Today, Google announced it is expanding the attribution modeling capabilities offered in Google Analytics Premium, the paid, enterprise-level version of the ubiquitous web analytics platform.
The new feature, named Data-Driven Attribution, is designed to help marketers move beyond last click attribution to better account for and optimize their media spend across all channels. Unlike the current features available in Google Analytics — Multi-Channel Funnels and the Attribution Comparison Tool — Data-Driven Attribution allows marketers to analyze the incremental contribution of each touch point, not just those that lead to a conversion, to getter a clearer view of the customer journey and the ROI of each marketing channel.
“Being able to understand the customer path to conversion to drive results has been historically very difficult,” said Google product manager for attribution, Bill Kee, by phone. “This is an algorithmic solution to attribution.”
How It Works
The modeling is derived from the existing data set of visitor paths and automatically assigns credit across marketing channels. Rather than looking at just the paths of converting visitors, the model looks at all visitor paths to help marketers analyze the ROI of each marketing exposure.
Kee explains that the algorithmic approach takes the conversion rate for all users coming through a certain path and then compares that to a similar set that does not include exposure to a particular touch point. For example, you might look at users who followed a path of display > search > social > direct and compare that to the set of users who came via display > search > direct to understand the impact of social on conversion rates in the customer journey. How did having social in the mix increase the likelihood of conversion?
Data-Driven Attribution provides an “evidence basis that’s dramatically better than last click, which isn’t always predictive of conversion outcomes,” says Kee.
Google is also touting the transparency of the methodology. Using the Model Explorer marketers can dig in and get a detailed view of the model itself — how it is assigning attribution credits at any given point in the in a visitor path.
In addition to integrating with other Google properties like AdWords and YouTube, the new attribution tools works with data from other sources pulled in with Universal Analtyics.
Existing customers won’t need to make any changes before using the new attribution feature, but can customize channel classifications using their own taxonomy, shrink the look-back window and add-in offline data if they aren’t already doing so. Google offers tailoring support to all Google Premium Analytics customers.
Data-Driven Attribution is available generally as of today. Kee explains that this roll-out is a “big part of the Premium strategy” as Google moves more heavily into the paid analytics space, taking on competitors like Omniture, Adobe and IBM. “We are doubling down to be able to serve enterprise-level businesses.” Launched 18 months ago, Kee says the customer base for Google Analytics Premium is now in the 100s.