be targeting specific people to drive them to your store. This ensures that you are not just driving random clicks to your site; you are driving meaningful traffic with visible results. When you target specific people, evaluating the performance of your marketing is almost effortless.

This is why at Edifice we provide the list of everyone we are marketing to upfront, and when those people come in to make a sales or service transaction we match back to the list. We are confident our solution works and are happy to prove it. And the best part? We let you keep that list with email responders and postal info to use however you please afterwards.

To find out more about Edifice’s solutions or how to get a free market study, you can email me at [email protected] or leave your email below and I’ll be happy to send you more information. Market studies include owner counts, intender counts, and other valuable data for your market.

Hale Soucie is the Metro Atlanta Area Sales Manager and content-creator for Edifice Automotive. To get in touch with Hale you can reach him at his email [email protected]

Contact Edifice To Learn More About Our Automotive Marketing Solutions.