Looking for Growth in All the Wrong Places
A big part of the problem is tracking the success or failure of digital marketing campaigns. The dirty secret of internet advertising is that it’s the most measurable of mediums, yet it often measures the wrong things. The flaw is last-click attribution. Online retailers often give 100 percent of a sale's credit to the last-clicked or last-viewed ad. Fixing attribution is important beyond media choices. Once fixed, attribution has real impact on marketers’ bottom lines.
My company's very first NYSE traded e-commerce client had revenue growth of low single digits. In the first year after switching from measuring online advertising by last click to measuring with attribution, sales grew from low single digits to 25 percent growth (with ad spend decreasing). The second year, online ad spend grew 12 percent and revenue grew 75 percent. Now that's growth. All our client did was pull its head out of the last decade and start recognizing huge growth by measuring online advertising with attribution models.
Once you know which media campaigns, keywords and sources are performing by bringing consumers into the funnel and driving them through it to the point of purchase, it’s easy to see where to allocate ad spend to maximize return on investment. It then becomes less of a risk to experiment with new solutions such as video and social because you can easily attribute the value they bring to your overall campaign and allocate budget appropriately.
Growth in e-commerce is out there and there's no reason for e-tailers to be misled to believe that big growth only lies abroad. The solution is right in your backyard; you just need to look and measure your efforts.