Last click attribution will meet its demise within three years as tag management becomes more prevalent and sophisticated, a leading exponent has predicted.
TagMan says it is targeting the travel industry as a vertical with potentially most to gain from better use of tags which allow firms to more easily manage and evaluate multiple marketing channels.
Wolf Allisat, global chief revenue officer at TagMan, said recent research conducted with clients suggests conventional attribution models over-value paid search while under-valuing display.
“Because of the way the last click model works and because of the way certain analytics providers work in favour of their own solution and most profitable source of revenue paid search, in general, has been over-valued,” he said.
One specific example of how this is happening is with the latest Google Chrome browser which is seeing people click on a paid search listing even when typing a brand web address like Expedia into the url box because they are served before the natural listings.
“We are at the stage where companies such as us with good data are raising awareness of tag management but last click is such a convenient way of working and an easy way of paying it’s going to take a while to get rid of.
“Certainly what’s happening through analysis and raised awareness is people are questioning much more what that last click really provided.
“As an industry we are there now with mobile after many years of people predicting this would be the year of mobile, but with last click versus best click it will take probably another two to three years.”
Allisat said TagMan’s main focus now was on adding data layers to its offering and integrating its technology with other major technology players in the travel space having completed that work with digital marketing specialist Marin Software and retargeting giant Criteo.
This integration means TagMan acts as a central reference point for multiple data sources and it can then supply this data back to technology suppliers to help them hone their algorithms which in turn will make sure their clients’ campaigns are better optimised and more effective.
“The main driver for us is the entire data platform we are developing in the back end. We feel we have perfected tag management and we are certified with all the top vendors so our tags run very smoothly and that will continue to become more sophisticated and streamlined.”
Allisat estimated around 25% to 30% of the major online retailers are using tag management but he said most studies find the area is among the top three proprieties for companies in 2013.
TagMan, which employs 100 people in London and New York, currently works with many of the largest travel players including booking.com, Expedia, Marriott, Tripadvisor, lastminute.com and easyJet.
Work TagMan has done with Air New Zealand has allowed the airline to turn off some of its paid search in favour of display and lift revenues by 15% while reducing costs, claimed Allisat.
Because individual tags for each marketing partner can be developed with pre-defined attribution criteria they are only fired when those rules are met ensuring credit it given only where credit is due.
Travel’s particularly long research process in the buying funnel means it is particularly important in the vertical that attribution is more sophisticated and accurate as a customer is likely to have been influenced by a number of websites.
Allisat said: “One of the reasons we are big in travel and it’s our biggest vertical is that the travel industry has been one of the earliest adopters.
“There is a huge incentive to make it as easy as possible add these tags to their sites but also they have huge marketing budgets and they need to identify that they are spending in the right medium.
“They have become very sophisticated – Air New Zealand being able to produce its own attribution model is well ahead of the curve in terms of understanding what the right marketing mix is.
“With Booking.com we could accelerate their site speed so the same technology was capturing a lot more data. Because of the transactional volumes of some of the larger travel sites any percentage increase means extra revenue.”