Group of marketers around table

To put it simply, attributed reporting allows you to determine which marketing channels have been effective in driving sales. It allocates proportional credit to each marketing touchpoint in a user’s journey to purchase. In this way, it allows marketers to understand which touchpoints are most effective and so prioritise their spend accordingly.

While attributed reporting does this, the value does not end there. In reality, it provides insight that is much more nuanced and valuable. Only by asking the right questions is it possible to get the most out of attributed performance data.

Taking our latest report – 5 Unexpected Ways Attribution Can Boost The Bottom Line, produced in conjunction with The Drum – as inspiration, we’ve uncovered five questions that you can ask to help you get the most out of your attributed data.

1. How are my digital marketing efforts impacting offline sales?

Marketers trust that their online activity has a positive impact on their offline sales. Once you have combined the channels and have an accurate picture of the complete user journey, attributed reporting provides a way of clearly understanding the extent of that impact.

For example, say you’re a retailer with both online and offline stores. You want to establish whether your site visitors are browsing your website before completing their purchase in-store. British retailer Carpetright asked this exact question, and used user journey analysis and attributed reporting to help answer it.

The website’s online store locator was made a central part of this customer experience, allowing the capture of user postcodes. Armed with this information, Carpetright was able to match up the captured postcodes with dispatch delivery addresses of customers who bought in-store.

Using user journey analysis and attributed reporting, the retailer was then able to see the whole user journey – online and offline – and determine those online marketing efforts that had played a role in generating offline sales.

And so, a clear connection between website visits and in-store sales was able to be made.

Want to learn more about how attributed reporting helps retailers understand the online-to-offline journey? Check out our Virgin Holidays O2O Attribution case study, which details a project that allowed the joining of over 200,000 universal user journeys.

2. How effective are my prospecting campaigns?

If one of your business objectives is to increase the size of your new customer base, you need an attribution process that is able to determine between purchase journeys made by new and existing customers.

This segmentation of new and existing customers enables you to analyse the activity that is most effective at driving new customers. Through mapping the journeys that prospects take on digital platforms, and attributing value between the various touchpoints accordingly, you are able to see which activities are encouraging new visitors to engage with your brand. In turn, you can then increase spend in those areas.

3. Which channels are most effective for selling particular products?

If you are a retailer, there may be times when you need to sell more of one product than another – perhaps it’s particularly profitable, or you have excess stock that you need to offload.

At times like these, you need to know which of your marketing channels are most effective at generating sales for that particular product or product category. Again, effective attributed reporting will allow you to answer this question. By drilling down into the user journeys that are most commonly associated with the products in question, you can determine the most effective mix of marketing channels and use them accordingly.

British shoe retailer Cloggs wanted to understand which combination of marketing channels was delivering the greatest value to their business in order to better optimise their campaigns and maximise ROI. By incorporating stock cost data, their attributed reporting allowed them to analyse which marketing channels were contributing to the most orders of products with the highest profit margins.

Decisions made as a result of this analysis led to an 11% reduction in marketing spend while revenue continued to grow. Read our case study to find out more.

4. Am I delivering the right messages to the right customers?

Another area attributed reporting can add value on top of customer segmentation is to help determine the effectiveness of different types of messaging on different types of customers.

Segmenting customers in relation to their life-time value – for example, new visitors, one-time purchasers, and frequent purchasers – allows you to test the effectiveness of messaging on each of these types of customer. Understanding the value of each touchpoint in the user journey through attributed reporting provides the insight into the effectiveness of the messaging, which you can then use to optimise it further.

5. How do I know whether it’s worth chasing someone who’s abandoned their basket?

In some cases, it can be extremely effective to target potential customers who have abandoned their baskets at the last moment. In other instances, it might be a wasted effort.

Distinguishing between the behaviour of those users who have a strong intention to purchase and those who may not, based on user journey analysis, allows the creation of sophisticated (rather than one-size-fits-all) retargeting campaigns. Those with a strong intention to purchase are ripe for retargeting campaigns to entice them back to the sites to complete their purchase.

For example, you might choose to keep track of customers who clock up a certain number of views of a particular product but don’t go on to purchase. You hypothesise that these users do have a strong intention to purchase and therefore retarget them with ads for that product. Using attributed reporting, you can see how many purchases that campaign played a role in, judge its effectiveness, and optimise.

Download our report: 5 Unexpected Ways Attribution Can Boost The Bottom Line

This post has explored some of the top-line ways attributed reporting can help you gain insight into the many nuances of your customers’ behaviours, with the aim of focusing your efforts on the channels that matter most. It’s also highlighted the importance of asking the right questions and having a clear idea of what the problem is you want attributed reporting to help solve.

Our report – 5 Unexpected Ways Attribution Can Boost The Bottom Line – explores these themes in more detail.

Download it now for more information and real case studies from the likes of Virgin Holidays, The Body Shop and more.