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Google’s ‘Flight Map’ to Purchase: How Do You Attribute Across Channels?

Posted on the 25 September 2012 by Tchu @UpStreamMPM

In a recent article, Google’s head of retail, Todd Pollack, discussed how conversion paths are becoming increasingly more complex. Shoppers bounce back and forth across channels as part of the purchasing path, or "flight map". To help marketers understand how the internet has changed customer purchasing habits, Google created an e-book called the Zero Moment of Truth (ZMOT), named for what they call the online decision-making moment. 


If you didn’t catch that, Google specifies the online decision-making moment – not the decision-making moment. Sure, that makes sense since Google is the king of online, but where does that leave marketers in attributing revenue across channels, and in particular the brick-and-mortar store?

Google Analytics offers several types of marketing attribution: first interaction, last interaction, linear, time decay, position based, or customized – but all of these only work for purchases made online since there is no way for Google to tie back offline purchases. Pollack points out that many brick-and-mortar stores use ship-to-store: purchase online, pick up at the retail store. Those purchases are captured by Google’s attribution, but how often are you purchasing online and then driving to a store to pick up your purchase? 

Multi-channel retailers that want to make data-driven marketing decisions need a complete picture. Creating a holistic view of a customer’s flight map requires evaluating ALL of a customer’s activity: online (search, email, display, social media, mobile) and offline (direct mail, telemarketing, print) marketing, as well as non-marketing factors (customer-driven, calendar effects, store area, promotional effect, customer events). UpStream’s solution combines all of this data and uses advanced statistical techniques to calculate the retailer’s actual ROI for each marketing treatment.

If you are a multi-channel retailer that needs actionable marketing intelligence, learn more about UpStream’s


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