Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Online Attribution

Just what does drive online sales?

There has been a lot of recent posting on online vs. offline attribution, but even online attribution across channels is getting interesting. Imagine a scenario where an online agency works with a company to market their product online through email, banners, search, and affiliate networks and is paid based on performance, e.g., a tiered commission structure by medium.

How does one attribute one order where the buyer has researched several sites, is on both house and prospect email lists, and been routed to a shopping cart via an affiliate network?

To help sort out the data and analytics side, each event should be keyed by owner, source, medium and offer -- not just the traditional client, campaign, placement info. Second, the event data should be massaged to include 'Number of Events', 'First Event/Date' and 'Last Event/Date' for each unique visitor. This will help with business rules based on primacy or recency. On the other side of the equation, sales transaction data should be appended with 'Media Source' and 'Number of Events' in order to help understand what level of activity is required to generate orders.

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