U-shaped marketing attribution for e-commerce


The so-called "un-shaped" marketing model emphasizes a shopper's first and last marketing interaction before a conversion. This model can help identify marketing tactics that close sales.

Think of marketing attributes as a process for analyzing a customer's journey or understanding how a company's marketing works together to generate sales.

Market attributes and the insights it provides identify what works and what fails. You can then develop new campaigns to improve your results and repeat until your business has a competitive advantage.

U-shaped model

The U-shaped attribution model is a common way of analyzing a long buyer with multiple touches. It can work well for e-commerce companies that sell relatively complex or unknown products. The model is useful when a shopper interacts with your online store several times before actually buying.

Imagine managing marketing for an e-commerce site that sells vinyl record and rock-n-roll memorabilia.

A buyer’s trip for your store’s products may have seven touch points. The trip could start with a shopper looking for information about the famous New York CBGB nightclub and its owner, Hilly Kristal, after seeing a movie about both on Amazon Prime.

This shopper first finds your store through an organic search., Which led to an article about your store about famous bands that were linked to the club.

Later, a separate organic search leads to another blog article on your site, and this time the customer subscribes to your newsletter. Overall, an email, a remarketing display ad, a couple of direct visits, and a timed pay-per-click ad lead to a sale.

The unformed marketing model is well suited for longer buyers' trips with multiple touch points.

The u-shaped marketing model is well suited for longer buyers' journeys with multiple touch points.

The customer pays $ 17,000 for the bass guitar played by Tina Weymouth of the Talking Heads on the CBGB in the 1970s.

Taken together, these seven touch points represent the shopper's journey from awareness to consideration of a (nice) purchase.

The u-shaped attribution model recognizes the different points of contact along the buyer's journey, but credits the first interaction and the last interaction as the most critical roles.

A typical U-shaped model would thus allocate 40 percent of sales to the first interaction and an additional 40 percent to the last. The remaining 20 percent would be split with the next and next last touch or alternatively evenly across all intermediate touch points.

A U-shaped attribution model usually provides 40 percent of the credit for the conversion to each of the first and last interactions. The remaining 20 percent is either distributed equally between the remaining touch points or, as in this graphic, divided between the next and the next-to-last interaction.

A U-shaped attribution model usually provides 40 percent of the credit for the conversion to each of the first and last interactions. The remaining 20 percent is either distributed equally between the remaining touch points or, as in this graphic, divided between the next and the next-to-last interaction.

In this example, the organic search that first made the buyer aware of your online store would be worth $ 6,800 (40 percent of a $ 17,000 sale). The pay-per-click ad that sparked the purchase would also be worth $ 6,800.

Exposer and Closer

Using the u-shaped model to analyze buyers' journeys, you saw which touch points lead to the most profitable conversions and which are most often shown at the beginning and end of the journey.

We can describe the first interaction in a buyer's journey (organic search, in our example) as the "exhibitor" because it introduces or exposes your company to a potential customer. Conversely, the last interaction (pay per click ad) is the "closer".

Therefore, the u-shaped model is different from, for example, the Google Analytics Source Medium tab, which only attributes conversions to the final hand.

The u-shaped marketing model can identify the exhibitor and more closely in a buyer's journey.

The u-shaped marketing model can identify the exhibitor and more closely in a buyer's journey.

Allocation lens

It is important that e-commerce marketers use more than one attribution model.

"The thing with attribute models is that they're a lens," said Jason Tatum, senior product manager at call Rail, a provider of market analysis platforms.

"They are a lens for (you can) understand what drives your business growth and conversion rate. … I don't think there's an attribution model to control everyone. I think it's lenses, and it's good to have another (models) that you shop in and out so you get a slightly different view of what is happening on your customer journey. "

The u-shaped model is a great way to get "an overview of the buyer's journey without getting too much (in) weeds," Tatum continued. "I think the u-shaped model is a good starting point."



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