Attribution continues to pull at marketers like a child begging for attention, but too many shrug off the request because it becomes complicated trying to attribute media across channels -- for most, anyway. Not for Alex Otrezov, senior director of paid-search operations at Hotwire.
Otrezov says Hotwire can run up to seven attribution models simultaneously from a list that includes Last Interaction, Last non-Direct Click, Last AdWords Click, First Interaction, Linear, Time Decay, and Position.
"If you cannot track the consumer it doesn't matter how much data you have, it's useless," Otrezov said.
The first step to success in mobile is segmenting and using first-party data, Otrezov said, because brands have it. It's there. Hotwire pulls its mobile transactions by location and found that people get off the plane and reserve a car as they walk toward the car rental terminal.
Allow the marketplace and the consumer to dictate the attribution model -- not the finance team or other groups within the company, Otrezov told attendees at last week's MediaPost Search Insider Summit.
Looking across channels is important. "On average in the travel industry, the consumer cuts across about eight or nine touchpoints before converting," he said. "If they look a month in advance, it could be 30 touchpoints."
Hotwire gets about 75% of its site traffic from mobile devices, but the year-over-year percentage continues to rise rapidly as consumers become more comfortable with making decisions on smaller screens. Most convert within zero to three days. These are people at airports or tourist areas.
Otrezov offers a few other bits of advice, including an analysis of the overall performance of keywords to see how many and which ones consumers actually use to come through to the site. Remarketing lists for search ads also can help marketers bid on a specific consumer who has visited the site. If they have been exposed to one of the products it's a big deal to get them back to the site based on the information, he said.
One major consideration when building campaigns for mobile, he said, is to focus on the lifetime value of the customer, and to come up with a number because that will give the brand a competitive edge.