Attribution: The Art and Science of Testing with Jo Davis (episode 139)

by April Buencamino-dy

Jo Davis is the COO at Sweet Analytics, an analytics suite where you can bring all your data together to get a single customer view, and benchmark against the industry. Prior to joining Sweet Analytics Jo spent 18 years working at big name retailers in the UK across the fashion and furniture sectors.

Jo Davis Sweet Analytics Attribution

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About Jo

After working with big UK retailers, Jo set up her own brands and also began investing in different channels. However, she found it difficult to understand where her return on investment was coming from and identify where to put her budget next.

At about the same time, she started freelancing at Sweet Analytics and found attribution fascinating. She also considers herself a helper, always wanting to help people and businesses, and she saw attribution as one of the biggest problems in marketing, which made her focus on this area.

Laying Down the Foundations

For brands, Jo says the first thing to do is understand your different marketing touch points and identify where your sales are coming from.

Another thing is to perform a tech audit because if you don’t have the right technology in place, you won’t be able to track the different touch points and analyze the customer journey. Make sure your tracking is in place and you’re collecting as much data as you can to help you make business decisions.

Businesses, though, have to realize that attribution is not about perfection because you’re not going to get there. It’s understanding what you can track and what you can’t because Jo says some activities are about awareness and impressions and others are about conversions.

Getting the Numbers Right

There is a science to marketing attribution, and it’s in the tracking of the actual data you have.

In order to get your numbers right, make sure you have your foundations set – your objectives and the technology you’re going to use. Only then will you be able to collect data that will matter to your business and will help you make the right decisions.

It’s Not JUST About the Numbers

For Jo, there is also an art side to attribution, and that is in understanding and interpreting the data you have collected.

Attribution is all about attributing credit to different marketing touchpoints that contribute to conversion and relating them to your next spend. To do this, Jo says you have to think outside the box and perform testing to learn and make decisions.

Common Pitfalls to Avoid

Jo mentions two things that people often do but should avoid:

  • Don’t be reactive. 
  • Don’t make assumptions.

Find out first what’s really happening behind your marketing activities. Look at the data before making business decisions.

Insider Tips

If we’ve inspired someone to take their first step with marketing attribution – what do they need to know to give themselves the best chance of success?

First, understand what is trackable for your business and what is not.

Second, keep track of everything that’s happening with your marketing because it’s going to help you when you start doing some testing.

Once you’ve started of course you’ve got to ‘keep optimising’! So what’s your favourite way to improve marketing attribution performance?

For Jo, the best way to keep optimising and understanding what your actions are doing is to perform testing.

If someone listening wants to learn more about marketing attribution is there one cheap/free resource you’d recommend?

Jo recommends doing a free trial with Sweet Analytics so you can begin tracking your data with their tracker.

Crystal ball time – what’s coming up in the next 6-12 months that we should be getting ready for in marketing attribution?

Jo mentions something within Sweet Analytics that she calls a customized attribution model, but which she thinks is going to come out across other platforms in the future. Understand your tracking now so you reap the benefits when more sophisticated attribution models are introduced and you have a consistent way of measuring your return on investment.

Interview Links

Jo on Social media:

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