woman standing in front of chalkboard full of analytic data

Beer and Attribution

WE Communications Blog: Technology

— Joshua Eubanks 

On a recent 8-hour flight back to Seattle, I picked up the in-flight magazine and stumbled upon a write-up on Alaska Brewing Company. It explained the rich history of brewing in Alaska and tied this into how the Alaska Brewing Company was founded. I was greeted with a tap on the shoulder from the flight attendant asking if I wanted something to drink.

 “…by chance, do you have an Alaskan Amber?” I inquired.

“We sure do,” he said, as if anticipating my preference.

To whom do you attribute to the sale of this beautifully crafted, cold frothy beverage? Is it the Airline, who offers in-flight service; the flight attendant who offered me a beverage; the write up in the magazine; the college friend, who swears up and down that Alaskan Amber is the best beer known to man; a product placement in a movie I watched last week; the digital ad I saw on an internet search; the website banner I ignored reading an article; or the ad in the Super Bowl I don’t remember the specifics of, only that it made me feel authentic? The list simply does not stop and continues to grow every single day. 

WE’s Stories in Motion study looked at how branded content influences opinion and the results pointed towards Earned media (47%)  as the most favored source, over that of Owned (34%), Paid (29%) and Social (22%).  However, our media consumption doesn’t stop and like your financial portfolio, we don’t recommend putting all your eggs in one basket.

Humans across the globe live in an era in which we are bombarded with marketing every min. of every day. With their finite budgets, marketing professionals need to know what type of marketing is driving ROI. Welcome to the world of attribution.

All forms of intentional and unintentional advertising play a role in the customer journey. Journeys definitely are infinite and nonlinear, but there are similarities, trends, and patterns that can be identified with data.

It starts with knowing your audience better than they know themselves. Who are they, what do they read, when do they read, what do they do at 5am, what do they do at 10:48pm? These questions reveal tendencies and habits that give insights into when you should market, where you should market, how you should market etc.

Did you know that Baby Boomer Males (44%) more than any other audience in the Stories in Motion Study indicated that Television was their device of choice during their morning (pre-commute) routine? Or that with five hours of freedom on a random weekend that Millennial Females (42% of them) indicated that they would browse social media?

Marketers today have to monitor audience behaviors to ultimately identify the opportunity to market (this means all of marketing, no silos) and gather as much data in real time as possible. This will allow one to identify patterns of how your marketing is influencing behavior.

Once identified, test, modify, and repeat… in as close to real time as possible. Only then, will you be able to start to consider what elements of your market mix are affecting your ROI. From there, we can start to think about attribution.


Connect with the author, Joshua Eubanks, on Twitter and LinkedIn.