Wouldn’t you like to know what the trigger was that made a consumer decide to purchase your product? It’s one of those questions that all of us in the marketing business think about on a regular basis. And it may be one of those questions that doesn’t have an answer, as the purchase funnel has lots of inputs and only one desired output – that decision to buy.
We’ve tried to explain our position before – that we believe that a successful media plan needs to be channel-agnostic, and use the best options for each specific campaign. And that a successful media agency needs to be aware of all of the options as it develops new plans.
We were prompted to think about this after reading a story in MediaPost last week on Adobe’s concerns about the use of last-click vs. first-click in measuring the effectiveness of social media advertising.
According to Adobe, switching to a first-click attribution model can raise social’s contribution to the buying process by as much as 94%.
Adobe offers an interesting idea, and an argument that is relevant for a company that offers social media technology. But that doesn’t mean they’re correct. Consider a few other non-obvious facts:
Online advertising spending was up 20% in 2011, but seven firms (Google, Amazon, EBay, Priceline, Expedia, Groupon and IAC) accounted for half of that growth.
Proctor & Gamble’s ad spending was down 7% in 2011, but the one medium that showed gains was magazines.
To us, these individual facts are like trees. Beautiful, but they don’t tell the entire story. Anyone focusing on just first click or last click is not looking at the scene holistically. They’re missing the forest for the trees. And as for us? We prefer forests.