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What Marketing Attribution Looks Like in a Cross-Channel World

by Paul Mandeville  |  
December 14, 2015
  |  2,024 views

Google recently started focusing on micro-moments of need during which brands have opportunities to provide value to their customers. Those include "show me how," "is it worth it?" and "I want to go" moments. After all,consumer events, queries, and movements are getting more subtle and fragmented.

So, what do those changes do to channel and behavior attribution? Neither first-click nor last-click models hold water as the relationships consumers have with their brands become spread across multiple touchpoints. How do marketers appropriately identify, score, and employ behavior breadcrumbs when ever-growing complex digital paths, intentions, channels, and devices fragment our view of the customer?

The answer lies in an approach that forces brands to intelligently harness their technical and creative teams to ensure campaigns deliver effective messages across the right channels.

The How

As data gets more fragmented, how it is managed and stored becomes increasingly important. For data to be complete and accurate, the database that holds it needs to be flexible enough to add ever-expanding behaviors, channels, and devices. Marketers who understand at a micro-moment level where important new behaviors take place will have a better chance of allocating accurate resources across the right mix of traditional and nascent channels.


At a minimum, the focus of creating a unified customer view should be driven by three critical practices:

  • Identify. To clearly identify your customers across channels, you need to be able to unify data from multiple sources in one house. Email, CRM, ERP, social media, and a website (to name a few) need to be synced while they retain a label indicating their original source. Doing so will give you a holistic view of your consumer and help you identify segment trends across channels.
  • Consolidate. Big Data by itself is meaningless. Though collecting everything is important, marketers must make meaning from the information they collect. The first step in making meaning is eliminating noise. Marketers need the ability to merge and then deduplicate data across channels, especially as new record types are added. For example, adding new list records to your database should always account for customer records already in existence.
  • Expand. Once data is comprehensive and clean, marketers need to use this system to see complex pictures of behavior. Data collection systems should continuously monitor and update customer activity across all channels, tying response rates and consumer behaviors to the consolidated database. Starting here allows marketers to build the must-have foundation for effective cross-channel marketing and sales.

The What

Once marketers have a unified customer view, they need to figure out what they are looking for. Marketing teams must view behavior across multiple channels to understand specifically what is influencing their customers.


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Paul Mandeville is chief product officer of QuickPivot, a cloud-based real-time cross-channel marketing platform powering lifecycle marketing programs.

LinkedIn: Paul Mandeville

Twitter: @paulmandeville

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