The key challenge facing travel marketers is working out the relative value of a click versus a page impression.
Speaking at last week’s Travolution Summit, Elliot Pritchard, chief marketing officer of leading OTA Travel Republic, urged delegates to test different attribution models.
“The biggest question mark for me is around impressions versus clicks. How much are they worth? There’s a lot of work now being done on viewability. So what is a view worth? It has some worth, but not as valuable as a click obviously.”
The session was chaired by Sylvain Piquet, business intelligence and account strategy director at Summit headline sponsor Criteo.
Pritchard said before firms tackle attribution they have to work out first whether they have a problem.“The first place to start, is to figure out do you have an attribution problem and if so what kind of attribution problem do you have.
“It’s worth looking at your distribution of journeys across a number of touch points, even look at individual customer journeys. Are there common journeys between those paths?
“Then look at the different channels you operate in and at the different models that you could operate and what does that change in terms of your understanding of them.
“Off the back of that you may or may not make different business decisions, which if you don’t why go through the pain and expense of putting a very complicated attribution model in place?
“But if it does, that’s when the real fun starts because actually attribution modelling is very complicated, there’s no one right answer and there are lots of models.”
For firms looking to move away from last click attribution, Pritchard said there were a number of alternative models, but that even click was the one worth starting with.
He added there were other factors like cookie length, particularly in travel where the research and purchase cycle is so long, and the life-time value of the customer.
There may also be a requirement to assess how separate products work together, with the example of a transfer booking following a flight sale sharing marketing credit.
“It’s pretty complicated,” Pritchard added. “And that’s before you get to regression analysis to figure out value. “Actually for me the holy grail is figuring out what they [customers] do when they come to the site.
“A 30 second visit is not the same value as a 30 minute visit, or if I’m researching the family holiday whilst at the same time a stag do for friends, can you tell the difference between the pages I visit and attribute accordingly?”