Your Mother Can Buy Media Better Than You

Many of us remember quotes from our moms–simple sayings which may not have rung true then, but are timeless now.

Among them: “If all your friends jumped off a cliff…would you do it too?”

It’s obvious, but sometimes it takes a mother to show us that the well-worn path is not always the right path. And this is why your mother can actually buy media better than you.

Some Historical Perspective
See, here’s what she knew that can help online marketers right now.  The majority of tracking and measurement systems used today are antiquated legacy systems built 15+ years ago. They erroneously give all credit for a conversion to the very last ad in line. So if 10 ads were involved from the top of the conversion funnel to the bottom, the bottom one gets all credit. You’ve heard of line cutters (folks who cut in line), these are ‘funnel’ cutters—stealing all the credit by jumping in at the end.

Why do we still measure everything this way? Because that’s the way it was done, and we’re following everyone right off the media cliff.

We Are To Believe What?
Today, the majority of marketers have just one slot for which an ad is credited with success (display/search social media/affiliate, etc). Just one? Are we to believe that college-educated media buyers pouring many hours over optimization should accept there’s only one ad responsible for a conversion? Only one? Even though the advertiser may be investing in five channels…there’s only one ad responsible for a conversion? There are never two, three, or perhaps 17?

Are we to believe that even though the purchase funnel was created in 1898 by E. Lewis there’s no purchase funnel online…beginning with Awareness, Intent, Desire, and Action. None?

Committing Media Suicide
Of course, anyone who looked at this situation with some perspective (like your mom) would draw some parallels. Your mom knows it takes many dates before you get married in the real world–and in the online world, it takes many impressions and clicks to convert. Not just one.

What would your mom say? In a slightly surprised and slightly irritated tone, she’d say,

“What are you doing? Just because everyone else is doing it that way, why would you do that!!

If all your friends jumped off a cliff, would you do it, too?

Of course not; you’re smarter than that!”

Your mom is or was smarter than every marketer who’s not using an attribution model. And if your mom can see it, your client and your boss are going to see it very soon.

Now What?
What moms do is take a very complex problem and make it simple. Same thing with attribution. It involves billions of data points, but modern attribution makes it easy enough that even your mom could buy media better than you (if you continue doing what you’re doing now).

Here’s how. In a fractional attribution model, 100% of revenue, say from a Zappos transaction, is split and attributed among Originators, Assists, Converters plus what we call a Roster. This can be done so that all four pieces of the pie equal 100%, and each of these four has a very different pie percentage–by industry, and by client.

Each ad player deemed worthy of attribution credit is tied to purchase funnel chronology with machine learning.  The fractional revenue is apportioned to the ad players on the team, which become the numerator of a fraction–and the cost of the ad player becomes the denominator of the fraction. Divide them, and you have your new ROAS, which we call AVSR or ‘Attributed Value-To-Spend-Ratio’. A ratio of 2.0 means: for every $1 you spent on a certain ad you get $2 in attributed revenue back.

With this one number, attribution modeling takes complex, big data and simplifies it. You just gave birth to a new way of measurement: an accurate way of measurement.

And for now, by not jumping off the media cliff with everyone else, your mom can buy media better than most.

You’re smarter than that. Your mom knows it, too.