My previous post focused on the changing attribution model that online marketers are currently grappling with and the impact on the affiliate channel in particular. This provoked some interesting debate amongst affiliate marketers and analytics software providers on the subject of attribution modelling.

I wanted to expand upon this model by debating the perceived importance of impression statistics and how these should potentially be weighted within an attribution model.

When online marketers are asked how they evaluate the success of display advertising, a number generic of responses are generally received:

‘It’s about branding’
In other words, we are not evaluating any hard metrics against the success of this campaign. It can be judged on share of voice and the affect on consumer opinion.

‘The Halo Effect’
We understand that when we are conducting display advertising our direct marketing metrics are more efficient. For example, paid search cost per acquisition figures become lower.

‘It’s about reach’
With the right analytics, it is possible to capture a lot of information about customers and their interactions with your advertising and website.

Evaluating a simplistic customer journey:

Day 1: Google Paid Search         

Day 2: Banner View                     

Day 3: Price Comparison Click  

Day 4: Purchase

An attribution model would allocate the value of the sale to the different online media deemed to contribute to the purchase. Looking at the simple journey above, it could be fair to assume that each interaction should be rewarded equally for their role.

The big question is whether or not a banner view  can be considered to be an interaction. Thanks to banner blindness, the tendency for a user to ignore display advertising on a page, is it fair to reward a banner?

As with all attribution models, there is no one-size-fits-all for an activity. As the number of pre-purchase consumer interactions increases however, it is vital that advertisers have a broad understanding of the power different media and the relationship between them in order to harness the full power of their online marketing investment.