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How Virgin Atlantic Improved Sales Attribution and Saved Six Figures in Two Months

by Kimberly Smith  |  
August 31, 2011

In this article, you'll learn...

  • How one company realized a 40-to-1 return on investment in two months
  • How an improved attribution model can save you big bucks

Company: Virgin Atlantic
Contact: Allison Wightman, head of e-business
Location: Crawley, West Sussex, United Kingdom
Industry: Airline
B2B/B2C: B2C
Annual revenue: $3,191,860,000
Number of employees: 8,993

Quick Read

It's a problem that has plagued the online marketing world for years: A website visitor, arriving via a Google search or other online reference, takes a gander at your site but isn't quite ready to buy, so he leaves. That same visitor may pop in a few more times to price-check, window-shop, or gather a bit more information. But a timely coupon promotion advertised by one of your partners is what ultimately drives him to your site on the day he enters his credit card information and purchases your product.

Should the partner who offered the coupon be solely credited for the sale? What about your SEO team who helped push your listing to the top of the search results, or the affiliate whose email campaign may have triggered a search for the coupon in the first place?

For Virgin Atlantic Airways, the issue led to not only inaccurate reporting but also vast overpayment of commissions because multiple partners and affiliates claimed credit for the sale. Something had to be done.

The solution came in the form of a universal container tag from TagMan, which clarified the conversion path and enabled the company to accurately attribute sales. The result? 40-to-1 ROI.

"By being able to truly de-dupe all marketing channels for the first time, we have been able to more than cover the cost of having the solution in place," said Allison Wightman, head of e-business at Virgin Atlantic Airways.


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Kimberly Smith is a staff writer for MarketingProfs. Reach her via

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