I have to admit, that while the thoughts in this white paper: The Step By Step Guide to Building Your Custom Attribution Model, make lots of sense, it is easier to say “do this” than to actually implement the strategy. And that is the paradox: Because the ideas here are common-sense simple and rational, and we really should make them a priority in our marketing, especially if we are using online channels and paying any fees at all for advertising.
The concept: It is important to attribute our marketing initiatives to specific client (and potential client) interactions, as they move through the inquiry/sales/customer cycle. And with online tools such as URL tags, we can indeed follow things much more closely than the old black-hole days of marketing. Someone clicks on a website link for a white paper, then searches elsewhere, perhaps on another site you control, before inquiring or even purchasing something. Now you can see this person’s path.
Better, as things progress, you may gather more data about the individual, including perhaps age, location, interests, and the like. (You certainly will be able to access this personal information once the client starts doing business with you.) With your knowledge of the source of multiple clients, ultimately you’ll build a picture of where your business is actually originating.
Then you take things a step further and start testing variables, one by one. The goal, of course, is to match the best long-term client attraction and retention with the most reliable and least expensive marketing investments.
Then why don’t we do this?
Part of the issue, of course, for most AEC businesses relates to volume. We’re selling fewer numbers of individual products/services at significantly higher price points. Decision-making except in emergency situations can be long and convoluted. The processes suitable for a fast-moving online business (such as at the highest level, organizations such as Google or Facebook) don’t really work so well when we are building schools or hospitals. (They may have more application in mass market higher volume residential construction initiatives, of course.)
Frankly, it takes time, some budget, and plenty of discipline to build the attribution models described in this white paper. And I doubt few of us have the courage and patience to put them into effect sufficiently to achieve value for the effort. That’s unfortunate, because I think we are missing some really valuable marketing capacity by our failures here.