Google is Moving Away From Last Click Attribution. Here’s Our Take.

July 23, 2017

What prompts a consumer to buy or take some other desired action? For the past several years, the industry has responded by pointing to the last ad or interaction a consumer had before the purchase. Even if she saw several Burger King banners, a billboard, or listened to a radio ad, it was the last touchpoint – perhaps that personalized video – that got all the credit.

Obviously, this is a flawed approach to attribution, but connecting the dots between every consumer touchpoint prior to a purchase has proved too daunting. Enter “Multi-Touch Attribution,” an analytics practice that accounts for all consumer touchpoints leading up to the purchase. While MTA has been around a long time, Google recently shined a spotlight on it when it announced Google Attribution.

So, what does this fresh focus on MTA mean for Performance Video? Everything and nothing, at the same time. Everything – because MTA is vital to ROI measurement and marketing strategy. Nothing – because Performance Video has never been about the “last click.” Here are some things to keep in mind in the MTA world:

The full-funnel approach is more important than ever.

Plan campaigns for the whole funnel, with messaging and locality targeted to the desired audience whatever their place in the funnel. Full-funnel targeting is a marquee benefit of performance video. In an MTA world, all touch points throughout the funnel are germane to effectiveness and ROI.

Better attribution means better ROI.

The most tangible effect of MTA will be an accurate accounting of video advertising influence. While the last video ad seen before a purchase will no longer get 100% of the credit, the stats will even out when the second video ad out of five gets 20% of the credit. The upshot will be that video budgets will either increase or decrease based on their performance in an MTA system. 

Think outside the screen.

The medium means less than the campaign success it delivers. And if it is bringing the right content to the right targeting audience at the same time, it plays its part in the customer journey. It’s no longer about performance video versus radio ads, for example – the emphasis is on the right message, at the right time, to the right person.

The devil is in the details.

MTA even at its most basic is still a very complex process. Ensuring your Performance Video campaign is armed – at the onset – with clearly established goals and KPIs is key to correct evaluation of the total marketing effort.

MTA will challenge silos.

Most established marketing departments are siloed by function— including social media, CRM and mobile. As a result, each often compete against each other for budgets. With MTA though, the incentive to compete will be lower since the data will show how much of a role each discipline plays in influencing consumers. The result will be a challenge to the silo system and a focus on making each unit work together. For instance, data might show that a banner followed by email is much more effective than either on its own, leading to more cooperation between the two units.