Customer journey and attribution

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Just thought about customer journey tracking and attribution. This are two buzzwords which are going is… Everyone loves them and as a solution provider providing a software you can sell this very well these days. I hate this buzzwords a bit. Why? Here’s why…

Ideally I use user profiles based on all digital channels. Based on this I know whats the interest of someone very well. Let’s take this at the base and show on one example:

  1. I’m sitting at my couch, reading my mails and see a message about the new Samsung TV. This looks very interesting for me, I click on the mail and visit to the shop website of the retailer who sent the mail.
  2. Now my phone is ringing and I’m talking to a friend for half an hour.
  3. After this phone call I forget the Samsung TV and do just surfing is. By doing this I see a banner of the retailer promoting this Samsung TV
  4. Now I click the banner and buy the Samsung TV

What is the outcome here? It was just a fluke that the phone call came in at the last step before buying changed from e-mail to display. There are so many influencing external factors that you can’t do a correct attribution at all.

Going back to the profile point we started with. If I have a very well profile build of an user (ideally with fingerprint instead of cookies) and I know all machines (tablet, smartphone and computer) With this I can do predictive modelling for each user profile. If I have done this I  will buy “the next around” with the right individual (1:1) message. This means the publisher or ad-network who hast the next touch with this profile will win the advertising. I (as the marketer) don’t care if it is e-mail, mobile, social, display, search, etc.

This is where the future will go to. It is not possible to do this today, but it shows not to focus to much on customer journey and attribution. We should also get rid of the channel thinking (display, search, mobile, etc.) and think more in direction of band or e-commerce goals. Think about user stages like information phase or buying phase for example. So thinking about user milestones is more important that the channel view.

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