One of the most common measurement questions we get is around choosing a source of truth. When you have media running on several individual platforms, performance on websites captured in several dashboards and analytics tools, and conversion detail captured in CRM platforms or offline all together, the question can be daunting to answer.
As marketers, knowing the exact performance numbers is important, but knowing which ad, which dollar, or which platform drove performance is more critical. Keeping this cumbersome motto in mind will make answering that bigger question for your own business easier. Once you have determined which source will be able to show the most apples-to-apples comparison of your marketing efforts, with the deepest conversion point available attributed back to it, you have your answer.
One simple, tangible example – Company X is running Facebook ads driving viewers to their website, and the purpose is to drive interest towards a new product that is sold in stores. This brings into play three main data sources – Facebook, the web analytics tool, and the point-of-sale system with purchases. We know it will be difficult to track in-store purchase back to an ad directly, so how do we show value? Where do we see the most useful data? In the web analytics tool, we have conversion tracking on someone who searches for a store closest to them. That may be the closest to interest in the new product we can measure. So, the web analytics tool is a great option. However, if that analytics tool is using last-click attribution, the report would only show visitors who converted directly from the Facebook Ad and not those who saw the ad but converted later. Tracking these conversions in Facebook would solve for that issue.
While there isn’t always one good solution like this example, thinking through scenarios and ensuring a clean data collection plan is the best way to make sure when it comes time to report, you aren’t stuck with multiple good-looking sources and no clear winner.