What if Google's plan to block 90% of Chrome users' third-party cookies by mid-2024 isn't the main challenge for performance marketers? What if it’s only the most visible manifestation of an even bigger problem with how we attribute conversions in 2023?
That’s what Chris Liversidge, creator of the AI-driven attribution tool Corvidae, told the audience at PMW FutureCommerce. Held in London at the beginning of June, the event brought together some of Europe’s leading performance-marketing specialists with an audience of industry leaders.
“Turning off cookies in Chrome — which has more than a 60% market share worldwide — will be a big challenge. And the industry needs to get ready for it,” said Liversidge. “Unaddressed, it will lead to increased cost per place, increased cost per acquisition, and less relevant traffic.”
But the bigger picture, Liversidge insisted, is more worrying for marketers. Most attribution technologies marketers use today can’t correctly parse data from different sources — Google, Meta, TikTok etc. — and amalgamate it into a single, coherent, detailed and accurate attribution journey. “Most attribution data is incomplete or just incorrect. By our reckoning, what Google Analytics tells you about attribution is wrong 78% of the time.”
Reaching the touchpoints that other advertisers can’t get to
Liversidge explained that one of the problems of the current attribution landscape is that each attribution engine doesn’t know what it doesn’t know. If it only has visibility of a portion of your customer journey, it may misattribute the final conversion event and incorrectly understand the importance of all the other touchpoints it sees.
Usually, he explained, the engines can only see some portion of the latter part of the customer journey. “What you need to be able to do,” he explained, “is see earlier in the conversion path. If you can do that, you better understand what is driving conversions and move your media spending accordingly.”
Not only does this allow media planners to improve conversion rates, by better targeting the touchpoints that are really making an impact. It also improves cost-effectiveness. It does this by revealing touchpoints that others can’t see, and thus can’t bid on, but also by making it possible to bid on touchpoints earlier in the customer journey, winning attention and loyalty earlier on, when it’s cheaper.
Why are we letting AdTech grade their own homework?
What marketers need, Liversidge said, is a system that not only attributes accurately but can be proven to do so. Only then can they invest their media spend with confidence. “That’s why we created our platform, Corvidae,” he said. “One of the first things we do with clients is ask them to give 20,000 cases they know converted and 20,000 that didn’t.
“We remove the conversion data and give the data on all 40,000 customer journeys to the Corvidae AI. So far, it has identified the converting touchpoint accurately 98% of the time, compared to around 20% for rival platforms.” And that’s not all, Liversidge explained. Depending on the client and the use case, the average sales journey mapped by Corvidae is two to three times as long as the same sales journey mapped by rival platforms.
Liversidge said Corvidae can identify more touchpoints — whether online, social or in-store — and earlier in any given sales journey. Not only does this allow users to find and bid on the right touchpoints for their goals, but it also helps identify the best possible placements for the optimum combination of value and effectiveness.
“We can go further than that,” said Liversidge, “marketers can plug their other analytics engines into Corvidae. Using the data from those engines, the AI gets an even clearer picture of conversion paths and attribution. For instance, it can see which of your affiliates are really bringing in new business — and which are doing so right at the start of the sales journey.”
For more information about Corvidae, see the company’s website https://corvidae.ai.