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Advanced Attribution Driving Cricket Wireless Results

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Evolving from Direct Response to High Level Branding
Red Door Interactive utilizes MOJO Media Attribution to deliver greater results and maximize media influence

Media attribution is often relegated to theoretical discussions, but Red Door Interactive, an independent digital marketing agency, has made applying attributions a part of its offering. And the results are powerful.

Red Door prides itself as an “internet presence management firm” with work ranging from websites to online media to mobile. With 55 employees and clients including Cricket Wireless, Shea Homes and Vistage, Mediaplex’s MOJO platform is their ad server of choice.

Red Door has handled Cricket’s media for few years, including the planning and buying. Over the last year, with the success with existing campaigns, the agency really wanted to help take Cricket to another level as an elite media advertiser.

“This meant moving away from last-in attribution to instead look at the overall impact of the campaign and the entire Path to Conversion® across all ad networks,” says Mikael Greenlief, Red Door’s Online Media Planner. “That way we can identify which networks were influential and which ones were closing sales.”

Red Door introduced attribution modeling to Cricket and worked with Mediaplex to develop the concept of a “network scorecard” to automatically weigh each network across the Path to Conversion and determine overall influence. Mediaplex helped build custom reports which were then sent as datafeeds into a relational database for easier reporting.

“The Mediaplex team was instrumental in building out the functionality for our custom attribution model database,” Greenlief adds. “We didn’t have to go through the datafeeds and instead we got the data in a digestible fashion for our weekly attribution reports. It meant we could focus on the analysis instead.”

The first attribution study involved only display networks. Says Greenlief: “You want to roll out each channel independently to make sure it works before introducing other channels (for example, starting with ad networks, then email, then search). The benefit is that you’ll be able to see how each one influences the other as well as make sure the models work.”

What did they find out? “What you learn most is that if you’re only looking at conversions or cost per conversion, it doesn’t paint a true picture of a campaign,” says Greenlief. “We looked at one network that had 200 less orders, so you might conclude it wasn’t a strong performer. But when you look at its network scorecard of influence, it was clear it was a driver.”

For the next phase of attribution, Red Door introduced other channels such as email, organic search, and implemented the MOJO performance tracker so they had all their acquisition channels covered. This helped determine if a channel or network inspired action by the customer. For example, did they search for a product after an impression or an email? This way, from a media planning perspective, you could give more credit to better influencers.

Their client really appreciated the clarity of this type of analysis. Greenlief states: “It shows them we’re pushing the evolution of their media strategy and other digital marketing. Historically, they would see a network that wasn’t performing from their cost-per-order model and shut it down. But by understanding the interplay between networks, they’re now more open to making buying decisions beyond a last-click mentality. They also appreciate a network’s influential power, which can be just as valuable as its closing ability.”

One example is how Red Door used a video pre-roll buy. Traditionally, pre-roll is not a conversion driver and so the client would not have pursued it. But by showing the Path to Conversion, Cricket was more open to using some of their budget towards higher profile networks. In addition, the video focused on educating the market on their unlimited music download feature rather than a “buy now” call to action.

The resulting influence from that video was 18x better than the network’s average. And when looking at total devices sold from actual revenue numbers, that network had a 200% better affect than any other network. What it demonstrated was that higher profile campaigns do work even if there isn’t a conversion from the creative.

Future endeavors for Red Door include refining Cricket’s campaign work as well as taking attribution studies to other clients. Incidentally, Red Door does not bill their client separately for attribution as it is built into their agreement.

Says Greenlief: “Attribution analysis gives advertisers more success metrics to measure campaigns on beyond cost-per-conversion.” Clearly, it pays to do so.

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