A brief story illustrating the dangers of relying on the “last click” to measure the effectiveness of online marketing expenditures using a simple “offline” analogy to bring the point home.
To understand how the credit for the sale is “unfairly” being attributed to Google; consider this “offline” analogy:
Let’s say it’s the morning of Super Bowl Sunday and you decide you want to throw a couple burgers on the grill for the game – so in your head you already plan on hitting the grocery store for burgers. This is what we would call “pre-existing interest”…but first you’re scanning the paper – catching up on all the pre-game hype…while doing so; you notice an ad for a store you don’t typically frequent. This ‘gourmet’ store is advertising a sale on buffalo burgers for $5.99 a pound – bingo!
You had just read an article a few days before in your favorite health magazine courtesy of a friend’s facebook post about the benefits of buffalo meat and just like that – you shifted from buffalo curiosity a few days earlier to buffalo interest because that ad triggered your memory of something that had previously caught your attention – so off you head to the gourmet supermarket to buy your burgers.
You park your car and on your way into the store you happen to notice a big sign in the window advertising Buffalo Burgers for $5.99 a pound – good to confirm you’re in the right place…a contextually placed relevant ad as you enter the store..so you walk back to the meat department wondering where the buffalo burgers might be…and lo and behold there’s a bright neon-colored sign advertising the $5.99 buffalo burgers with an arrow to a special section of the meat cooler.
This bright neon-colored sign is the last ad you see before selecting the burgers and heading to the checkout.
Under the last-ad-seen model, the article you read earlier touting the benefits of buffalo burgers over traditional beef burgers, the newspaper ad you read in the morning advertising the buffalo burger sale and the sign hanging in the window viewable from the park lot were all worth nothing and did not contribute in any fashion to your ultimate purchase. Instead, the reason you bought the buffalo burger was because of the neon sign pointing to the meat in the meat section.
Ludicrous if not idiotic right?
But using this analogy; you can see the danger of relying on counting only the last ad seen as not all advertising is intended to be immediate direct response and transaction driven.
Now tell this story, or a similar one, using online vehicles as the same can be said for online advertising in the b2b space…guess what the “last ad seen” tends to always be…a search engine link driven from Google…leading unfortunately to them unfairly getting too much credit for the sale happening vs. contributing to a later stage of the buying process…