Don't Blindly Trust Your Ad Vendors. Optimize Your Ad Spending With Attribution Surveys.
Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don’t know which half.
Knowing where your customers come from is one of (if not the most) important drivers for business strategy. To be a successful digital company it's paramount that you get the most bang for your buck when it comes to ad spending. However, even the most strategic businesses are relying entirely on platform level reporting to track the return of their marketing spend. While this is definitely convenient, it may often be inaccurate and lead to a glut of spending in the wrong places. This spending can ruin early level businesses, and even as your business grows, it can have a severe impact on large businesses as well.
Case Study: Uber's Ad Spending.
Uber disclosed that they have been defrauded out of 100 Million or 2/3 of their overall ad spend. Their Head of Acquisition discovered this fraud by de-activating roughly 10% of their total ad budget in 2019. To his surprise, pausing roughly 15 million dollars of ad spend had zero impact on their ridership.
After digging into this phenomenon it became clear that their ad vendors were making up the numbers they had been reporting. For example, one ad network launched "battery saver" style apps in the Google Play Store, which gave them root access to your phone. Whenever you typed "Uber" into Google Play it fired a click event to the ad at the top of the screen to make it appear as though you clicked the advertisement which would give them attribution for the entirely unattributable action.
Uber disclosed that they have been defrauded out of 100 Million or 2/3 of their overall ad spend.
Uber then continued to deactivate their advertising partners to measure impact. One by one they went through each advertising partner and, in the end, it became clear that 2/3 of their marketing budget was fraudulent. These relationships were terminated resulting in savings of over 100 million dollars for the tech behemoth.
So What Can You Do?
Well it's pretty simple, just don't take their word for it. Not all advertisers are bad, but when you let them grade their own tests, don't be surprised when they all get A's.
How To Collect Attribution Data Directly From Your Customers
Ask them using a Zigpoll on-site attribution survey. Click the button below to preview a pre-built attribution survey that you can add anywhere on your website and tailor specifically to your site's needs.
Once you have the poll ready to go, you just need to know when to ask your customers. This part of the funnel will vary from business to business, but here are some ideas for a few different types.
- eCommerce: Ask about attribution as part of your post purchase survey.
- Blogs/Content: Ask about attribution when the user lands on your page for the first time.
- Software: Ask about attribution right after a user creates an account on your platform.
Not all advertisers are bad, but when you let them grade their own tests, don't be surprised when they all get A's.
Asking your customers directly at a key point in your conversion funnel will ensure that you know what marketing tools are the most effective as well as which ones are falling short of their promises. You can then use this data to be more strategic about your ad spending to convert more customers and grow your business.