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Mark Kuhillow is Founder of R.O.EYE, a Digital Performance and Insight Agency who are specialists in helping clients deliver successful digital marketing strategies. We asked Mark for his opinion on digital marketing in 2018, in particular, user journey tracking and how it is impacting his clients' marketing decisions. 

2017 has been a year when advertisers have started to take control of their own marketing channels and are realising that they need to start thinking about how they influence each other.

In the ‘old world’, budgets and ROI would be assigned to each channel with their value being reported on a channel specific, last-click basis. This data kept the accountants happy and marketers were judged on channel efficiency. Winner. Or was it? We all know that very few journeys involve single channel interactions and even fewer involve single touchpoint transactions (even for our most commoditised advertisers, 68% of sales are driven through a single channel with only 27% being from a single click). If any client were to add up the sales quoted by their respective paid and organic marketing partners, I’d bet my kids Christmas presents that they always add up to more than the net sales quoted by Google analytics (is yours around >20% by any chance?).

Advertisers and candidates must now start to think about a digital evaluation model which involves a multitude of channels and touchpoints which can be managed individually but evaluated collectively. This involves having ‘one cookie to rule them all’.

A number of companies are starting to assist advertisers with this challenge and are bringing a range of tools to market. At an easy access level, Google are rolling out (free and chargeable) products which enable advertisers to move away from a last-click attribution model. However, as always, true insight is borne out deep analysis and commercial interpretation.  

So what do advertisers need to start thinking about?

  • Evaluating channels individually will create artificially depressed efficiency models. i.e. advertisers will struggle to spend ROI linked budgets.
  • Using a single, impartial tool to track and evaluate ROI contribution by channel will become the only way to evaluate todays marketing channels.
  • Differentiate between channel planning and activation. Strategic insight as to which channels are recruiting new customers and which are either assisting or re-activating existing ones is essential in channel selection and budgetary allocation.
  • Embrace post-view attribution models in the same manner as last-click has been adopted. As long as all activity is 100% trackable and value can be attributed, the accountants will be happy.
  • Understand the roles played by each channel in the entire research, consideration and purchase process. Why are new customers attracted to the brand, where are they located, why are they in-market and most likely to respond?
  • Digital marketing has given more audience and response data than ever before. As opposed to making decision based on hypothetical judgement and ‘gut feel’, use the data at your disposal to drive knowledge-based decisions.

Seeing this trend on the horizon, R.O.EYE heavily invested in our own technology and skills over 2 years ago. This enabled us to advise clients who use agencies or buy media in-house on what we know is happening through their digital channels as opposed to what they think is occurring. Massive difference. My message to advertisers and candidates as we begin 2018 is to ditch the silo’s, embrace on-site SingleView user data and start to understand the roles your channels play in your conversions processes because they won’t be acting in isolation of each other. 

R.O.EYE recently undertook a research project for retail client who wanted to understand how long their ‘sale’ consideration cycle lasted for so they could deploy their media campaigns accordingly, Received / perceived wisdom within the business has suggested that the buying process lasted three weeks. Through implementation of SingleView and interpretation of the data by our Insight team, we were able to prove that the majority of online purchases were completed in less than 48 hours. Furthermore, we were able to understand the effect that digital advertising was having on footfall and online-to-offline-to-online. The end result – after implementing our recommendations the client exceeded their sales targets by 2% with a reduced budget of 4.5%. 

Thank's Mark for your insight and we wish you and R.O.EYE another successful year in 2018! 

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