Part 2 of a 2-part blog discussing the value and pros and cons of Traffic vs. Sales Attribution

BY CEO & Founder Steve White September 11

In part 1 of this series, I discussed Web Traffic Attribution, how that works and why most dealers are using it as their primary measurement tool when making marketing spend decisions. While web traffic is certainly important, the ultimate reason the measurement of web traffic is so prevalent is because it’s what is available and what most vendors provide in their monthly reports to dealers. Stands to reason that, as a dealer, you would want to compare apples to apples.

But relying on Web Traffic as your main KPI can lead to some incorrect decisions because it only tells you what channels were most effective at driving traffic to your website – but not sales in your dealership. This is where Sales Attribution comes in.  Sales Attribution helps vendors correctly attribute sales and thus provide dealers with data they can trust. So, what exactly can Sales Attribution tell you?

In a nutshell, Sales Attribution can show you which vendors are actually converting into sales. Ultimately, that’s what any dealer and vendor wants to know. Sales Attribution can take your sales data, combine it with your web traffic data and, using a Multi-Touch Attribution model, show you how productive a given vendor is, with data you can TRUST.

A great example of this is a General Manager we recently worked with who had a suspicion that his email vendor was not as effective in driving sales as reported. The vendor’s report was all traffic-based and neither the vendor, nor the dealer, had any way to match that traffic to sales. The conquest email campaign was run via the vendor’s proprietary list, so it was very difficult for the dealer to measure, since he had no access to whom those emails were sent.

We helped the dealer apply Sales Attribution tracking to determine how many of the customers that clicked on the vendor’s emails actually made a purchase. Using Multi-Touch Attribution the dealer was able to see how many customers actually had email clicks in their purchase path — and there were many. The GM learned his suspicion was unfounded and that the email vendor was not only driving a lot of traffic, but that traffic was also converting.

The results won’t always be this rosy. However, with the right attribution infrastructure in place, both dealers and vendors can better see and trust their results.

I am sure there have been many times when you had to scratch your head and had no clue what data to trust when it comes to other forms of attribution. Consider those vendors who use last-click attribution and take all the credit for a sale. It’s a well-known fact that consumers simply don’t take just one action in their purchase journey. It would be silly to think that the only thing a consumer did was go straight to your pop-up and convert.

In summary, while Traffic Attribution is easier to measure than Sales Attribution, I like to refer to Sales Attribution as the Holy Grail because it ultimately allows you to identify which of your vendor marketing investments are actually leading to sales, not just driving traffic.

The fact is, a combination of both is what works. Web Traffic Attribution and Sales Attribution can provide you with more accurate data, enabling you to make more informed marketing investment decisions while holding your vendors accountable. This will lead to an increase in ROI simply because you no longer have to guess or rely on inaccurate or erroneous data. You can then reallocate money to those channels or vendors that are producing, and eliminate those that aren’t.

Stop guessing and start knowing. Take full advantage of Web Traffic and Sales Traffic Attribution tools that exist and start maximizing your marketing investments.

Don’t you want to know for sure what’s working and what isn’t?