Google recently published a “think with Google” article on Profit-Driven Marketing. They describe it as a “new” trend driving successful campaigns.
We’re thrilled that Google is on board, as we’ve been pushing the envelope with Profit-Driven Marketing for the last eleven years! But why is Google on board now after all this time, and what’s different that led them to publish this article?
Cross-channel interactions. This is at the heart of their article. In the past, Google has often split channel performance based on their own product lines. Search, YouTube, Remarketing, and all the various programs they offer advertisers have been measured independently in the past. But Google, and advertisers, are recognizing that users don’t behave in channel-independent ways, and that cross-channel behavior is getting worse. Specifically, three significant trends are driving channel confusion:
1) Multi-Device Behavior. We don’t live in a one-screen world any more, but most of our tracking tools still assume “device” means “person”. With device hopping and second screens becoming ubiquitous, single-channel attribution is increasingly wrong.
2) Migration of Search to Mobile. Over 50% of search queries have migrated to mobile devices, which are eroding the nice linear performance of Search -> Ad -> Click -> Engage that dominated desktop-based search and led to large performance gains using fairly simple tracking. With mobile search growing while desktop search shrinks, single-channel attribution is breaking.
3) Channel Complexity. Google has been at the forefront of launching many new and innovative advertising programs, but is now realizing that the success of these programs have contributed to confusion in tracking and attribution.
What is the solution? Google believes that stepping away from hard conversion metrics to look at the entire landscape, from brand building to engagement, is the path to success. We agree…sort of. We think that the quantitative assessment of all these channels, in combination and over time, leads to a more detailed and effective view of customer engagement, retention, and value. We strongly believe that customer acquisition targets based on Lifetime Value (LTV) have their proper place as the underpinning of campaigns, but we won’t be “channel-blind” about how we get to that cost-effective engagement.