Why we need to lose our unhealthy obsession with clicks

Accurate attribution has long been a holy grail for marketeers. But are we getting it wrong? Find out why it’s time to lose our obsession with clicks.

Understanding the value of marketing spend and the impact of allocating it to activity to generate a positive return on investment (ROI) is key for any successful business looking to raise awareness, acquire customers and grow customer lifetime value through retention. For every business to survive they need to earn more than they spend.

In every customer engagement lifecycle, there is brand introduction, product (or service) introduction, product (or service) consideration, product (or service) investigation, product (or service) decision, and then product (or service) re-engagement and loyalty.

Not every marketing investment bears immediate results nor ‘the final’ result (conversion), and with a vast array of places available to spend money, a marketeer wants to ensure that they can maximise their returns with the spend that they have available, ensuring that their campaigns are finding the right customers to bring the cost benefit into the positive across their marketing mix.

Attribution systems look to help marketeers make informed decisions about the channels that might be working for their business across every single part of these different customer engagements.

But which system should be we measuring?

Why we have an unhealthy obsession with clicks

There are many attribution systems, and probably one of the most prolifically used globally is Google Analytics. The basic version is, perhaps unsurprisingly given its adoption, free. And for that price it is a pretty good analytics solution.

However, Google Analytics, like many attribution systems, is only focused towards clicks, and only looks at last click attribution and assisted click attribution only. This is not going to give you a full picture of brand engagements, when many engagements might not result in complete direct action, such as a click, immediately.

The obsession with clicks has meant that display and its benefits are not fully represented in Google Analytics reports. So the opportunity here is, in many cases, misunderstood.

More recently with the launch of GA360, Alphabet is looking at ways to give a fuller picture. But with a price tag not shy of $100K plus per year for a licence fee, this is out of the reach of many businesses.

Alphabet chose to keep Google Analytics this way for the simple reason that Organic Search and Paid Search are two channels where they dominate, and the two channels which are used most prolifically during the final stages of a purchase decision.

To find out why our obsession with clicks means too many brands are measuring attribution incorrectly, and the four things you need to measure in attribution, download our free white paper.