Written by Henning Tunsli
This global change also affects the insight industry as cookies were widely used to analyse and report “uplift” in perception (of the brand) and actual behaviour (traffic to landing site). We had to find alternative methodologies that can give advertisers a clear view on how media spending impact perception (upper funnel), traffic and sales.
Over the last five years, we have seen technology that is based on algorithms and shows the entire journey you and I have had from media channel to media channel before we end up in a suggested online store. With media attribution, we want to know how much traffic and ultimately sales each individual media channel creates, and then calculate the return on the investment. That was a great technology that could report which media worked early in the journey (trigger media), which media kept the journey alive and which media converted to a purchase (closing media). It had some weaknesses; it could only attribute online media and not all media houses agreed to put pixels on ads in their medium. Nevertheless, this was an innovation that revolutionized media attribution analysis for both media agencies and advertisers.
This technology is no longer applicable. The termination of cookies and the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in Europe have forced the global browser suppliers to stop supporting cookies for third parties, among them, the market insight industry. However, it should be mentioned that such tools were not widespread in the Nordic countries, so we cannot state that it is a big "loss" at least for the Nordic agencies and advertisers. Most marketing people are probably happily unaware that these tools existed. However, they were common among global brands working across countries.
What is the solution now for those who want to understand the business impact on media spending? We have good news in that regard. The solution is closer than you think. It is a solution / methodology that It offers benefits that the "old" technology did not have; It can calculate the sales effect on both online and offline media. It can also offer attribution to both online and offline sales channels.
We would argue that traffic and sales modelling based on econometric / multivariate analysis of anonymized data is the best solution in the years to come. We have had the method for many decades and it has probably been used for solving other challenges such as supply chain management and production process optimization rather than marketing challenges. Now is the time for marketing departments and the analytics industry to wake up and recruit data specialists and statisticians who understand multivariate analysis. In 2022, we have technology that supports these methods in both Norway (Penetrace), Denmark (Blackwood7) and Finland (SellForte). There is no need to travel across the ocean to the United States to find technology that can do this job efficiently. Purchase short-distance technology and you will also get a service device and knowledge transfer that Americans can only dream for.
The head of the master's program in Business Analytics at BI Norwegian Business School, Auke Hunneman, confirms that modelling is the best way to ensure good attribution analysis in the future where we use anonymized data and can support both offline and online media and sales channels. An attribution analysis based on econometric modelling will tell you exactly how much sales you have received from each media channel in a set period. It will then be able to give you "cost to revenue" and ROI per media channel. At the same time, the technology will calculate the recommended media spend to achieve a given turnover (or number of new customers) and not at least how the money should be distributed on each media channel. If you put this into your decision-making process, you should expect an improvement in ROI of 5-20 percent depending on the industry, target group and market share.