Attribution University

Need education around marketing attribution? We have you covered.

Written by Sameen Karim
on February 24, 2021
Last week, we announced the launch of Sponsorship Attribution — a comprehensive solution to tracking the effectiveness of podcasts, influencers, and site sponsorships. Today, I'll be covering in more detail the unique challenges of measuring sponsorships, Rockerbox's solution to the problem, and some examples of using Sponsorship Attribution to improve your marketing.

Buying a spot in a podcast, working with influencers, or sponsoring a site can be one of the most effective tools to reach new audiences and grow your business. But tracking their effectiveness? That can be a whole other challenge. Sure, you may see an increase in revenue, but how do you know which of your influencers are actually driving sales? It may be easy when you're working with just two or three influencers, but as you scale up, measuring performance with dozens or even hundreds of active campaigns becomes increasingly difficult.

If you're not positioned to track and measure these sponsorships effectively, you may end up with incorrect assumptions that optimize for the wrong things and end up costing you a lot of wasted spend in the process.

 

Measuring Sponsorships Today

Like most things we build here at Rockerbox, Sponsorship Attribution came out of conversations with marketers and DTC brands about how they were managing and measuring these types of marketing efforts.

Generally speaking, we saw three different ways companies were tracking their sponsorships:

Method

Example Analysis

Pros

Cons

Top Down: Track the web traffic spike after a campaign launches There was 20% more traffic than usual after a podcast went live, so I'll attribute 20% of my sales to it. • easy to do with existing tools
• doesn't require any setup in advance
• doesn't scale since you can't measure multiple things at once
• misses long-tail impact
• longer response window introduces more uncertainty
Bottoms Up: Track hits to vanity URLs or special landing pages Every user who visited mystore.com/podcast and made a purchase gets attributed to podcasts. • can do in GA
• can create different pages for each sponsorship
• misses people who go direct to site or search
• page can be indexed by search engines
Bottoms Up: Promo code redemptions Every purchase that uses the coupon "POD20" gets attributed to podcasts. • works better with audio/visual channels
• can easily generate new codes
• requires manual export & processing of order reports
• not connected to rest of marketing tracking/analytics
• codes shared on coupon sites
• hard to keep track of constantly growing list of codes

 

While the top down analysis is a good approach to understand overall lift, it doesn't help when you're testing new podcasts or influencers — as a result, it can't help you make granular budgeting decisions. The bottoms up approaches require complex data exports that need to be merged with manually compiled spreadsheets of codes and payouts — a far from perfect process that has a lot of room for error.

On top of their specific downsides, the biggest problem is that these analyses operate in a vacuum. Even after doing the manual work required to put together these reports, you don't know how other marketing fits into it. With all your spend and payouts in separate spreadsheets, you don't have a way of calculating the total cost of acquiring a user. Without understanding the full picture, you may underestimate your true CPA.

 

Our Solution to Sponsorships

To give marketers the reporting they need to truly understand the impact of sponsorships, we knew we needed four things:

  • one place to track all campaigns and their associated fixed and incremental costs
  • a way of assigning credit to users who come to your site after hearing about your brand via the sponsorship
  • if there is a discount or revshare involved, a method for tracking those redemptions and how much is paid to the partner
  • a holistic report combining sponsorships, alongside digital and offline channels, into a complete path to conversion with a blended CPA

With Sponsorship Attribution, Rockerbox puts that all together in a central source of truth for all your sponsorships. From launch to analysis to adjustments, everything you need to do is just a few clicks away.
Users who have interacted with a sponsorship get an updated path to conversion and an appropriately adjusted CPA. Best of all, your multi-touch attribution model gets updated with weights that appropriately distribute credit between sponsorships and other marketing channels, like branded search or display retargeting, to give your true ROAS per channel.

 

Example: Attributing Impact of Influencers

Let's walk through an example of how Sponsorship Attribution can help you measure the true impact of an influencer.

Looking at Influencer X in a silo, we see that they assisted 860 conversions.


However, this doesn't tell you the full picture. Are there other marketing channels that are needed to get users over the finish line after hearing about your brand from Influencer X?

Let's take a look at the multi-touch attribution credit that Influencer X receives when we factor in additional touchpoints like paid search, display retargeting, email, etc.



We can see that customers who engaged with Influencer X on average interact with one other marketing channel before converting. Now we know that it takes more than one Influencer touchpoint to get a person to convert and we need to factor this into our decision making.

This is also important when we're thinking about costs and how much we truly need to spend to acquire a user brought in by Influencer X. Let's view a report that compares the CPA when we're just looking at influencers vs. when we factor in all marketing channels.



Now, we know that for every $1 we invest in Influencer X, we also need to allocate an additional $1.19 for other marketing channels. This is important to ensure that we budget for the other paid marketing channels needed to take users brought in by Influencer X and lead them to purchase.

* * * * *

We've only scratched the surface with what you can do using Rockerbox Sponsorship Attribution. By combining your podcast and influencer marketing with the rest of campaigns, you can understand the impact sponsorships have on your other channels and grow your marketing with confidence.


Interested in learning more? Sign up for a demo here.

Already on Rockerbox? Get started here.

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