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Attribution

Why a Scientific Approach to Attribution Is Essential in the Financial Services Industry

By August 28, 2019 No Comments

The financial services industry is incredibly competitive. Commercial banks, loan companies, and credit card issuers all compete for consumer attention using incredibly active marketing. For the companies hoping to stake a claim, smart spending is mandatory in an industry where digital advertising is expected to reach $15 billion by 2021.

In some ways, reaching customers to sell financial products is like reaching them with other product offerings. When consumers shop for financial services — whether it’s applying for a new credit card or opening a bank account — they expect a good experience, the best perks and benefits, and low fees.

However, the buying journey for financial products tends to be much longer than for other industries. Most consumers are careful about their financial decisions, and they conduct extensive research before they make a decision. This journey could take months from start to finish, making it especially important for marketers to track every touch point along each buyer’s path to accurately measure what influenced any decisions.

There are also significant trends affecting the financial services industry, with more organizations taking advantage of technology and catering to younger customers. For example, fintech startups like SoFi Money, Simple, and Chime are online-only banks that don’t have any brick-and-mortar branches. These digital institutions are shifting consumer expectations in the banking industry by providing a more streamlined experience through an intuitive smartphone app — something many traditional banks still lack.

Because competition is fierce, financial companies have to work harder than ever to obtain new customers and retain existing ones. With this in mind, it’s probably not shocking that the financial services industry is estimated to account for roughly 14% of all online advertising spend. Plenty of financial powerhouses still rely on offline tactics like television ads to reach audiences, but tracking these offline drivers and connecting them to online conversions can be difficult.

What’s the best way to ensure you are accurately crediting every factor that has nudged a consumer down the funnel toward conversion? Multi-touch attribution.

An Omnichannel Opportunity

Multi-touch attribution, or MTA, plays a critical role in measuring the impact of the various touch points during each consumer journey. Many other standard attribution models only look back 30 days when determining what led to a conversion. As a result, marketers don’t get an accurate representation of what media led to a particular sale or sign-up — they’re left to guess which advertisements moved the needle.

While paid search is one of the most successful marketing platforms, it also has one of the most expensive average costs per click. If marketers don’t know which keywords are driving sales, they could be wasting money. MTA, though, allows marketers to take a more holistic view of their efforts by bridging formerly siloed offline and cross-device touch points.

For instance, consumers may be exposed to an ad on their mobile device or tablet but ultimately fill out an application on a desktop computer. The ability to track behavior across devices is vital for accurate measurement. MTA is also helpful because people don’t necessarily make an immediate decision after seeing an ad. Being able to establish a complete path to conversion provides better visibility for marketers.

At Conversion Logic, we can take a granular look at these strategies thanks to our collaboration with LiveRamp’s IdentityLink platform. If a customer completes a sign-up in a branch bank, LiveRamp can connect that conversion back to the user’s digital footprints. By measuring a broad spectrum of touch points, LiveRamp and Conversion Logic allow marketing teams to determine how much each media asset contributes to consumers’ offline or online conversions.

The Future of Marketing Attribution

The unique requirements of advertising in the financial services sector demand a scientific approach to attribution and marketing. If you truly want to make the most of your marketing dollars, you can no longer continue what you’ve been doing for years. With complete results, an MTA strategy can help illuminate how channels, tactics, strategies, and campaigns perform relative to other media.

MTA allows our customers to see the incremental effect of each touch point on the overall buyer journey, and we can incorporate elements such as lifetime value to help optimize ROI for a specific segment or product. We can also look at how media affects upper funnel actions (like a site visit) all the way down to conversion (opening a loan application, for example).

There was a time when marketers had one way to tell which media investments worked and which ones fell short. Those days are over, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Conversion Logic is arming marketers with the machine learning tools necessary to measure and leverage the entire customer journey.

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