Understanding the Wild World of Paid Advertising Attribution

Understanding the Wild World of Paid Advertising Attribution

On the 63rd episode of Marketing Interruption, Andrew Maff talks about how attribution modeling has become more and more difficult as more paid advertising channels become available and what to do about it.


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Hello, welcome to episode number 63 of the marketing interruption podcast. I'm your host, Andrew Maff tone Today, we're gonna dive into the crazy, crazy, wild, wild fun world of paid advertising attribution. And if there's anything that makes you want to pull your hair out more, it's attribution. And it's because digital marketing has made business owners and all types of entrepreneurs really assume that marketing should be extremely trackable, right, like everything should have a metric, everything should be tied to a sale. You know, if you're doing this, then I should be seeing this and blah, blah, and it's all bullshit. It's not true. 2020 probably 2030 years ago, give or take when people would invest in in billboards. All they knew was that X amount of people were driving by your billboard on any given day. And that means you're getting X amount of eyes. And if you saw an increase in sales, you could go hope that billboard was worth it, because it sounds like it was. That's really all you get really don't have any more information that you think like great, you know, a couple hundred thousand people drive by my billboard, and sales went up x, I spent X was it worth it? Fantastic. Now, though, because it's like, Hey, you know, when someone clicked something, you know, when someone went to your site, you know, when someone purchased it, you know how much they spent? It's very much a I spent $1, how much did I get back for that dollar as opposed to I spent five grand, my sales went up 20 grand seems like that helped. That is my mentality of looking at stuff. I really like to do this concept of you average X amount over a month, let's say you average, I don't know, $500,000 a month. And we spend $10,000 more in paid advertising. And you all of a sudden do $550,000 that month. I don't care what Google says or what Facebook says, obviously, we're going to use that data. But I'm not an idiot. But there, I'm going to look at the end number and go, you spent 10 and you made 50 is what I say. And so you find extra return. And then you look at Yeah, but we're spending so much money on Google ads, and really not that much on Facebook ads. But Facebook ads are I'm sorry, we're spending so much money on Facebook ads, and not that much on Google ads. But Google ads are doing so well. And Facebook ads aren't doing well at all. They're not converting well. And then you have to go through this attribution issue. So now you're talking about someone has seen my ad on Facebook, didn't click on it was interested. And then maybe later, Google geo, clicked on your ad. waited a little while left. Then saw your retargeting on Twitter, you clicked and then you did purchase Well guess what? Facebook unless you're within the attribution window isn't going to get credit for that. So it depends on how long it takes. Google's going to get partial credit for that you did click on it depending on how you have your attribution set up there then of course that's only going to get partial credit and Twitter which didn't do shit you just happen to do retargeting there is going to get most of the credit and you're going to go fuck yeah jack up my my Twitter ads, that's not how that works. attribution is a pain in the ass. So there's a few pieces of software out there that kind of help where you plug in everything and it starts to talk to each other. 



You can also use the tracking templates, URL templates and adding different UTM codes to the back of your ads your the URL in your ads that will actually track this kind of stuff, but you still have to have them all come into one place. So HubSpot is one that we use. We're obviously HubSpot partner so I'm in there all the time and there is ways to tracks it but it's still just not it's just not perfect and there's still some times where you just can't figure out like how it happened and you know sometimes we'll work with with some sellers really want to know like Well yeah, but we spent X on Facebook what Facebook make me and then I spent why on Google what Google make me know yet but do you know how many times that I've increased Google spend and Reduced Facebook ad spend. And the end of the day the revenue actually came down. Because we lowered our branding. So people were leaving Facebook and googling us. And you know, there's a lot of different ways that someone can go. It's a very fluid process. I mean, look at you have 500 devices. Now sometimes people get an ad on their watch, look it up on their phone and go, Wow, that's interesting, and then go purchase it later on their desktop. Like there's so many ways that someone could come about it. And yes, there's certain numbers, you have to know your numbers, you have to look at your metrics, you have to look at platform by platform, how well did Facebook do according to Facebook? How well did Google do according to Google, and etc. But you have to take it with a grain of salt, you have to look at Okay, Facebook is getting me x return, Google's getting me y return. But I like the numbers that I'm seeing across the board. So these two platforms combined, I like my return, I'm going to increase my spend this week by 10%. And I'm going to do both of them. 10%, let's just jack up all ad spend by 10%. You want to you have to make your decision based on the numbers. But you also have to go with your gut. And just understand that there's different ways to look at this. And of course, there's the attribution thing of where you can do it in something like like a HubSpot, or even Facebook has their own attribution thing that you can use as well for certain platforms, where you can do a first click or last click or a weighted click or however you want to view or however you want to do that, where some of these have a seven day view through or a one day click or one day view through and you know, you got to adjust all that kind of stuff. But at the end of the day, how much did you make? How much did you spend? That's what you really need to know who gives a shit how you got there, what matters is you got there. So if you actually are focused so wholly on one platform, you're not going to realize the fact that the other platforms are actually helping it. Digital Marketing is fantastic because you can track everything. Digital Marketing is shit because you can track everything. There's so many ways that you have to just kind of finagle it and you have to be able to look at everything as a whole look at everything holistically, we just created or we've had one for a long time, but I just cleaned it up because it was pissing me off the way I was reading it. But we just created this massive spreadsheet, where you basically plug in, like, I would say, I did the math on it too. It's like 100 or some odd metrics manually, you have to manually plug them in once a week, I VA do it. Tough shit. That's how I like to do it. It then fills out. I didn't count this one, I'm gonna guess like three or 4000 other metrics. Were there week over week comparisons, and percentages of adspend versus other stuff in there's 500 metrics, and you can get really overwhelmed and it can scare the crap out he looking at it. But it can paint a picture that you want to see. And it can also paint a picture that you don't want to see the numbers are going to show you what you want them to show you. So you have to be able to look at everything holistically and then go Go with your gut. because not everything is that simple to read. I will also say look into the HubSpot attribution dashboard, look into Facebook's attribution dashboard and connect that it's still not a perfect way. But it can definitely tell you a lot and it can keep you in the right direction without you panicking and spending so much money on one platform and not another and not realizing that they're helping each other. Again, I apologize because I kind of went on a rant today and got a little cranky about his attribution pisses me off. But rate review subscribe, shoot me an email marketing interruption@bluetuskr.com if you have any questions, or if you want that spreadsheet, I'll send it to a Google Sheet so I can just share it with you and then you can duplicate it. But as per usual, I will see you all tomorrow.

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