Understanding your campaign results is one thing. Understanding what they mean in relation to each other given your various channels is another. This is the difference between marketing tracking and marketing attribution.
Marketing tracking can tell you how many clicks you got, or how many direct mail inquiries came in. It also can tell you how much you spent. But what it can’t tell you is what’s working overall, what isn’t, and by how much. It also can’t tell you where you should be allocating your budget.
Marketing attribution, on the other hand, puts a wealth of insight at your fingertips and requires an integrated approach to data management. It enables you to take a look under the hood to recognize not only wins and losses, but trends. It gives you the ability to assess the relationship between specific channel budgets so you can grow and shrink them accordingly.
The difference between media performance metrics (the clicks, the inquiries) and business performance metrics (the relationships and rationale) is what you will find when you partner with a data-driven, integrated agency of record (AOR). When choosing an integrated AOR, be sure your partner takes the time to aggregate data from all channels and campaigns to analyze your marketing programs, helping you to understand what works, what doesn’t, and by how much. It’s a difference worth knowing.