Attribution University

Need education around marketing attribution? We have you covered.

Written by Alyssa Jarrett
on August 18, 2021

We recently recapped our webinar with Portage Ventures on marketing attribution in Apple’s new privacy world, but the whole discussion was so valuable that we wanted to dive into one specific question that host Jonathan Metrick, Chief Growth Officer at Portage Ventures, posed to the panel: “What are the top attribution and measurement mistakes most marketers make?” 

After all, too many marketing strategies have failed and budgets have been wasted by missteps and dead-ends. We joined panelists Anthony Trankiem, Senior Director, Performance Marketing at KOHO, and Scott Brietenother, founder of Brooklyn Data Co. to share our advice from our experience working with leading brands.

So which mistakes made the top of our lists? Here are the three worst offenders to avoid at all costs—and the solutions to preventing them from occurring in the first place.

1. Measuring with preconceived assumptions

Measuring marketing performance is like applying the scientific method:

  • You start by asking a question, like, “Which marketing channel is giving the greatest return on ad spend?”
  • Then you develop a hypothesis, perhaps based on previous knowledge or any background research you’ve conducted
  • Afterward, you gather the data you need and run experiments to test that hypothesis
  • Once you’ve completed your experiments, you analyze your findings, determine whether they validate your hypothesis and report on the results

However, when you’re too invested into proving a specific hypothesis, you make the mistake of only accepting results that you agree with. This often happens when your ego rears its head—for example, perhaps you’ve over-indexed on Facebook ads because they were successful in your previous role or you’re too emotionally invested because your job title or responsibility is channel-specific, like affiliate marketing manager.

The solution: It’s natural to take measurement personally, especially if you’re held accountable to the results, but take a step back and reframe it less as a definitive answer or end, and instead more as the beginning of a conversation. If your hypothesis is disproven, get curious and work with your team on why that may be the case. This process of discovery might lead to the a-ha moment you were looking for all along.

 

2. Getting stuck in analysis paralysis

With the sheer amount of data available in today’s digital-first world, it can be tempting to stretch out your scientific method, metaphorically “going into the basement” to research, plan and experiment for far too long. Of course, you want to do things right, but there will always be roadblocks—be it imperfect data, a lack of statistical significance or something else entirely.

But the most dangerous roadblock is not getting the show on the road at all. Why spend six months architecting a marketing campaign if you realize after you’ve measured it that it was a giant dud? (Not to mention, justifying sunk costs is a real great way to find yourself repeating measurement mistake #1.)

The solution: Avoid analysis paralysis by thinking like a developer and get your minimum viable product out into the market. Jaleh Rezaei, co-founder and CEO of Mutiny, crafted a framework to get speedy with your marketing by breaking down large problems, obsessing over weekly targets, and applying a “just ship it” mindset. She also explains that picking the right tools can enable agility, so prioritize platforms with ease of use that can enable quicker decision-making.

 

3. Setting it and forgetting it

Thinking back to BC (Before Covid), you likely had your marketing data foundation in place, you picked the right tools and infrastructure, you tested your hypotheses and you were fully prepared to move forward with your plan all wrapped up in a bow. And then the world was upended by the pandemic, and all those roads you paved with good intentions crumbled underneath you.

The biggest mistake a marketer could make in that moment would be to carry on like nothing had happened. And while ignoring a market shift that significant may seem far-fetched, too often folks measure their marketing in sporadic snapshots in time despite how much their businesses have grown—by investing in new channels, expanding into new geographies and launching new product lines.

The solutionIt may seem like a no-brainer to regularly run experiments to ensure that you’re making decisions using the most up-to-date data, but according to Harvard Business Review (HBR), only 20% of e-commerce companies and retail advertisers conduct experiments at all. Both HBR and our panelists recommend building a culture of testing and collaboration to overcome organizational inertia and put marketing measurement at the forefront of everyone’s minds.

 

Manage Your Measurement the Right Way

These top three mistakes most marketers make with attribution and measurement are often the same they make with their marketing technology: selecting or passing on a new solution due to preconceived assumptions, getting stuck in analysis paralysis by all the available options or just going with what they have, setting it and forgetting it.

When it comes to your martech, Rockerbox is the leading measurement platform that provides the marketing infrastructure you need to centralize all of your campaigns and spend, with integrations to the tools most used by top DTC brands.

Want to learn more? Request a demo of Rockerbox today.

 

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