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How attribution can revolutionize publisher compensation

How attribution can revolutionize publisher compensation iMedia Editors

Brands and agencies are finally starting to realize that "last-click" metrics are largely misleading. Marketing attribution, on the other hand, can more accurately reflect the true contributions of each marketing touchpoint that assists in producing a conversion. Ideally, media buyers should be able to compensate the publishers from which they are buying inventory based on those same attributed metrics, effectively administering a more equitable pay-for-performance model. In this scenario, advertisers and publishers alike can learn what's working and what's not. On top of that, agencies, brands, and publishers are all informed and positioned to learn.

At Visual IQ's Spotlight presentation, "Marketing Attribution: Enabling a New Paradigm in Publisher Compensation" at the iMedia Agency Summit in Austin, Texas, Manu Mathew, co-founder and CEO of Visual IQ, and Woody Meachum, group director of digital strategy at OMD, presented a case study on how to leverage an innovative attribution model. Mathew and Meachum highlighted how they partnered to produce and analyze a set of attributed metrics resulting in increased performance, as well as happier publishers.

OMD's task was to boost a client's year-over-year media performance. Meachum explained that the biggest challenge they faced with this project was that, historically, 100 percent of conversion credit was given to last action or channel. "It's not fair to the industry," he explained. So he decided to try an innovative approach and, with the help of Visual IQ, implement a more efficient and effective model. In the end, partial credit was given for top and middle of funnel contributions, which had two key advantages: It incentivized publishers to deliver quality inventory, and it compensated publishers accordingly. Meachum calls it the "introducer, influencer, closer model."

According to Mathew, typically today we are looking at search in a silo, display in a silo, and so on, effectively thwarting true, big-picture analysis. Cross-channel attribution was key for this project, and all of the data lives in one place so that success is easily measured and the information is consumable. "I am my client's media partner, not just a display guy," Meachum added. "So every channel has to be measured." Meachum's team analyzed the attribution data on a daily basis so insights could be acted on quickly.

"It's not just a measurement issue," Mathew explained. "An attribution system tells us where to spend money."

An attribution system like this one shows where the value is coming from, and the user data from the publisher side tells marketers where to find the segments they want to communicate with and the segments that will listen. In other words, if advertisers know which publishers have influence, they'll know where to advertise. This allows them to test and learn on a dime. Meachum put it this way: "Attribution is not going to make you take a hard right turn, but it's going to make you learn to navigate better."

iMedia Communications, Inc. is a trade publisher and event producer serving interactive media and marketing industries. The company was founded in September of 2001 and is a subsidiary of Comexposium USA.  ...

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