“Every Channel Wants to Win the Attribution Battle”

By | July 28, 2015

The other day, I wrote a post on 4 critical trends in print + email. I had written a similar article in Print Solutions recently, and this morning, I received a response to the article that I thought was extremely interesting. The response is written by Mike Bann of Bann Business Solutions, a print distributor located in St. Paul, MN. His perspective is forward of the current state of print + multichannel marketing in our industry and reflects where it may be going.

Here is what he wrote:

I read with interest your article on print and email. While I agree in principle with most everything you wrote, I believe that there are more layers to the onion.

A continuing beef I have with the various marketing channels is their unending need to claim victory. In your article, you cited how Target Marketing reported how email ROI for customer acquisition was higher than direct mail. While just last week Direct Marketing News unequivocally claimed direct mail was the flavor of the day.

Every channel wants to win the attribution battle, but if you really peel back the layers it is seldom just the one channel that leads to a sale. Focus needs to go away from opens and click-throughs to sales, as at the end of the day that is all that really matters. Not to mention how BOTS can skew things like CTR.

To me, the secret sauce is the right combination of channels. Today’s reality is that it’s the journey, not the end point. In other words, it might be the email that led to the direct mail that led to a phone call or a landing page. The individual buy might occur via a channel that was not even deployed during a particular campaign. I recently learned a new term called “assisted conversion.” To me, understanding the journey is the key. Rich data is now allowing this to be better tracked.

Also there is actually a new channel that you left out of your discussion that pairs perfectly with either direct mail or email. It is charged out at a CPM just like print and is a no-brainer for distributors to start marketing. We are calling it Digital Direct Mail (DDM). This channel is much like direct mail in that it leverages the same physical mailing addresses and all the segmentation it provides, but it then posts online ads to those same households via their IP. Thus they can get impressions whenever they might browse the web.

There are no current “Can Spam” type laws to contend with, allowing full use of the list. Ads are generally targeted pre and post mail drop dates. Because the software generally nets 50% of the IP addresses from any B2C list, it created a perfect A/B test pool to measure conversions (not just click-throughs).

DDM is actually part of the Programmatic Marketing family. At its core, it is not that complicated and is definitely hot right now. I have opened more doors and gained more new significant accounts with it then with any other product or service ever!

— Mike Bann, Bann Business Solutions

What do you think? Is the industry ready for this level of sophistication? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

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One thought on ““Every Channel Wants to Win the Attribution Battle”

  1. Mike Bann

    Thanks for the shout out, Heidi! My opinion is that it is really not that sophisticated, I doubt I could have figured it out. As a distributor, one of the things that excites me the most is that we are leaving the cost savings side of the ledger and moving to the revenue creating side. The emphasis is less on CPM and more on ROI, hopefully eliminating more competition by creating a win/win. Regardless, if anyone wants to learn more they can contact me as I am happy the help in anyway I can.

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