Media Attribution Technology | Customer Journey

Attribution is a common headache for every marketer and advertiser. We are always trying to understand how valuable our chosen media is and how it is affected by the media channels we use in each ad campaign.

Our team at Next Level has developed an attribution tool that allows you to showcase the different steps a customer takes on their journey to conversion.

There are different forms of attribution modelling, our technology showcases the  series of touch points a customer takes before making a conversion. It shows how many steps a customer takes in their journey, as well as showcasing the average order value.

Our proprietary Customer Journey tool solves two core business challenges.

  1. How do you justify and evaluate the value of digital advertising channels?

At NLOM we know how important it is to understand the value of the channel you are using to advertise on. Our customer journey tool separates each advertising channel and shows how effective each was in contributing to your customers conversion journey.

Our Customer Journey tool also allows you to understand the role of each individual channel by analysing it’s performance metrics such as dollar value and time-frame for each conversion journey type, as well as  the order and sequence of the customer conversion path. 

  1. How can you track performance across multiple brands?

By defining our data and combining it into an optimal marketing mix it will allow our brands to drive holistic success.

The Below diagram is an example of a Group that is able to see the overlap and correlation between different brands

How Customer Journey Works

We set up our Customer Journey software as a custom data warehouse that tracks data on how customers engage with our client’s ads and websites. Each customer is mapped to unique identifiers, using a mix of cookie & device ids. This essentially gives us visibility over the customer and their journey; we can see what touchpoints there are, how many there are and the length of time between them.

To be able to track each of the different touch points throughout the journey we tag our ads with impression & click trackers. From this tagging we are able to track the touchpoints when a customer interacts with the ads (both impressions and clicks where possible). 

From the ability to track unique identifiers, cross referencing cookies and device ID / IP addresses, which allows us to anonymously identify new and returning users. We regularly touch base on the Customer Journey tools on each brand and we then evaluate the top conversion journeys in relation to volume but also analyse the top journeys as drivers of revenue.

This would be a typical conversion journey a customer might take

What It Does

Customer Journey is an attribution tool that can anonymously identify unique users on site and cross reference their behaviour when interacting with paid media. This understanding of the touchpoints a customer has gone through even before they have gotten to site allows a much deeper understanding. Knowing the type of customer they are helps us as marketers better cater to their journey, helping the brands to become much more efficient at reaching their revenue and Lead Gen goals. 

The Diagram is a visual representation of the different Customer Paths

So why understand your Customer Journey?

At Next Level Online Marketing we are all about data. We use multiple platforms and programs to ensure that our advertisements are reaching the best audiences and are ultimately influencing conversions. Our customer journey software allows us to show the story behind a customer’s conversion. We can see when someone first saw your advertisement and how many hours or days it took for them to return to make a conversion. Our tool works especially well as it tracks impressions on banners, an option many attribution tools struggle with. With our technology you can understand the full customer journey your consumers take before converting. 

The next step after understanding your customer journey is learning how to optimise it. Please feel free to contact us for more information on how to optimise your digital marketing and advertising strategies.

At A Glance

At Next Level we are proud of the amazing work we get to do with our clients. We are always keen to showcase our collaborations. We have a strong understanding of the cookware and home appliance space. We work closely with Meyer Brands; Circulon, Anolon, Essteele and Raco and the retailer Cookware Brands to develop and build out our unique multi brand strategy. 

This strategy explains how we grew Meyer’s online revenue by 22.8% and increased the 4 brands ROAS by 30.3%. 

About Our Client

Meyer Cookware is a group that has four sub-brands; Anolon, Circulon, Essteele & Raco and one online retailer; Cookware Brands. They target different types of customers, with prices and features tailored for their target audience. As their digital marketing agency it is our objective to market their products online and develop a better understanding of the customer journey process.

Media Execution

To achieve their business objectives, we used our specialised data services. We mainly used our Customer Journey attribution tool and our DMP (Lotame) service to provide data and insights to direct how we should be marketing online.

Our reports showed that there were opportunities to invest in upper funnel channels especially display, social media and catch-up TV. We created a year-long seasonal marketing plan analysing data on cross-brand interactivity, we were able to set up a complex chain of retargeting campaigns that would cross-sell and upsell different brands to high-value customer segments. 

 

The reports from the data and results painted a clear picture of underinvestment in upper funnel channels, especially display, social media and catch-up TV. So we created a year-long seasonal marketing plan, with peaks in top of funnel advertising at key times of the year (such as before major sales and common events), with a full-funnel approach that took into consideration the customer journey.

Furthermore, as we received data on cross-brand interactivity, we were able to set up a complex chain of retargeting campaigns that would cross-sell and upsell different brands to high-value customer segments. As an example, we found on average, the buyers of one sub-brand of Meyer had a significantly higher average order value when exposed to other sub-brands throughout the research phase rather than just the one.

Media Services 

  • Customer Journey and Cross Brand Journey Tool
  • Data Management Platform
  • Google Ads – Shopping 
  • Google Ads – Search 
  • Youtube
  • Catchup TV – Across channels Nine, Seven, Ten
  • Display InMarket ( PMP) & Remarketing Ads
  • Facebook & Instagram Ads
    • Banners & Video
    • Shopping & Dynamic

How We Developed Our Own Customer Journey Tool To Drive Media Strategy 

Why Customer Journey? – Attribution is a key headache for every marketer and advertiser. How valuable is the media chosen and how is that affected by the media mix in each ad campaign?

There are many different forms of attribution modelling. Our technology stands out because it takes into consideration the steps that lead to the conversion, the length of the process, the average order values and how many journeys were taken.

We set up Customer Journey as a custom data warehouse that tracked the data on how customers engaged with our ads and websites, each customer was mapped to unique identifiers, using a mix of cookie & device id matching. This essentially gave us visibility over the customer and their journey; we could see what touchpoints they made, how many they made them and the length of time between them.

To be able to track each of the different points throughout the journey we tagged our ads with impression & click trackers. From this tagging we are able to track the touchpoints when a customer interacts with the ads (both impressions and clicks where possible). 

 

This would be a typical conversion journey a customer might take

The diagram is a visual representation of the different Customer Paths

Results

+22.8%

Online Revenue Growth Across the 4 brands.

+30.3%

Online Return On Ad Spend Growth Across the 4 brands.

By applying these insights to our digital advertising campaigns we were able to show notable improvements year on year across Meyer’s 4 brands. Even with a -7% reduction in media spend the online revenue grew by +22.8% and increased the 4 brands ROAS by +30.3%. 

This evidence based strategy was able to provide hard evidence and data to inform how we would develop the strategy to get the best possible returns for all the brands from a conversion standpoint. This is heavily tied to performance based marketing and so Brand awareness and increase in brand value is another thing to consider in this mix. 

Get in contact if you would like to learn more or ask our advice.

Coming out of COVID-19 and entering this new normal there are a lot of questions being raised. For most brands it is how will we adapt to this new normal? Before you can adapt to the new normal it is important to get an understanding of what that is. 

“The new normal is a shift to digital for businesses and brands.”

Most brands noticed a boost in eCommerce during the Coronavirus pandemic and now thinking about slowly reopening stores, companies will soon gain in-store revenue as well. There are many positives to look at when analysing these changes however, the negatives must also be addressed. Consumer confidence in homeware brands took a large hit as the pandemic worsened in Australia. The Westpac-Melbourne Institute Consumer Sentiment Index took a huge hit and dropped 20%. However, it is reported that business confidence is slowly climbing back up to pre-covid levels. Our google vertical insights show that generic searches are much more popular than branded. Meaning customers are searching for products they just aren’t searching by brand name.

Although homewares dipped in consumer confidence during the pandemic, cookware noticed high product demand. Business Wire ( Berkshire Hathaway company) expects that cookware market growth will accelerate at a compound annual growth rate of 6% and expects an incremental growth of 2.77 bn AUD. The market is fragmented with several main players occupying market share. These include but are not limited to Meyer Corp, Newell Brands Inc, The Middleby Corp, and Whirlpool Corp. They state that the promotion of induction cooking will offer immense growth opportunities. Brands that focused on these growth opportunities and tapped into this consumer demand noticed high returns. 

So what does the data say?

Business confidence is almost returning to pre-covid levels, Australia noticed a 16.7% increase with the biggest increases coming from South Australia and Western Australia.  Although businesses took a large hit during the pandemic Roy Morgan CEO Adam Levine states “For the first time this year a majority of businesses, 50%, said they expect their business will be better off financially this time next year.” Although there is a long way to go for Australian businesses there is a chance that they can return to pre-covid levels by this time next year. 

Although the market decreased in April it is up by 13 points in May. With the new normal setting in we will see a boost in revenue from in store sales as well as e-commerce. Google reports that 1 in 4 Australians will shop online more frequently post-covid. This will positively boost the homewares market that is selling online.

When analysing the Google market data for homewares across Australia you’ll notice some anomalies during the pandemic that trump the same time last year.

Looking into all device dynamics and comparing quarterly from Q1 2019 to Q1 2020. We can see a significant increase in clicks, queries and impressions greatly surpassing the other quarters. This can be directly attributed to the coronavirus pandemic and increase in purchasing patterns.

This suggests that there has been an increase in customers enquiring and looking for homewares products (queries), the ads being supplied are meeting these enquiries (impressions) and they are driving clicks and click through rate. This data suggests that although there was a peak of the beginning of Q1 2020 interest is decreasing right now and is returning to pre-covid levels. As the market is still up there are current market opportunities.

Next Level’s Advice

Although life is slowly returning to normal it is important to understand the new normal. Surveys from Google suggest that the move to digital is the new normal. As consumers have adapted to the ease of online shopping they will continue to shop online at higher levels than before Covid. 

This means that even though stores are opening you should not decrease your digital presence. As now people have discovered the simplicity of buying online it offers your brand the opportunity to meet their clients needs in a new way.

Although the market has seen decreases it is now climbing back to pre-covid levels and it will only increase with the combination of e-commerce and in store activity. 

References:

Appliance Retailer: Consumer Confidence Rally Continues

Appliance Retailer: Business Confidence Shifts Into Positive Territory

Business Wire: Pre & Post COVID-19 Cookware Market Estimates

Google Agency Insights Forum 3

Google Vertical Insights: Homewares 1 and 2

 

At a glance

+26%

The conversion rate of someone starting the quiz, to signing up increased

-88%!

The cost per newsletter subscriber dropped

 

At Next Level we are proud of the amazing work we get to do with our clients. We are always keen to showcase our collaborations. With a strong understanding of the skincare, beauty and wellbeing space. Working with Sukin we were able to implement data-led advertising strategies in combination with smart technology and in house audience data tools. We have been able to help Sukin better understand their customer segments as well as programmatically serve ads to those groups, which helps to grow Sukins online presence and amplify how they connect with their customers on a personalised yet digital level.

Media Services 

  • Data Management Platform
  • Facebook & Instagram Ads
  • Display InMarket & Remarketing Ads
  • Native Ads
  • Data Management Platform implementation and execution
  • Data-Led Strategy

The Process

Development strategy

The main goal for constructing the campaign is to use data to drive higher quality traffic through the quiz, increase quiz completions and newsletter subscribers.

With the initial activity we were using a standard targeting approach. But in the second stage we were able to gather enough data and use that to switch to DMP audience targeting based on quiz triggers ( eg. DMP ‘actalike’ audiences most likely to complete the quiz and subscribe). 

Quiz process going through the questions

The consumer process for the campaign followed:

  1. Consumer takes the quiz 
  2. Answers the 5 questions to identify their skin concerns 
  3. Complete the quiz and get their curated skincare product results based on selections. (which can be purchased)
  4. By taking the quiz, they unlock 15% off by signing up for the newsletter. This applies to the curated products.
  5. Upon finishing the quiz, If they navigate away, we remarket to them based on their Quiz triggers. With that highly personal and valuable info, they are also encouraged to sign up. 

Constructing and tracking this journey was valuable. We were able to gather data and understand the customer journey as well as their behaviour outside of the site. Then we could develop better targeting and messaging across the display, native and social media advertising channels to optimise towards the quiz completions and newsletter signups. 

Identification of the market

Diagram mapping the ad stages

The Sukin Quiz is a key part of the data led media strategy. On top of gaining results from the quiz we set up tags to track all the customer data we are collecting using the Lotame Data Management Platform.  We would ingest the first party data and map that across to third party data within Lotame, the world’s largest data exchange. This combines the data trail customers leave across online channels and with various other data capture points. Cross referencing this data helps us to understand their behaviour.  Audience segments were pulled into buckets, and stage two messages was designed and adapted using those profiles. Using those Audience segments in combination with remarketing we were able to construct a personalised ad targeting and messaging strategy. 

We tagged up each layer of the skin care quiz with Lotame Data Management Platform to understand and construct:

  • Audiences + behaviors of those coming through each stage of the quiz and what they selected
  • Audience + behaviors of those most likely to finish the quiz (see top behaviours)
  • Optimise the audiences for those more likely to subscribe to the newsletter

We would then push these audiences back into our advertising to find more people likely to take the quiz and subscribe to increase quality of traffic and conversion rate to subscribe to emails.

The Ad channels used 

Display & Remarketing

Native Ads

Facebook & Instagram

The Results

+174%

increase in Quiz opens

+180%

increase in Quiz completions

+184%

 increase in newsletter subscribers

Overall we were able to drive better results by increasing the Conversion Rate as well as lowering the Cost Per Lead. The improved results occurred in (direct) paid activity, as well as the effects in organic traffic as well. 

From constructing the quiz we were able to track and understand highly segmented and detailed buckets about each of the sukin customer types that have taken the quiz.

Since implementing and optimising the audiences we have seen an increase in Quiz Opens, Quiz Completions and Newsletter Subscribers.

 

There were two major stages in the testing phases, when we gained enough data, we were able to optimise towards personalised remarketing messages as well as optimise targeting towards those most likely to complete the quiz and subscribe. In the second stage the increase in performance exceeded the budget increase, which shows the success of how effective the campaign was.

Concluding we can see the adjustment and pivot towards data-led strategies and technologies helped to improve performance in regards to quiz completions and subscribers. The database acquisition should also lead to a much more quality subscriber list and the ability to cater messages to the different segments based on their needs. An additional benefit is the insight gained from this campaign activity, which provides a much richer and evidence based understanding of the customer segments, their behaviours and what their major skin needs are from Sukin. 

Lots of businesses and brands have been greatly affected by the Coronavirus pandemic in the first half of the year. Although the pandemic has highlighted brands pitfalls and areas of improvement, it has also unearthed their strengths. The skincare industry is a good example of where most brands have seen strong and increasing demand. Since the pandemic began everyone’s priorities shifted, we moved away from group activities like sporting matches and began to focus on ourselves. For the Beauty and Skincare industries this was a shift but on the whole a positive change. New focus on health and well being has raised awareness to brand values and additionally helped brands more easily get cut through when promoting their products.

At the beginning of the pandemic everyone was worried that they would see massive market shifts, and no one could predict what would happen next. Although interest in luxury goods decreased a new focus surfaced, attention to health and well being. Articles flooded news outlets and feeds about self-care and how to look after yourself and de-stress during this uneasy time. A main focus of self care has always been beauty and skincare. 

How did Coronavirus affect the beauty and skincare industries? 

Coronavirus harshly impacted all brick and mortar businesses. However, those businesses who embraced the move to digital ultimately saw encouraging results with e-commerce sales skyrocketing. Statista reports that Australian revenue in the Beauty and Personal Care market amounts to AUD $7,417 million in 2020. The markets largest segment is Personal Care with a market volume of AU$3,103 million. They also predicted that in the Beauty & Personal Care market, 20% of total revenue will be generated through online sales by 2020.

Promoting beauty and wellness has also been a strong marketing point during the past few months. CEO of Endota Spa Melanie Gleeson has been marketing wellness from home as a solution to health and wellness needs during this quarantine period. By selling wellness packs on their website their online business has grown “exponentially”.


“People are putting a high priority on their own wellbeing.”


– Melanie Gleeson CEO Endota Spa

Gleeson believes that this pandemic will help  “move wellness from being a trend to being something that is non-negotiable”.

Other personal care companies also fared well this quarter:

These companies all factored in their abilities to stay on top of consumer needs as one of the reasons for their success. Understanding what their customers want and need from them and adapting to provide it is incremental in a successful business strategy.

Google has offered us with some great statistics for those in the E-commerce industry

  • With 81% of Aussies shopping online, having a clear website that’s easy to navigate will gain you more customers.
  • 30% of Australians are spending more time shopping online since the COVID-19 outbreak. Therefore, it’s more important than ever to have good online advertising to drive leads to your site.

32% of Aussies will increase their online shopping in the future. It is important to keep your customers interested and coming back to you with good remarketing campaigns.

Source: Google Agency Insights Forum #3 – COVID-19 AUNZ

What does this mean for the Beauty and Skincare Industries post COVID-19?

The pandemic has forced the whole world to embrace a new normal. One where digital is the answer. The convenience of the internet has become a saviour to us all, protecting us from the dangers of the outside world and allowing us to continue our lives even though we are confined to our houses. Since the boom of e-commerce it is safe to say things will never return to the way they used to be. Google predicts that:

For beauty and skincare companies this means business as usual, well the new ‘usual’. Continue to promote your products on your online channels and continue selling online. Although stores are beginning to open it is far simpler to purchase online and now that e-commerce has become relatively normal it will never become obsolete.

Next Level’s Advice:

  • Continue to embrace the new changes brought about by the pandemic. New interest in personal care is extremely profitable for your brand.
  • Continue promoting your products online and offer up lots of educational resources like blogs to explain the benefits of your items. To ensure your customer base is constantly informed.

Reference

Statista: Personal Care Australia -May 2020

Cosmetics Design Asia: CEO of Endota hopeful that COVID-19 pandemic will make prioritising wellness non-negotiable -May 2020

Google Insights and Perspectives: Personal Care Industry Trends -May 2020

Google Agency Insights Forum 3: Supporting AUNZ Agencies Though COVID-19 -May 2020

Cosmetics Design Asia: Highs and Lows Beauty Giants Report Mixed Economic Impact Amid COVID-19 -May 2020