Attribution vs. Contribution

By Marketing, Media, Search, Social, Technology, Thought Leadership

The Impact of Platform Over-Attribution on Marketing

Attribution vs. contribution is a significant issue that isn’t confined to just one industry. The epidemic of platform over-attribution affects multiple categories, creating a widespread problem for marketers. Without a single-source of truth to assess campaign success and results the marketer must decide how much they choose to “believe” the conversion reporting coming from the ad platforms.

For mobile performance marketers, especially app developers, the big three—Apple, Google, and Meta—operate with nontransparent systems. These platforms reach billions and often claim credit for conversions linked to ads that were barely seen, sometimes stretching back weeks. Even developers with declining sales might find platform reports boasting of increasing success, a situation highlighted by two frustrated mobile game developers.

Grocery brands face even harsher realities. The rise of retailer-owned media networks, which function like walled gardens, has led to a scramble for attribution. Retail networks are eager to take credit for every sale, often leading to marketing data that seems completely detached from actual business performance.

Google, Meta, Amazon, Walmart, Target, Kroger, and numerous smaller retail networks are frequently self-attributing conversions without a logical connection to a brand’s seasonal or monthly business trends. For instance, a brand might consistently see a sales dip in April or a spike just before Valentine’s Day. Ideally, ad platform attribution should reflect these patterns. However, reports often show rising ROAS (Return on Ad Spend) as platforms either enhance their targeting or claim full credit for sales they only minimally influenced.

This misalignment directly impacts a brand’s profit margins. Brands end up paying more for sales attributed to ad campaigns compared to organic conversions. The discrepancy between actual sales data and platform attribution can distort marketing strategies and budgets, leading to inefficiencies and increased costs.

In summary, the over-attribution by ad platforms creates a significant challenge for both mobile app developers and grocery brands, emphasizing the need for more transparency and accuracy in reporting and attribution models.

Becoming Social

By Social

Airline carriers created social media accounts and began advertising to and interacting with their customers consistently by carefully crafting their message and brand

As customers Tweeted about their experiences, airline carriers began to respond publicly and directly to customers to better understand travelers needs and concerns. This direct communication between the airline and traveler led to the feeling of being heard and respected by those able to create and implement change. Publicly airing grievances and celebrating triumphs allows an airline to appear transparent and engaged with the purpose of travel for their clients. This instant snapshot of the customer’s experience is broadcast via social media to potential customers traditional marketing may not reach. Expertise in social media marketing is needed to maintain a healthy balance of sharing great experiences and the acknowledgment of experiences that were less than optimal. Forward Media has the expertise as professional social and digital marketers to strike and maintain that critical balance.

Why Does It Work?

By Social

The average person with an internet connection will spend more than 2 hours on social and messaging platforms daily, according to Digital Information World

Hours spent consuming digital media are spread throughout the day. The segmentation of time spent using social media allows for multiple opportunities to market to consumers directly. Full funnel digital marketing incorporates ads, clicks, likes, and emails to optimize marketing for individuals. Full funnel marketing provides the opportunity to create campaigns that nurture customers from the initial contact with the airline to the point of purchase and further reinforce their purchase with follow up communications. These points of contact beyond purchase build brand loyalty for airline carriers. The balance of a successful full funnel strategy is difficult to maintain without expertise. Forward Media has the media buying, analytics, and content management expertise to craft the perfectly balanced full funnel marketing strategy for your airline.

Connecting Trust And Travel

By Social

As the popularity of digital marketing grows, consumers utilize social media for more than cute cat videos

A recent Pew Research study found, more than forty percent of Social media users, rely on social media as their primary source of news. These social media users find social media content to be trustworthy and reliable. An unshakeable level of trust and the more than 80 times a day people touch their phones, translates to dollars and cents.

Each time a consumer connects with social media, there is an opportunity to share what makes an airline carrier different and more valuable than the next. Social media consumers look to craft an image. They carefully curate photographs and content to project the idea of a lifestyle. A professional digital marketing firm such as Foward Media will customize a targeted plan to attract the correct audience and customer to fit the airline’s brand. Potential customers will determine if they are the right customer for the airline and book directly with the airline avoiding the middle man.

Using Social Media to Engage Large Audiences, Build Relationships, and Retain Customers

By Social

Social media has also become an important channel for many firms as well

While social media is often seen as a channel that doesn’t work for B2B companies, it can still be an effective channel if you target the right audience and your marketing campaigns are executed properly. It’s also important to make sure that the right social media platforms are being used.

For example, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter works better for B2B companies than Instagram and Pinterst. Legal firms can use Facebook to appeal to personal injury clients while using LinkedIn to try to reach their professional clientele. Consulting firms can share valuable content on Twitter and LinkedIn in order to attract businesses that can use their services.

The whole point of social media is to reach audiences with your content. And by continuing to deliver great content, you will to build engaged followers and strong relationships. It also serves as an additional channel you can use (other than email) to engage existing clients so that they come back for repeat business.

Another important thing you shouldn’t overlook with social media is the opportunity to network with other businesses. LinkedIn is a great platform to start a conversation with related firms, companies, and working professionals that can help further your business goals.

Expanding Reach with Social Ads and Display Advertising

By Social

Professional services firms are also investing into social ad campaigns to increase their reach and target their best prospects

Every major social media company has an advertising platform from Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, to Pinterest. The best part about advertising on these platforms is the fact that they offer very advanced targeting options to target the most qualified prospects.

This allows firms to create ad campaigns that generate high quality leads for a relatively low ad spend. These ad campaigns are far more cost effective than traditional media channels like direct mail, radio, newspapers, and TV. In addition, you also get in-depth analytics on the performance of your ads. This allows you to easily optimize them and get an even better return on your ad spend.

Some firms expand their campaigns to programmatic advertising platforms and various display advertising channels. One example is the native ad platform called Yahoo Gemini. It allows advertisers to run small ads on publishing sites that land on the advertiser’s advertorials. Another good platform is Media.net, which allows you to run display ads, mobile ads, and targeted local ads.

These ad platforms serve ads similarly to the classic direct response newspaper classified ads format. However, you get improved audience targeting options, better control over your budget, and the ability to reach a mass audience.

A New Level of Connection with YouTube

By Social

YouTube is the second most trafficked site in the world

It makes perfect sense to start publishing content on the platform, especially when so many people go on the video site to look for videos related to their interests and problems. YouTube gives firms the ability to connect with their audience on a whole new level. They can communicate as they would in a normal face to face interaction.

And because YouTube is also a social media platform, users can leave comments, share your videos, and talk to you in real time via the live streaming feature. This means that firms can conduct webinars, run Q&A sessions, or do a one on one consultation. Having a real person behind the firm also helps increase trust and credibility. It leaves a lasting personal impression to prospects that are searching for services.

YouTube also has an advertising platform as well. Many B2B companies are doing quite well with YouTube video advertising. They’re using it to grow their YouTube channels as well as acquire high quality leads.