The campaign has been running for a month now, you’ve spent 10k trying to get people to buy seats for a conference your company is organizing, you did your homework and selected multiple digital channels according to your target (Social, Display, Search, Referral, Email.) In order to know the success of your campaign and optimize for future ones, your boss ask you to present a detail ROI, explaining how much of the budget you invest in each channel and how many sales can be attributed to each of them.

This is called in marketing “Attribution”; the process of pointing down which actions or events contribute to achieving a desired conversion (sale) and it which proportion (credit). The concept of attribution started to gain traction when marketers begun to implement campaigns across multiple channels, the need for measuring the effectiveness and contribution of each channel to the overall campaign emerged, but the challenge was how to do it? You could attribute a percentage of the sale to a TV ad and another to a print ad, but how did you account for word of mouth? or for brand value?.

Of course this being a digital marketing blog, everything starts with the internet, with the use of this new channel by marketers, new tracking and accountability capabilities were now at their disposal, with a little bit of statistical knowledge this data could be used more effectively towards measuring attribution of campaigns.

Avinash Kaushik is one of the most respected web analytics experts in the industry, being part of the original Google team and the writer of several books about the topic he certainly has the street credit to talk about attribution. In his blog Occam’s Razor, Kaushik presents us with the challenge of measuring attribution in digital channels. He also provides us with several multi-channel attribution models that you can use (while in Google Analytics):

  • Last Click Attribution Model:  this model attributes the 100% of the conversion to the last interaction made by the user. For example; a user came to the amazon website to buy the product that he left on his shopping cart last time he was there, an email remind him that he had this product on his shopping cart, he clicked through the link of the email and finished the purchase. In this case 100% of the sale is attributed to the email. There are obvious disadvantages in using this model, hardly a conversion can be attributed to only one thing! but in my opinion is better than not measuring attribution at all.
  • Last Non-Direct Click Attribution Model: this model is very similar to the first one but it discriminates the direct interaction that often occurs before a conversion. Most of the time the conversion end up being attributed in a 100% to the referral (place from where the user is coming).
  • First Click Attribution Model: rather than giving 100% of the attribution to the last click made by the user, this models reverts it and focus on the first interaction done by the user, most of the time can be tracked backed to the search or nowadays to social.
  • Linear Attribution Model: in this model the marketer tracks back all the interaction (steps) made by the user before converting and assigns  equal credit to each one them for the convention. Its more comprehensive than the models we saw before because at least gives credits to other actions in the funnel.
  • Time Decay Attribution Model: It parts from the premise that the touch point that interacts the latest before the conversion gets more credit than its predecessors.
  • Position Based Attribution Model: This model parts from the premise that the first and last interactions are the more important ones, thus assigning more credits to these ones and distributing the rest among the other touch points in the conversion funnel.
  • Customized Model: Using another model as your starting point and then layering other factors on top of it to reach a model that best fits your conversion funnel.

If you are not measuring attributions of your online campaign, you should start now!, the Time Decay model is a great starting point, just remember that every touch point influences the conversion and that the funnel may look very different depending on what you are trying to accomplish.

For more information on attribution model or a detail guide of how to implement them in Google Analytics I invite you to check out Occam’s Razor:

Hyper-Targeting: Good or Bad ?

They Laughed When I Sat Down At the Piano But When I Started to Play!… One of the most celebrated pieces of ad from all times, from one of the fathers of marketing and advertising John Caples. It originally ran in 1925 and even back then Caples was trying to target potential customers looking for piano lessons.


Targeting is no other thing than developing and placing a specific communication (an ad) to reach consumers based on their specific characteristics (demographic, geographic, psychographic, etc.).

Now taking a 90 year leap from Caples piano lessons ad, in a world of digital display advertising, SEM and social media targeting has become a fundamental process. Brands are pushing for more effectives ways to reach the consumers, but they also want a detail ROI analysis and real time metrics. This makes the digital channels the new battlefield for brands competing to reach costumers, and targeting the new way to leverage the data deluge available online.

But what happens when you want to reach a extremely specific niche, you pile targeting variable on top of others in order to build the desired population and then it hits you, the group of people you are trying to reach online is only a few hundred … This is known as Hyper-targeting and can represent a serious threat to your digital campaign.

Understanding the problems if our audience gets to small to reach, let’s now review some good tips to make the most of targeting from AOL’s Display University:

1) Use your resources: Incorporate everything and everyone that will add value to the planning process, salespeople and customer service know the customer better than anyone

2) Start with a broad target: Looking at a larger audience gives you the opportunity to modify the parameters as you go, being able to react better to the marketplace and using the data more efficiently.

3) Let the network work for you: Ad servers and ad networks have built in optimization technologies, Google Adwords for example, opting-in for these suggestions will allow you to have a better outcome in your targeting.


The difference between keywords and queries

If you know about search marketing, and by this I simply mean that you have used a search engine before, then you know that the search query is the backbone of the process. We type our queries into the search engine with the hope that the results displayed will be the ones we are looking for.

If you are like me, then you used to think that a search query and a keyword were actually the same thing, a word or combination of words that reflected our intent for information. But as semantic as it may seems, there are actually different things, and to be successful in the SEO game marketers must understand such differences, let’s take a deeper look into the concepts of each:

The Keyword: 

The keyword is the exact term marketers are targeting in an SEO or SEM campaign, meaning what marketers are advertising as a part of its strategy. For example: “Blue Jean”

The Queries:

Is what the user of the search engine types in order to find something, is subjective because a query can be typed in literally thousands of ways to find the same thing (Address, Product/ Service, Information). For example:

Screen Shot 2015-04-08 at 12.01.10 PM

So what’s the big deal? you maybe asking, well it’s simple marketers have to try and make its keywords as inclusive but as the same time as matching as possible to their customers queries, thats the key to a good campaign.


The first step of a SEO or SEM campaign is a keyword research, digging for the perfect keywords to target, after identifying them marketers should broaden such keywords to be inclusive of all possible queries (see image above), and in that process the discovery of others strong keywords is common.

Remember, if you want to satisfied your customers you have to place yourself in their shoes, keywords are not real but queries are very real! by going the extra mile and understanding this you will always be present at your customers search result page.

The source of this post information is an article from the Search Engine Journal, I invite you to read it at: