In the last few weeks, several key vendors within the attribution space have announced they will soon be closing their doors. As such, many companies who have previously been working comfortably with one provider now find themselves back in the market. To help anyone who finds themselves in this position, Fospha have published this buyer’s guide, listing the 5 key things to look for when looking for a replacement Multi-Touch Attribution (MTA) partner.
1. Data-driven MTA as default
As with any product there is a wide range of attribution offerings in the market, ranging from ones using simplistic rules-based models like First- and Last-Click, to more sophisticated data-driven models. If your previous provider was using rules-based models, take this as an opportunity to move to Data Driven Attribution (DDA). You’ll find more choice and lower entry costs available for those using rules-based, however you will be falling into the trap of making expensive and business-critical decisions with limited data. Are you cutting activity in key areas because you can’t see where it’s contributing? Is Last-Click telling you to invest more in keywords that aren’t responsible for growth? These are questions that can only be answered accurately by DDA.
A successful relationship with an attribution provider is based on a shared understanding of how your business works and the goals you’re trying to reach. It’s crucial that your new provider picks up where the last one left off – make sure whoever you’re talking to is comfortable and confident discussing your business needs. This shouldn’t be about a feature list, but rather how well they understand your challenges and how they would solve them. Similarly, it’s very likely that your last provider did some custom integration work in order to pull data from a variety of non-standard sources. It’s important to find out how all of these sources will continue to be supported by your future partner – if what you’re doing works for you, it’s vital that that can be continued. Take a look at your marketing stack, work out the key bits that need to be integrated for MTA to work, then make sure your new provider has you covered on all these bases.
3. GDPR Compliance
The termination of several key players in the attribution space at the same time, just months before the introduction of heavy-duty legislation on the management of customer data (GDPR) feels too neat to be coincidence. Switching provider is likely to be disruptive and it’s crucial that whoever you choose to replace your current option is both able to cope with GDPR itself and also is flexible enough to ride out any future changes to legislation like this one – otherwise you could find yourself back in the market again a few years down the line. It’s worth bearing in mind the potential penalties to both you and them for non-compliance to GDPR could be very severe – fines of up to €20M or up to 4% of total global revenue of the preceding year, whichever is greater. Your new provider needs a plan for how they’re going to deal with the legislation: make sure you ask them what it is.
4. Capacity to ingest historic data
One vital thing you need to consider is stability and continuity. Powerful MTA is still in such a young state that anyone with a year or more’s optimisation under their belts likely has a major competitive advantage over the rest of their sector. Your new partner should be fast and flexible enough ingest historic data that underpins the attribution model without any down-time as you switch. Losing this data as you lose your current provider would be a major regression from your current position – to the point where this should be a make-or-break factor in any new talks.
5. The new opportunity
Although any unplanned structural change comes with drawbacks, it’s important to also consider the potential opportunity in making the switch. What data sources do you currently have that are not being included in your attribution model? Where does your current product have clear gaps, or areas that could be improved on? One thing that can come out of making the change is the addition of richer data to the model – Fospha, for example, include weather data in their attribution models to demonstrate the impact that this powerful behavioural steer has on revenue. Ask your candidates for an innovation roadmap, and consider the potential value to your business in understanding how each of the items on it will impact your sales.