If you’re an acquisition marketer, you should be very familiar with attribution. Without it, you have no visibility into which marketing channels and campaigns are performing well. And even though attribution is critical to measuring success (or failure), only 17 percent of marketers measure the ROI of all of their marketing activities, and about 39 percent said that they measure the ROI of most of their activities, according to this recent report by Kantar Millward-Brown. That’s a huge missed opportunity, especially when the tools exist today to achieve proper attribution and ROI.

Before we talk about the how, let’s start from the beginning.

What is closed loop attribution and why use it?

In short, closed loop attribution is about understanding how your investment in paid marketing channels is driving business growth. Just looking at traffic from paid search, for example, doesn’t give you any actionable insight. What if you’re driving tons of traffic from a particular keyword that’s not converting? Without knowing that, you’ll continue spending search budget on a poor-performing keyword.

This problem is amplified when you’re a company that does a lot of business over the phone. Given that calls convert at 10x the rate of clicks, looking only at call volume means you could be missing out on a significant amount of revenue. Being able to see which calls actually converted — and tie that back to a marketing channel — gives you that sweet closed loop attribution. For example, in the following graph you can see that “best insurance” is driving the most conversions, even though the call volume is not the highest.

Having a complete view of how your marketing spend is driving conversions opens up new opportunities for optimization. You now have the data to make better decisions about which keywords to invest in, or how you should be optimizing your landing pages to drive more inbound calls.

If you’re interested in going deeper, AdStage covers additional benefits of closed loop attribution and reporting in this post.

How do you get it?

Closed-loop attribution begins with consolidating your campaign data in one place, such as in Google Analytics or Adobe Analytics. You’ll want to make sure that the other marketing technologies (CRM, call tracking etc) you’re using integrate with your tool of choice. The closed-loop reporting approach begins with consolidating all ad network data in one place. By connecting campaigns with conversion data, marketers can understand the ROI of each ad campaign and easily calculate the revenue broken down by each lead source.

For example, when you are using Invoca to get attribution for conversions that happen on the phone, you can push the data collected by Invoca into your analytics platform. This way you can see all of your attribution sources, including those that occur offline, in one place.

Closed-loop Attribution in Action

Invoca customer Weitz & Luxenberg, began using Invoca along with a lead collection product called Shuttle, giving them the ability to attribute marketing dollars spent to retained cases, allowing them to follow clients through the whole funnel and optimize all of their marketing spend. What was once a huge gray area became a 1:1 relationship between marketing dollars spent and clients retained.

And that’s not just attribution for digital. Weitz & Luxenberg advertises through the internet, television, radio, magazines — virtually any media type you can imagine. According to Director of Business Operations Bill Denninger, “No matter where our ad is, with Invoca we get the attribution. It’s no longer a gut-check — now I have the proof, I know whether or not the ad buy is working and if it’s making the right people people call.” You can check out the full case study here.

If there’s one thing we want to encourage you to prioritize going into 2019, it would be to get a handle on getting closed loop attribution for all of your marketing efforts. It will uncover new insights about campaign performance, potentially significantly shifting your strategy and budget allocations.

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Laura Schierberl

Posted by Laura Schierberl

Laura Schierberl is director of content marketing and communications at Invoca. Prior to that she held positions at Oracle, Responsys and Hill & Knowlton where she honed her skills in all things PR, content and social media. Laura earned a B.A. in Spanish and Communications at Wake Forest University. Fun facts: she loves crime TV shows and her labrador has dabbled in modeling.

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