Solving for Marketing Incrementality with Data
The better a business is at understanding and taking action on marketing incrementality the better off they are at growing revenue.
Hosted by Kevin Dieny
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Links Mentioned & Helpful Resources from Episode
- Kevin Dieny’s LinkedIn Profile
- SuperMetrics Data ETL Tool for SMB
- Google Sheets – Online Spreadsheets
- Avinash Kaushik’s OC Article on Marketing Incrementality
- “Why bother with UTM Parameters” EP6 with Jeff Sauer
- Google Local Services Ads – How it works page
- Attribution Models CallSource Blog Article
[00:00:00] Kevin Dieny: Hello and welcome to The Close the Loop podcast. I’m your host, Kevin Dieny, and today we’re gonna be talking about How To Solve Marketing Incrementality with Data. This is a topic that just the title alone is like, what in the world are we gonna be talking about today? What is marketing incrementality? Are we gonna be doing data science here, or are we going to be um, pulling out our graphing calculators?
[00:00:30] Kevin Dieny: No, no, no. We’re gonna keep this very simple. The whole purpose of this episode is going to be, to make sure that we’re measuring our marketing effectively. That’s basically it. You know, why do we wanna measure it effectively? Well, you’re spending money on marketing. I think everyone’s question, and we’ve reiterated this many times in our podcast, is how do we understand what’s working?
[00:00:56] Kevin Dieny: Therefore, how do we know when we’re spending a dollar, we’re spending money in marketing resources, efforts, that it’s working, that it’s impacting positively on the business. Now this, specifically this topic, juxtaposes with marketing attribution. Marketing attribution is not the same thing as marketing incrementality.
[00:01:21] Kevin Dieny: And I think that’s a really good place for us to start is what’s the difference between marketing attribution and marketing incrementality? So marketing attribution, let’s focus on what that is first. I think if I said, asked you, you know where you are right now, what’s marketing attribution? You’d probably think, Well, it’s probably just proving what marketing did.
[00:01:44] Kevin Dieny: That’d be an amazing one liner to say, Yeah, that’s what marketing attribution is, and that’s, that’s pretty, that’s pretty close marketing attribution. In a, to be a little more specific, right, is measuring all of the touches and interactions, engagements that you have data on before, maybe during, maybe after that are going on with your business and the.
[00:02:10] Kevin Dieny: Visitors, prospects, leads, patients, whatever it is that your business re you know, delivers revenue from all those interactions, everything that’s happening there, that’s, you know, the goal of marketing attribution is the study, the measurement, the tracking analysis of all those touch points, everything that’s going on.
[00:02:31] Kevin Dieny: And that’s incredibly valuable. Maybe the overarching component of measuring marketing is being able to measure the things that happen with your business and everything going on with your consumers. You know, that’s, that’s hugely impactful to being able to get to marketing incrementality now. So what’s marketing Incre mental?
[00:02:52] Kevin Dieny: Marketing incrementality is a little bit hard, so I’ll have to give you some examples, but the definition is going to be knowing which conversions, you know, which high impact interactions, which revenues, which deals, whatever it is, would not have occurred, would not have happened without the influence of market.
[00:03:17] Kevin Dieny: Marketing touchpoints, measuring all of them. That’s, you know, part of the fold of marketing attribution. You wanna know everything going on, measure it so that you can see if you know what is happening before people end up converting or buying or whatever they’re doing. Incrementality is looking at it like, Well, fine, people are watching my TV ad and visiting my website, but when they have bought, if they really wanted.
[00:03:43] Kevin Dieny: If someone wanted to buy or, or to be a customer, a consumer of whatever product or service you offer, couldn’t they have done that without seeing the TV ad? Did they have to go to the website? Is it, is it possible that they could do that through other means? You know? Or maybe, yeah, the website is critical.
[00:04:03] Kevin Dieny: You know, this is how my business functions. Or maybe there’s a marketing channel that is driving a huge proportion, a large number. Of your conversions, your revenues, your profit. And so an incrementality would say if it could have happened, if it would’ve happened without it, then it’s not part of incrementality.
[00:04:25] Kevin Dieny: It needs to have been required almost like, uh, it needs to have been nearly essential for this to happen now. That’s kind of a nice way to look at it. I mean, a lot of times, even when I’ve asked people who. Or completely oblivious to what’s going on in marketing. Sometimes I’ll hear them say, no. That’s what attribution is, right?
[00:04:44] Kevin Dieny: That’s being able to prove that marketing did something . Because if it would, it could, It could have happened without the marketing. Then why did we spend money on marketing? Right? . Now that’s the big problem here, right? So why is that? Why is proving marketing’s value always such a pain? Right? And that boils down to quite a few problems.
[00:05:07] Kevin Dieny: In the realm of what we’re talking about. One of the more poignant, I think, phrases, quotes, that’s out there, it’s even been mentioned on our podcast a while back, is, I know my marketing’s working. I just don’t know which part, and I know parts of my marketing arent working. I just don’t know which part. , I don’t know, maybe which campaign, which keyword, which page.
[00:05:31] Kevin Dieny: You know, what’s not working, what’s not. Ultimately helping my consumers move along a progression toward buying. And this is where a lot of arguments come up, because things like branding, who cares about a logo, who cares about a website, who cares about something being read or orange or looking nice or looking poorly?
[00:05:57] Kevin Dieny: You know, like what does it really matter? Like the car you sh you drive. To visit a client, does it really matter? And answering that question is difficult cuz you, you can’t rewind time, you can’t ask the person and guarantee knowledge of what they would’ve done if you hadn’t shown up in a specific car.
[00:06:19] Kevin Dieny: Right? , it’s not, it’s not really feasible. You can’t go, Hey, I see you bought those shoes. You know? If you hadn’t have seen that ad last Tuesday, would you have still bought? Maybe they’d say, I don’t know, maybe they’d say, Yeah, I probably would’ve . It’s, it’s not something you can basically get anecdotally.
[00:06:37] Kevin Dieny: So then you go, Well then how do you get it from data if you can’t get it from what people remember, what people are gonna say, right? Cause it’s slightly unreliable. How do you understand incrementality? So the other part of this is, sure, we can get it from data. Yeah, like maybe we look at a thousand people who show up in a nice car and a thousand people who show up in a poor car and see how, you know, based on the fact that they’re equal performers in every way, who closes more deals.
[00:07:09] Kevin Dieny: You know, possibly the car is some kind of an influence here. But at the end of the day, is the data accurate? Is that really gonna give us. A result that we can rely on, right? An a result that we would say, Okay, wow, cars are making a difference. Let’s go buy all our sales team new cars, you know, like the type of car they show up with.
[00:07:28] Kevin Dieny: The nice of it, like the, the look of it. You know, if that matters a lot, then maybe it justifies the cost of buying some brand new vehicles or whatever. Is it accurate? It sure we can’t rely on people, so then we go to data. But is the data even accurate? Is the data even gonna be suggestive? A result that we want to take as a business.
[00:07:47] Kevin Dieny: If we’re not even willing to buy a whole new fleet of cars for our team, then what’s it, you know, that’s who cares. So that brings us to the last pain, which is. Let’s say you totally understand anchored mentality in your business, meaning you know exactly what is required, what is influencing your consumers to buy, to be, drive revenue, to drive profit in your business.
[00:08:14] Kevin Dieny: You know exactly what, So if you, you had a knob sitting in front of you and you could turn it, increase it, and go, Okay, I’m just gonna go. I’m gonna spend $10 and I’m gonna spend a hundred dollars and it’s gonna go up by tenfold in my return, tenfold in my revenues. You know, my profit’s gonna go up, uh, by tenfold if there was a little dial, simple kind of thing.
[00:08:34] Kevin Dieny: And you knew exactly the incrementality, right. How would you, what dials would you turn to get the most out of it? Right. Is it as simple as just one dial? No, right. It’s gonna be okay. Well, I see. In this period of time, social media’s having a great impact. An email over here and the phone over here and the texts we sent, you know, and the reviews that people are looking at, the video that people are watching on my website this month is having a huge impact, but the next month it wasn’t.
[00:09:05] Kevin Dieny: Why did it go up and down, or why did it go down and then up , that’s all part of this problem that businesses are having and why it makes it so painful. Why it’s so difficult? Because people, things change and it’s hard to have a reliable single dial. You might have a couple, Okay, I see that these are all impacting it, but how much do I turn ’em up and which ones do I turn down?
[00:09:28] Kevin Dieny: Maybe these three are helping, but since this one’s helping the most, I’ll turn it up. But if I turn one up the most and the other’s not as much, then there’s a displacement. Where my, maybe my budgets are allocated, my resources are allocated, and then if things aren’t out, are out of balance, maybe all of a sudden it works worse.
[00:09:48] Kevin Dieny: So, all right, so this is the pain, the problem. This is what we’re dealing with here. So at the end of the day, all again, let me refocus what we’re trying to talk about here. Is, how can we get to that point where we under, we better understand how our marketing is effective in what we can do, what dials we have, right?
[00:10:08] Kevin Dieny: What levers we can pull, what doors we can swing open, what doors we need to close, what dials we need to turn down to make our marketing more effective. That’s what we’re after, an incrementality at its best. Does this at the point of small, medium sized businesses that we’re talking about who don’t have PhD data scientists who don’t have the time or luxury or even the interest in doing a lot of data incrementality tests or experiments, or even giving, even caring much about marketing attribution at all, right?
[00:10:43] Kevin Dieny: How can those type, how can these smaller businesses find value out of better understanding what’s happening in their marketing and their marketing strategy? This isn’t just to evaluate an agency. You know, if you are an agency, this is great. If you are a business who’s running marketing? This is who, this is who it’s for.
[00:11:02] Kevin Dieny: Anyone who’s running marketing, that’s who this is for today. So the first thing about understanding all of this, What it requires. Okay, so let’s set this up. Uh, the path we’re about to take has some requirements. Number one, you gotta culturally across the board care. Cause at the end of the day, you’re gonna wanna take action.
[00:11:24] Kevin Dieny: You’re gonna wanna turn a dial or turn down a dial, right? And if you’re not willing or interested, or care much about turning or up or up or down a dial to get more out of what you’re spending in marketing then is not for you. No, don’t even bother going forward with this. Okay. This is for, okay. Maybe I’m willing to see if my marketing could be more effective, and if I do find out there is a way, I am totally going to turn out the dial or turn it down.
[00:11:49] Kevin Dieny: That’s requirement number one is a, I would say almost like a culture of informational and data awareness and interest. You have to be willing to do something with the data you get. Number two, you’re gonna need the right tools and the right people. Now you’re not gonna need million dollar tools. You may not even need to spend that much money at all, or, you know, might even get by with free tools.
[00:12:12] Kevin Dieny: Fine, Right? But you’re, you’re gonna need, resources are gonna come out of your company in some way or another for this project. So allocating resources, whether it’s actual, you know, monetary budget or it’s time or effort, you’re gonna need tools and the right people. Okay, So that’s the next requirement here.
[00:12:33] Kevin Dieny: Then the last one. Is Okay, you said you were interested in, in turning this dial, you said, Great, if I knew that this specific ad or this source information, or writing this blog article was gonna help my business over the next six months, you know, go, like, basically go from here to there and it’s only gonna cost me a little bit.
[00:12:57] Kevin Dieny: I would totally do that and these are the things I would do. You need to have a plan. You have like some sort of a strategy or, or at least in your head, get whatever I’ve learned, whatever I find out, I’m willing to take action on. That’s like the orchestration part and having that plan or idea in place is again, the last requirement for running incrementality and solving it with data.
[00:13:17] Kevin Dieny: So let’s go through, now that we understand the requirements, now that we understand what’s ahead of us, what’s gonna be happen. So here’s a good question to start us off with. What is really harder measuring marketing attribution or getting to marketing incrementality? Marketing attribution is difficult because it’s really hard to accurately.
[00:13:47] Kevin Dieny: Measure and attribute the touchpoints, the engagements across, let’s say, every consumer at every interaction that, that that consumer has with your business. It’s difficult. Don’t get into why in a sec, but incrementality requires that not only have you measured points, but that you have sort of a controlled environment where you could see.
[00:14:13] Kevin Dieny: Everyone’s doing, whether or not they’re interacting with these channels, maybe specific channels or not, because that’s how we’re gonna start measuring incrementality. Basically how I explained it before, whether a nice car matters in sales, in field sales, right? Or in, uh, your team going out and meeting and interacting, going in the homes of consumers, you know, the quality of the vehicle they drive, the cleanliness of it.
[00:14:36] Kevin Dieny: Does that really matter? Right. And how you would do that would be okay. We have the control or a group, a large group of people who are gonna go out and do the same exact thing, who have the same, very similar skillset and experience and everything to the same kind of people they’re gonna visit, but they’re gonna have a poor car, a Chevy car.
[00:14:57] Kevin Dieny: And then we have the group that’s gonna go and they’re very, again, these groups are very similar, but they’re gonna, the only thing that’s different is they’re gonna have a nice. So you see this is kind of this experimentation. Is how you’re gonna say, Okay, well now I can see poor car, great car. I only have like 10, 20 cars in my fleet or in my team.
[00:15:17] Kevin Dieny: I can’t do a thousand cars . So, but that’s where we’re going to be dealing with marketing data, which is much more vast, much larger, much higher quantity. So you can do things like this, you can do experiments like this, and that’s how we’re gonna get there. And that’s why incrementality is actually kind of more difficult.
[00:15:34] Kevin Dieny: Cause not only are you measuring the touchpoints and interactions, you also have to kind. Set this up in a controlled and test or an experimental way to know what is, what’s happening and how maybe certain channels are impacting, or maybe not just a combination of channels, but a single individual channel is impacting your, your business.
[00:15:54] Kevin Dieny: So here’s another thing that’s, that’s going on. Sometimes it, there’s, uh, it might be easy to settle on. Well, let’s just, let’s just lean on marketing attribution models. The most common of those is called last click attribution. Just say, okay, whatever. Long as we’re measuring the last thing they did right then I know at least that thing is fairly important.
[00:16:20] Kevin Dieny: Right. They called my business Great. So I know they have the call, we’re tracking the call and then I can see, okay, well it was uh, a Google search that brought them there and Interesting. It was a Google search that included my company. So that’s what did it. And then you say, Great. Done. I know it’s driving my business.
[00:16:43] Kevin Dieny: It’s consumers typing my company name in and then calling me. So maybe my website should just be a giant phone number and maybe my business and it’s keywords should just be my brand, my brand name. You know, maybe that’s all it takes, but you see how that’s kind of misleading and weird and, and obviously that’s an extreme example.
[00:17:01] Kevin Dieny: Of going about this the wrong way, and there’s other marketing attribution models like first interaction or equal interactions along the way, or just the polls or there’s database. There’s all these attribution modeling techniques to say, Well, maybe these touches mattered more than these touches, or maybe these touches should matter more.
[00:17:22] Kevin Dieny: And so we’ll give, basically you take the amount. Either the lifetime value or the revenue or the profit of whatever you got. Like let’s say you sell a consumer a new roof and it was $30,000. You go, Okay, 30,000 is how much we, uh, revenue we. Okay, let’s take that amount and spread that over. What brought ’em in.
[00:17:42] Kevin Dieny: Okay. While there was a salesperson, there was, uh, who came to them and gave them the quote, an assessment. But how did we get there? Well, they asked for a quote on our website. They called us. They came from a Google search. And so you say, Okay, well there’s these four touchpoint. Let’s take the money and go, you know, increment.
[00:18:01] Kevin Dieny: Spread it out and go, Okay, so now we can see how much, you know, revenue’s coming from our organic website search. This is how marketing attribution’s working. And that’s why there’s different models of trying to assess that incrementality, right? Is saying, Well, they wouldn’t have known to search for your brand if they didn’t know your brand.
[00:18:25] Kevin Dieny: So that one doesn’t really get a lot of credit. Let’s go back a little further and see where they learned your brand, where they under, where they were educated, where they became aware of the problem, where they became aware of the solution, where they became aware of you being a solution provider and how they became comfortable and trusting of your business.
[00:18:43] Kevin Dieny: Could that have included reviews, could that have included, uh, videos? Like anything like that has incrementality components in it. And that’s where we wanted to really understand it is also possible that, you know, because they searched for your brand name and you came up and we see that that is having a huge lift in conversions, that that might also have some incrementality.
[00:19:03] Kevin Dieny: That’s where, okay, Ryan gonna get too crazy here, but that’s data driven attribution. That’s data driven, marketing sort of, and, and how it’s done. We tout all day. Go track every touch you have, so you have that data so you can do something with it, right? If you don’t know where your business is coming from, that’s, that’s first, that’s, that’s primary.
[00:19:28] Kevin Dieny: Having a way that people can even get in touch with your business, an email, a form, a call, a chat, a text, whatever it is, right? Those methods are walking into your business. You know, if you have a storefront, making sure those things are in place. Operationally is usually the the starter. So we’re assuming that that’s happened.
[00:19:46] Kevin Dieny: Then we’re assuming you’re tracking those touch points and that’s how you’re getting attribution. So then we’re getting into incrementality. So here’s how we’re going to solve this with data. We’re gonna look at the data we have. Okay, So there’s two groups. There’s a group data. We have. B group data that exists.
[00:20:07] Kevin Dieny: We don’t have it. For instance, , this is a good example. There are interactions. You just can’t measure. You’ll never, you can’t measure someone saying to their brother, Hey, I, you know, this roofing company came by and gave us a quote and it was great, and that’s how we got our new roof. A referral like that.
[00:20:28] Kevin Dieny: There’s no tracking capability. There’s no tool. It’s like, Hey, your brother, like this is how many times your business has been mentioned between brothers or between brothers in-laws or between uncles or family or neighbors. That doesn’t exist. You know, referral tracking like that is difficult.
[00:20:44] Kevin Dieny: Oftentimes you’ll see referral links and gift cards and stuff in exchange for that information, but it’s not telling you the full truth there. There’s also interactions that are measurable. In a span, but it’s hard to measure their impact, right on the greater hole. Like think of rain falling on a lake, right?
[00:21:05] Kevin Dieny: If all the rain came down in one big, giant rain drop, make a big splash, right? Make a big impact. But when there’s like a tens of thousands of tiny little raindrops hitting the water, right? Those are all having little micro impacts all over the place, and some of them canceling each other. Sometimes the repetitive use of a channel or marketing is having an impact, but it’s also having a negative impact called saturation.
[00:21:35] Kevin Dieny: Someone sees your ad over and over and over again. They start to forget about it. It starts to become less important to them. It starts to lose it’s uniqueness. It’s why companies spend money making newer advertisements all the time. You know, the old one gets boring, the old one falls out of their interest,
[00:21:52] Kevin Dieny: So all this is happen. So there’s the data we have and that’s what we’re only gonna focus on. The data we don’t have, can’t get it. Too difficult to get too costly. You’re not tracking it, just put it outta your mind. Focus on whatever you’re tracking today. Whatever you know. Right? So what do you have? What do you know?
[00:22:11] Kevin Dieny: Do you have a crm? Do you have call information? You have form information? Do you, you know, in your store front, if people come in, do you know. You count that. Do you know anything about that? Maybe you take their information at the computer so you have it when they order or they when they don’t. If they come in and they leave, do you know anything about them?
[00:22:31] Kevin Dieny: You know? So what data do you have? Focus just on that. And that’s all we’re gonna do incrementality on today. So of the data that you have, right? I would also look at it like, how much of it do I have? And that’s where I was talking about the, the cars. Right. You have, Let’s say you have 20 trucks, 20 vans, 28, your team is 20 people.
[00:22:56] Kevin Dieny: Is that enough to do a large experiment with? Possibly not. You have five data points. That’s it. Over the span of a year, not gonna be helpful. So again, you have the data that you have and then there’s data that you have at quantity. Again, that’s again, we’re gonna need to kind of focus on. There is still importance in the data that’s of small quantity.
[00:23:17] Kevin Dieny: It’s. Difficult to assess an incrementality, uh, because of the, you know, we need to be able to experiment with it. We need to be able to say, Some with some without. And that might be difficult with small quantities of data. And if you, you know, if five things happen in a year and next year or six things happen, would you be really, really willing to bet a lot of money that that happened because of something you did?
[00:23:41] Kevin Dieny: Or could it just have been chance, you know, or you got lucky, or that person referred someone to their brother behind the scenes and you didn’t know. Right. stuff like that is why we wanna focus on the large data. The other thing we wanna focus on is things that you can. So you’re getting a lot of visitors to your website, but it’s all falling under the The channel.
[00:24:01] Kevin Dieny: Direct, okay. Or other or unknown , right? You don’t know where they’re coming from. You don’t know how they’re getting your url. You don’t know how they’re coming to your website. Can you do anything about that? No, not really. Sure. Other channels are having an impact, but directly influencing that may not necessarily be possible, and you could be of high quantities of data.
[00:24:25] Kevin Dieny: So we’re filtering that. Again. Again, think about what do you, what data do you understand in your business that’s of a certain quantity that you can do something about? Right. Visitors from ads can do something about, I’m gonna calls your team’s getting, or are putting out or outbounding the appointments they’re setting.
[00:24:43] Kevin Dieny: The times that things are happening, visitors to your website, maybe, um, from, yeah, again, social ads, sources that you control, maybe that you’re spending money in is again, probably a pretty important one. So that’s all gonna come into play, the things that are in this other bucket, right? Your reputation, your brand.
[00:25:05] Kevin Dieny: Those things are really hard to know and measure if things are happening. The swag, the type of truck, the logo, you know, those things, those are difficult. You can run tests on those, but those are, those are difficult. Um, your reputation, I’m talking about how people, what people think and understand of your.
[00:25:24] Kevin Dieny: Your company, your review based reputation, you could definitely do something about, right? Like we have these tools, we measure ’em, we respond to reviews, we encourage people to leave reviews so you can get your reviews higher and get higher. You know, the better service you’re out putting Will will bring in higher star rating reviews.
[00:25:42] Kevin Dieny: So you can’t have an influence on that, but your just general reputation in the community, how you’re known, that’s a lot harder to assess. So all these things are silos, pockets, and areas of data all over the place. The thing you really want to now, now we’re getting to, is the data you have. You need to be able to connect it to each.
[00:26:05] Kevin Dieny: So I took a pause here. , cuz this is really important question. How are you gonna stitch the data together? How are you gonna take your data and tie it together to make sense of it? Right? This is where incremental for smaller businesses is what I wanna focus. The bigger enterprise, bigger companies can afford machine learning algorithms.
[00:26:33] Kevin Dieny: They can afford to do pretty hardcore experimentation across their channels to get an interesting mix, uh, an interesting combination of, let’s say statistical results, statistical modeling, there’s also tools out there. That we’ll do that kind of for you, or we’ll look at every channel and its impact and its influence and, and run its analysis and break apart and pull apart all the interesting stories going on in your business data.
[00:27:06] Kevin Dieny: But let’s ignore the tool. Solution that are costly. Ignore anything that costs money. For now, let’s just look at how we’re gonna stitch this together. Let’s tell this story. So first we’re gonna look at the dependencies. Which is how do we tie information in one system to data in another? And I’m gonna start with a simple, the simplest way I can do this with you, which is we’re gonna tie websites, website interactions to campaigns.
[00:27:40] Kevin Dieny: You are spending money somewhere in ads, let’s say. So you’re spending money on Google. Google local search ads, Google Local services, ads. and you’re getting leads. People are calling your business for a specific service. Great coming in, you’re getting these leads, and then they’re booking us appointments.
[00:28:01] Kevin Dieny: You’re having an assessment or something, a quote, uh, it’s service is delivered and there’s payments, and you’re, so that’s the span. That’s the simple touch points. In this example, right? There’s searches, web visits, local service ads, calls, appointments, quotes. Service delivery payment. That’s what we’re looking at here.
[00:28:24] Kevin Dieny: Okay, so you run campaigns first, local service ads, campaigns, maybe Google ad campaigns. You also have organic your, your SEO call that your organic campaign, your organic campaigning campaigns is just saying, you know, what efforts are there and we’re grouping them all. Al. So each of these campaigns is running, and then someone sees your local service ad and they call it, All right.
[00:28:58] Kevin Dieny: So how do we stitch together the efforts we’re making in our marketing campaigns to this call? Okay. So first of all, when. We’re spending money in a campaign. If we’re using, and you should be using, this is how you do it. UTM parameters. Any time anyone visits your website, you’re gonna see what campaign is coming from, right?
[00:29:20] Kevin Dieny: Organic and search don’t, You won’t find that, but you’ll see them. That’s channels. You’ll see them showing up because the source and the medium will be there and it’ll say, Sources, Google or Yahoo, or aol, or. Whatever search engine people are using do dot go. You’ll see them, Googles and stuff, their searches, and you’ll show up as organic in your web analytics, which again, what you’re doing here.
[00:29:42] Kevin Dieny: So you get, you may say, Okay, look it, I’m seeing 10,000 visitors from like my organic, and if you search console, you can even see what queries, what searches they’re typing in. Great. If you’re spending money on ads, you’re gonna see what campaign is happening there. Now, if it’s paid ad, Facebook ad, Google ad search ads, whatever it is, if they go to your website, right, they’re gonna, you’re gonna see the campaign created.
[00:30:07] Kevin Dieny: Visitors. Now, when there’s a call, that number that they call needs to be unique to either the campaign or the channel or the visitor or whatever. So that way you can go, Okay, they saw my local search. They called it and they called the number. I can attribute the call back to local service ad because that number is associated only with local search ads, and this is called tracking in a, in a bubble here, in a very quick explanation.
[00:30:36] Kevin Dieny: So now you go, Okay, great, I’m getting this many calls from local service ads, Boom, I’ve got my how much, what campaign, what I’m spending, right? And on the other end I’m getting, what I’m getting out of it, my results, my calls. Now you’re not gonna see in campaigns the people here, really, right At this point, all you’re seeing is a campaign, which is an effort, how much I’m spending and resources there to make it happen.
[00:31:05] Kevin Dieny: On the call side, that’s where you’re opening up people. Now, people data contact, data, lead data, and we’re seeing, let’s say, Bill, Called my business at this time, and he came from this ad and this. So we’re saying, Bill is now associated with this campaign and this campaign. I spent this much money. You’re linking them together.
[00:31:26] Kevin Dieny: Those two silos, you’re bringing ’em together cuz what connects them is the call and the call, you can tell, came from that campaign. Hopefully this is making sense. You’re stitching those two together. Now we’re gonna go further than that. We see the call resulted in an appoint. So now we can say, Okay, now an appointment is resulting in, resulted from this campaign.
[00:31:50] Kevin Dieny: Now there’s a quote. Someone shows up, they get a quote, then they purchase, It’s service delivered and I get paid. Awesome. Now I have revenue against my costs still. We’re just talking about attribution right now, , we could see what we spent and what we got out of it. And if we total this up over the span of time, after six months, we spent this much and we got that much out.
[00:32:11] Kevin Dieny: Awesome. That’s so cool. But let’s go a little further, right? Let’s go into incrementality. So now we see every point along the way that’s happened here. We also have that search, maybe organic campaigns, maybe other social campaigns, campaigns happening before the local ads. Did those influence the local app?
[00:32:36] Kevin Dieny: Were they incremental? Meaning, was any of them essential? To that person seeing the local ad and then following up and calling and moving along that way, that path. How do we assess that? So again, you only have some data points, right? Did they visit your website? Did the same person who visited your website also visit your website from seeing the local ad, are we seeing a, let’s say, Channel mix of people who are visiting our website from search and visiting our website from paid ads.
[00:33:11] Kevin Dieny: Are we seeing those two happen, Like those two channels happen together at any quantity of time that results in people calling or filling out a form or contacting our business? That is how you would look at this. And if you see, wow, uh, we do, we are getting a lot of searches. And we’re getting a good, good amount of, let’s say Google local search ads, leads, uh, quality leads.
[00:33:39] Kevin Dieny: You could probably say, yeah, there’s probably some incrementality going on, but now that brings up, okay, now we need to know for sure. How do we know for sure? Right? So this is where it gets real fun. real interesting. Okay, so now we need to set up an experiment where, We have a group that won’t see our search ads and a group that will see our search ads, and we need to see our local services ads and we need to see if, when the local search ads are in there, if the, and we keep the, you know, maybe organic search or other campaigns going at the same time, whether they’re having an impact on us getting leads and sales and revenue.
[00:34:27] Kevin Dieny: So how would we do. Let’s say you’ve got locations, multiple locations. So let’s say you got three, and let’s say one of them is pretty far away in another, maybe county, another area, People from this area are unlikely to call that one way over there. Okay? So that one over there is where we’re gonna run the test because it’s separate enough, it’s distinct enough, right?
[00:34:55] Kevin Dieny: We’re gonna run. A lot of paid campaigns, maybe Google ads and Google local search ads together over here, Facebook ads, whatever it is you wanna do the test on. So I guess for this example, let’s say Facebook ad, you’re gonna run a Facebook ad with Google, Google’s local search ads right here. But in that third location, you’re just gonna do the Google local search ads.
[00:35:20] Kevin Dieny: Okay? Budgeting the same strategy, the same, managing it the same. You wanna try to have these two examples be everything the same except for the Facebook component, right? And you’re gonna need to do this for a longer stretch of time. That way you could say, Okay, I have Facebook ads going and Google local search ads going over there.
[00:35:38] Kevin Dieny: I just have Google local search ads going. So it’s Facebook causing an impact on my overall. Is it anything an incremental meaning? It’s helping. Me drive business, and if it didn’t exist, I would’ve driven less. So here’s how we would know after, let’s say six months location far away and location close up, are the have the same sort of result in terms of percentage, right?
[00:36:08] Kevin Dieny: Return on investment. Uh, the revenues are similar, the leads ratios are similar. The volume of leads, the quality of leads they got is very similar. Then you might say, Well, Facebook’s not having a real lift here. You know, maybe it’s not having any impact. And so you could dial back Facebook, but all of a sudden if you’re like, Whoa, all of a sudden this location over here is stuff dropped, maybe it is having an impact.
[00:36:35] Kevin Dieny: And maybe there is something about that other location that mimics Facebook’s influence over here. So things like that are happening all the time, and it’s difficult, but that’s the, that’s the decision you have to make is if I knew that Facebook is having a, not as much of an. Maybe I wouldn’t spend as much money there.
[00:36:52] Kevin Dieny: And so you turn it down, but then all of a sudden you realize, Oh wow, something’s happening over here. Maybe it is Facebook and you turn it back up. If things go back up to normal or over a span of time they do, then yeah, maybe Facebook is having an impact. That’s the difficult, the real tough problem with all of this, right?
[00:37:13] Kevin Dieny: There’s seasonality. You gotta be careful about. Uh, you don’t know. Some baselines are really hard to establish, like what’s really happening. The data solution for this incrementality is to focus on the information of high quality that you have at your fingertips, which could be small, could not, could be minimal, and consider what can I do to test if it’s working and think of, well, where can I.
[00:37:40] Kevin Dieny: Something in a controlled way versus an experimental way and run it for enough time to see if it’s having an impact. That’s how you, that’s how you have to do this. Cuz let me tell you, as a marketing professional, a business is, is totally willing to cut budget on things that are just attribution. Right.
[00:38:01] Kevin Dieny: Yeah, social people are interacting with social because it, the way they understand it is, sure, maybe it’s having an impact on the business, but it’s hard. But you know, there’s not a lot of confidence there. Just matching a marketing attribution alone, a business is much more willing to hold budget and not cut it on increment incremental marketing, because that marketing is essential and is absolutely critical to driving revenue for the.
[00:38:29] Kevin Dieny: The components of a business that are absolutely critical to driving revenue are the things they’re not gonna wanna cut. What the things that are kind of wishy washy gray, maybe they’re causing revenue, maybe they’re not , those are things that are gonna be like, Oh, that’s slash and burn this marketing budget.
[00:38:47] Kevin Dieny: That’s to be expected and that’s what happens. And so you have to be able to prove this. You kind of start with attribution and then you get to incrementality, which again is a lot harder. Um, finally there’s the concept of the black swan. Is there data maybe in small quantities, maybe in rarity, seasonality?
[00:39:06] Kevin Dieny: Is there something maybe that happens on the news or something that happens to a competitor? Unpredictable, Unforeseen. Unknowable things that have a giant impact on your results, right? Are there things like that you will not be able to predict or foresee them and you don’t know, and they may influence your data, and so the only way you can know is just, okay.
[00:39:31] Kevin Dieny: The best way to know, best way to get through all of this is go, let’s just run an experiment once every six months on something important that we would be willing to do something about where we see we have high quality data. And we think we can influence the result, which is basically conversion rate, optimization, experimentation, and marketing, which is so critical to keeping budget, holding it, and actually having an effective result out of making changes in your business.
[00:39:57] Kevin Dieny: Orchestrating actionable takeaways that are gonna really, at the end of the day, move the needle up and progress the business toward growing. That’s what’s so important. Ah, I just wanna close out here with, it’s exciting to be able to have your marketing just lift the business so much. It’s exciting to know that your marketing is incremental, that it’s essential that it, the business would not have derived the revenue as effectively, or as well, or as quickly.
[00:40:35] Kevin Dieny: As they as it could have with the marketing that you’re doing. And that’s what Marketing incrementality is all about. And that’s why you want a database solution. And when you tie data together, yeah, start with spreadsheets, Google Sheets, you could do it for free. You could do this low budget on a small business, you can do it.
[00:40:51] Kevin Dieny: There’s tools like Super Metrics, which are maybe a one step up. I’ll mention them here cuz they’re, I love ’em. They’re great. For, you know, pulling data outta silos and new systems, uh, that really easily and effectively. The next level up would, of course, be a data warehouse, Data warehousing. When your volume gets to a certain level, it’s very big.
[00:41:08] Kevin Dieny: You, you’re gonna need an etl, you’re gonna need something to extract data out of systems through APIs in bulk. Put it in, organize it, and that way you can run queries and get amazing attribution. Amazing, amazing results are even going to be incrementality, which is when you’re gonna be needing to run some experiments and looking at lift and evaluating what is genuinely essential.
[00:41:30] Kevin Dieny: And you know what? What is not? It’s hard to sift that up, but it’s so powerful for a business to focus its resources on incremental marketing campaigns and strategies instead of. Getting further, further into wider and wider and wider into marketing theories, ideas, and strategies that just aren’t working for their business, for your individual business.
[00:41:57] Kevin Dieny: And that’s it. I hope you are not overwhelmed, but encouraged to take a step into the faray of marking inter mentality of looking in at what data you have, what data’s available, what tests you might wanna run, and that way you can assess. Okay, I’m gonna make, I know how to make my marketing more effective from my business and help it grow, help it achieve whatever goal you’re.
[00:42:22] Kevin Dieny: With that, I’m gonna close it out. I appreciate you listening to the episode. And I’m Kevin Dieny. You can find me on LinkedIn or anywhere on social media if you can get, uh, find us and we appreciate you listening. Thank you so much.