Marketing Attribution 101: Essential to Understanding Ad Spend

Basic marketing analytics shows visits and conversions at the point of sale. At the same time, only tracking sales conversions offers limited insight into the performance of overall ad spend. Clear marketing attribution can fill in the blanks.

For instance, knowing that a certain eCommerce page or store counter took sales does not account for earlier messaging that may have prompted the customer to visit the point of sale and pull out their wallet.

Obviously, businesses can benefit by learning exactly which of their efforts helped contribute to sales. In this era of multichannel marketing, the ability to give some credit for sales to various ads, platforms, and channels will add incredible value to marketing efforts. Marketers who lack these insights will inevitably drain profits from the most productive campaigns.

Learn how marketing attribution models track the contribution of important brand interactions and how that knowledge can increase both revenue and profits.

What Does Marketing Attribution Measure?

A marketing attribution agency will use analytics and marketing attribution models to assign credit to various touchpoints along sales funnels. That way, marketers understand how well each component of their ad spend performed in order to maximize their use of budget to increase revenue and profits. This also helps marketers understand which parts of their marketing plan to leave alone, tune and test, or remove.

To understand its importance, consider some questions that marketing attribution can help answer:

  • Which messages did the customer see? Attribution funnels can track the customer’s journey. For example, marketers can understand if a display ad, radio spot, email offer, or social post sparked interest in the brand or even immediately preceded a purchase.
  • Which touchpoint influenced the buying decision the most? Very often, a customer will see multiple marketing messages before making a purchase. Marketers will find it useful to gain such information as which touchpoint immediately proceeded the sale or engaged the consumer in the first place.
  • Did brand perception motivate the purchase? Marketers need to know how well their brand recognition campaigns helped engaged consumers with their brands and products.
  • How much did the message sequence and timing matter? Timing messages can greatly impact conversions. As a simple example, a free shipping offer might prompt a customer to return to an abandoned shopping cart but not help so much with initial brand awareness.
  • Did external factors spark sales? Marketing can’t operate in a vacuum. As an example, rising fuel prices will generally factor into a decision to buy a more efficient water heater or car. Natural disasters might spark home generator sales. Sophisticated marketers can even assign credit to events like these.

Types of Marketing Attribution Models

It’s not always easy to know exactly how much credit for sales to assign each brand interaction. Businesses need to determine a set of consistent rules to use for comparisons. Marketers call these various types of rules marketing attribution models.

According to Neil Patel, nobody can say one particular model works best for all companies or even for all kinds of marketing campaigns. This section describes various models and provides some benefits of each one.

Last Interaction

The traditional method of only crediting the point of sale is actually a kind of marketing attribution model. It’s called the last-click or last-interaction model. In the past, when a marketing analytics agency or tracking software offered to track conversions, that’s probably the model they provided.

This method’s easy to understand and tells marketers where transactions happen.Obviously, companies can use this information to know how well a point of sale converts; however, it doesn’t tell the whole story of the buyer’s journey.

First Interaction

In contrast to a last-interaction model, the first-interaction model measures the first exposure to a product. For instance:

  • A shopper might see a display advertisement for a new convection oven, click the ad and get offered an optin subscription that promises a discount and demo videos for popular recipes.
  • Only after watching some videos, the customer visits the sales page to place an order.
  • First interaction, sometimes called first click, will only credit the sale to the original display advertisement at the very top of the funnel.

This powerful model measures the performance of the top of the funnel. That way, marketers can increase their ad spend on the best-performing first-interaction channels to help engage new customers and prospects.

Linear

For many marketers, it won’t make sense to only attribute a sale to either the first or the last touchpoint. The linear model gives equal weight to each touchpoint the customer interacted with before making a purchase.

In the example above, the display advertisement, optin page, videos, discount offer, and the sales page each get to share credit with a linear attribution model. Marketers might use this type of model to compare various sales funnels.

U-shaped

The U-shaped model provides a sort of hybrid from the three models described above. It assigns the most credit to the first and last touchpoints; however, it spreads the rest of the credit between interactions in the middle.

As an example, the default for Google analytics gives the first and last touchpoint 40 percent of the share, and then it spreads the remaining 20 percent between the rest. Google refers to the U-shaped model as the position-based model.

For many campaigns, the point of engagement and point of conversion might matter the most; however, it’s often helpful to know something about other steps that the buyer took along the way.

Time Decay

This model assigns the most credit to interactions that occurred right before the sale and less to previous touchpoints. As an example, a consumer might click through a social post to a sales page. Then days later, they might see a retargeting advertisement, perform a Google search, click a search advertisement, and then buy.

This model gives some credit to the earliest interactions but reserves most for events that happened closer to the time of conversion. In turn, it helps marketers know which channels help with brand recognition and awareness and which ones directly contribute to conversions.

W-shaped

This model assigns the most credit for sales based upon changes to the consumer’s status along their buying journey. As an example, it may assign 30 percent of the credit to each of these engagements:

  • An initial engagement turned the consumer into an interested prospect.
  • A customer submits a form, picks up the phone, or takes another action that turned them from a prospect to a lead.
  • The customer engaged in the last touchpoint before making a sale.

All other touchpoints in between these share the remaining 10 percent of the credit. Similar to sales funnels, this model creates a representation of marketing attribution funnels to let businesses know which part of a multi-step process encouraged a customer to take action along their way.

Which Marketing Attribution Models Work Best?

Obviously, marketers may choose the best model based on the sorts of questions they need answered and sometimes, the complexity of their overall marketing scheme. In summary:

  • Last interaction: This model gives 100 percent of sales credit to the very last engagement, which helps marketers understand the effectiveness of their point of sale.
  • First interaction: With 100 percent of the credit allocated to a first engagement, this model can gauge the effectiveness of various channels used for increasing brand awareness.
  • Linear: The linear model assigns equal weight to each touchpoint along the buyer’s path.
  • U-shaped: The first and last touchpoint share 80 percent of the credit, and other engagements get the remaining 20 percent split between them.
  • Time decay: Engagements that occur closer to the sale get more credit than earlier touchpoints.
  • W-shaped: The W-shaped model has significant events, like turning prospects into qualified leads, share 90 percent of the credit and assigns the rest to intermediate events.

The best attribution model really depends upon marketing goals. For instance, the first interaction model can help measure the effectiveness of brand awareness promotions; however, the W-shaped model pinpoints all the important stops along a marketing funnel that contributed to engaging prospects, taking leads, and finally, earning sales.

All models can prove useful for split tests because it’s easy to swap out one component and compare both total credit and percentages of overall sales.

Marketing Attribution Modeling Tools to Consider

Marketers will need marketing attribution software to manage attribution models, reports, and analysis. Take a look at these seven top attribution software tools:

  • Ruler Analytics: This software provides access to revenue and attribution data in one location.
  • HubSpot Marketing Analytics Dashboard: HubSpot provides reports and dashboards for all marketing analytics.
  • Active Campaign: Active Campaign promotes itself as a customer experience marketing platform, and it includes attribution features.
  • Branch: This cross-channel platform offers insights into the performance of all marketing efforts, plus it has a predictive modeling feature.
  • Windsor.AI: Windsor.AI measures returns from multiple campaigns, channels, and even keywords.
  • C3 Metrics: With a focus on enterprise, cross-platform marketing attribution, C3Metrics works well for many kinds of industries and can source data from digital marketing, radio, TV, and mail.
  • Attribution: The tool includes automated data collection to combine information about online and offline touchpoints with ad spend.

Can a Marketing Attribution Agency Help Improve Profits From Ad Spend?

Even marketing attribution models have some limits. Some customers may have seen news or even spoken with a friend about a brand, and no model can account for that. That’s why marketers also use surveys, focus groups, and general market knowledge to fill in gaps.

As noted by HubSpot, any attribution model works better than none at all. Mostly, marketers can benefit by understanding the model they’re using and grasping both its benefits and limitations. As an example, a sales page or shopping cart may convert well; however, ad spend still appears out of line with revenues. A better marketing attribution model can pinpoint which point in the funnel or specific channel has failed to perform up to expectations.

With today’s complex and multi-channel marketing strategies, marketers need a way to assign credit for sales to various engagement points. Marketing attribution models can open a window to help understand multiple steps in the buyer’s journey.

Digital Marketing Analytics 101: Know How People Use Your Website

More than just web analytics, marketing analytics provides true insight into customer behavior across all sales and advertising channels.

HubSpot mentioned that measuring marketing advertising effectiveness still challenges marketers today. Even though anybody with a website can turn to such established dashboards as Google Analytics, web analytics tools like that only offer part of the information that marketers need to truly understand customer behavior.

It’s true that seeing metrics like page views, bounce rate, and load speeds provides important data about website performance. That data still doesn’t tell businesses enough about their customer’s overall behavior across multiple channels to make effective marketing decisions.

Digital marketing analytics vs. web analytics

To help businesses gain more insight, a good marketing analytics agency will ensure clients view web analytics as just one part of digital marketing analytics. Turning customer behavior into valuable business data requires a wider view than just the small slice of visitor actions displayed by a typical website tracker. Comprehensive marketing analytics will track customers through other parts of their journey, like social networks, emails, phone calls, TV ads, or even in-store events.

For example, a company could have developed a landing page that performs beyond expectations for on-page conversions. Still, without understanding the route customers took to get to that page, businesses could still lose money or at least, sacrifice profits. One marketing channel could deliver most of the conversions, while other expensive channels continue to underperform.

Only by understanding the customer journey better can businesses know exactly how each channel performs in order to make the adjustments they need to improve their ROI. A deep understanding of the customer journey — and its total cost to the business – can let that company know if they’re enjoying their maximum potential or even really making a profit at all.

What tools should businesses use for measuring marketing effectiveness?

According to the HubSpot article cited above, over eight out of 10 marketers say that their bosses expect them to measure each campaign. At the same time, less than a third believe they can provide adequate metrics to evaluate the ROI of every channel. It’s also not surprising to learn that web analytics emerged as the most popular analytics tool with surveyed marketers; however, just about half of the respondents said they did not even use that.

For a better view of commonly available analytics tools and the percentage of digital marketers who employed them, consider these statistics:

  • Web analytics: 48 percent
  • Email marketing analytics: 47 percent
  • Contact form lead analytics: 38 percent
  • Social media analytics: 30 percent
  • Phone analytics: 27 percent

Just a few years ago, marketers may have felt overwhelmed by collecting comprehensive analytics data simply because they would need distinct tools that lacked integration. For example, they might track conversions on a web page and responses to sales calls but had no way to see how these two channels worked together.

These days, common integrations and even all-in-one marketing analytics dashboards are available for marketing performance tracking across multiple channels. Businesses that lack true marketing analytics should dig deeper to explore new methods for measuring marketing performance. If needed, a marketing analytics agency can offer their expertise to suggest the right processes and tools. 

How a marketing analytics agency can deliver important benefits 

Today’s marketing plans usually include multiple, complex consumer channels. Working with a marketing analytics agency will save time in choosing the right tools and using them to their full potential. In turn, the investment can return such benefits as:

  • Integrate analytics with all marketing channels: Businesses might need to track consumers from paid ads, social media, blogs posts, loyalty programs, email subscriptions, and even in-store promotions. That way, they know which channels perform well and which ones need tuning or even discontinuing.
  • Focus on people and not just website stats: With a focus on people and not just page views, marketers will know if their high-converting web page delivers sales from a radio spot, email blast, phone campaign, or a coupon on a receipt.  Marketing analytics offers insights into how customers respond to various marketing activities through integration with all marketing channels, including a CRM, ad platform, or automated dialer.

For most of today’s businesses, sales may come from a website, a store counter, a call to customer service, an email offer, or a website landing page. And even knowing the point of the sale isn’t enough without understanding what other marketing activities prompted a person to make a purchase. That’s the kind of information that will improve marketing returns, plus it’s exactly what comprehensive marketing analytics can provide.

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Telehealth Digital Strategies for Mental Health Providers

Recently, more people have suffered from mental health issues; the right digital strategy can help mental health and telehealth marketing help more patients.

In the United States, past studies have suggested that almost 20 percent of adults coped with some form of mental illness. During the recent coronavirus pandemic, the CDC doubled that figure when they reported that 40 percent of American adults said they recently struggled with mental illness or substance abuse  — and sometimes, both.

This crisis only increased the need for mental health professionals to reach out to patients with their beneficial services. Some telepsychiatry and other mental health services had engaged in both online marketing and services in the past. Pandemic-related social distancing has increased the urgency for providers to use technology to connect with and serve more patients. 

Telehealth helps providers reach more patients by allowing people to login from their home or office computer. At the same time, the right telehealth marketing tactics will help mental health professionals find more people who need their help.

How a mental healthcare marketing agency can help practices reach out online

Pew Research found that four out of five Americans get online each day. Over 28 percent of these people say they’re almost always connected to the internet through their computers and mobile devices. Most of the rest say they login to the internet several times a day.

Thus, the web provides one of the best ways to strengthen all sorts of health and wellness marketing. Not only can the right mix of digital marketing find a large audience, it’s also possible to provide people with the information they need 24 hours a day and seven days a week. Of course, it’s likely that people who seek telehealth already feel comfortable with getting online.

Consider some examples of the kinds of in-person or telehealth marketing tactics that will introduce mental health professionals to more people that they can help:

  • Content: Good content can educate people about relevant topics, introduce them to a provider’s practice, and help build authority. Examples of kind of content might include blog articles, social media posts, or even uploads to video channels. For an example of a psychologist with engaging and topical mental health videos, see Dr. Grande on YouTube.
  • Social media pages: Not only will social media pages help distribute content, they can also give a mental health practice a way to connect with a wider audience and display that all-important social proof. Social proof refers to the idea that people tend to accept the ideas of those they can relate to or admire, which can prove important in engaging potential clients.
  • Email and text subscriptions: Health and wellness marketing can use email and/or text subscriptions to send out newsletters, alert subscribers to new content, and promote additional services. Subscriptions keep prospects connected and can serve as valuable leads.
  • Search engine optimization: Search engine optimization, usually called SEO, helps make websites and other online platforms easier for people to find when they search online. Even a decade ago, NBC reported that most adults began looking for mental health information online, and the number of internet searches has grown rapidly since them.
  • Paid ads: Search engines, social media sites, and other media platforms offer paid search engines. It takes time to gain a good position with social media, content, subscriptions, and SEO. Paid ads can produce faster results. Today’s advertising platforms allow a mental health marketing agency to target their ads to reach an audience with a likely interest in their services.

How online mental health and wellness marketing benefits patients and providers

Obviously, mental health providers offer services that help people cope with mental illness. In turn, digital marketing can ensure that these providers reach the people that need the help. At the same time, digital marketing gives mental health providers a chance to increase their own business. In particular these days, reaching as many people as possible only makes sense as good business and good medicine.

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CRO Optimization Suggestions for the Best CTA Button Text

The perfect call to action should enhance the website’s marketing message, tell people exactly what they’ll get, and prompt them to take the desired action.

After spending a tremendous amount of time researching audiences, designing a user interface, and planning a content strategy, so many marketers and website developers slap in the call-to-action button at the last minute, almost as an afterthought.

Yet, Michael Aagaard of Unbounce referred to the call to action, or CTA, as the vital tipping point between a website bounce and a conversion. During a time when conversion rate optimization can make the difference between profits and losses, it’s important to make certain that the CTA tips in the company’s favor.

10 great CTA button alternatives to “Learn More”

Move beyond the old standbys like “Learn More,” “Continue Reading,” or even worse, “Click Here” to propel website visitors to the next stage of the buyer’s journey. The biggest problem with these kinds of CTAs is that they’re overdone, vague, and not very engaging. Look at some better alternatives for CTA button texts.

1. “Sign Up”

It’s annoying to click a “Learn More” button only to get presented with a signup form. If marketers want to encourage people to enroll, they should transparently urge their website visitors to do just that. Even better, make sure to emphasize what benefits the visitor will enjoywhen they do enroll.

2. “Try It for Free”

“Free” always makes the list of motivating marketing terms. Prospects might not feel ready to buy something. It’s much less risky to try something for free. “Try it for Free” makes a good introduction for a free trial or demo or of course, a completely free service. It’s fine to replace “it” with the actual name of whatever the visitor is signing up for.

3. “Subscribe”

Like the previous suggestion, subscriptions don’t make visitors commit to a purchase. At the same time, an email subscription provides businesses a chance to nurture leads with more content. If space permits, make it clear what the subscription offers.

4. “Get Started Now”

After promoting a product or service as fast and simple, a phrase like “Get Started Now” provides the right mix of encouragement and urgency.

5. “Give Us a Try”

Instead of using “us,” the button might use the brand name. Either way, this phrase works well after promoting the sort of good experience that the business provides. By asking visitors to just try, it won’t sound like asking for too much of a commmitment.

6. “See Our Work”

Sometimes, the CTA really does need to encourage the viewer to learn more by viewing a gallery of pictures, a list of case studies, or demo videos. If that’s true, a phrase like “See Our Work” provides a more accurate description. Otherwise, it’s fine to make the text more specific by describing exactly what the viewer will see.

7. “Join”

It’s possible to get a little more more precise or even clever with a “Join” button. As an example, Panthera promotes the conservation of big cats, and they label their subscription form with “Join the Pride.” As an alternative, “Join Us” offers instant relationship building.

8. “Send Me Deals Now”

If the page promotes a subscription that includes notifications about deals or specials, cement the message with a CTA button that reinforce its value. Obviously, if the page offers price quotes, the button could say “Send My Free Quote Now.” If the CTA promotes something of value, let people know about it.

9. “Save Now”

As an alternative to a “Buy” button, why not use the CTA to promote the reason that the website visitor would want to buy? If the promotion doesn’t include a discount, use the CTA to empahsize quality, uniqueness, or whatever special qualities customers will find most important.

10. The personalized CTA

Amazon, Netflix, and many other popular websites perform so well because they personalize a lot of their content. Similarly, HubSpot found that personalized CTA buttons perform over 200 percent better than static ones. They tested against single CTAs and different CTA buttons for more than one offer.

For their example:

  • For visitors who had not interacted with the site before, they offered memberships to HubSpot Academy.  This provides online classes where people can learn about marketing.
  • For visitors who had already taken the courses, they offered access to a marketing tool.

This takes a bit more coding. Still, the investment in CRO marketing may prove worth the investment. As an example, if somebody’s already logged into a website, it hardly makes sense to offer them a chance to “Join for Free.” In that case, it’s time to coax them into making a purchase.

How to craft the perfect CTA button text

Emphasize the benefits while letting people know exactly what they’ll get by taking action. This tactic will prompt action and never risk disappointing website viewers. In order to tune results, conduct some testing to see which ideas perform the best.

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6 Tested Tips to Improve CRO by Reducing Abandoned Shopping Carts

In an age of complex, multi-channel marketing, conversion rate optimization can offer quick ROI improvements without a large investment.

Online sellers generally think of their shopping cart as the bottom of their sales funnel. The problem is, according to information gathered by BigCommerce, is that the funnel’s not only expensive — it’s also leaky. In the U.S. alone, marketers spend over $20 billion to drive visitors to their shopping carts and enjoy, on average, just a 2.68 percent conversion rate.

One of the biggest leaks commonly occurs right there at the bottom of the funnel. That’s when potential customers abandon their shopping carts. For instance, BigCommerce found that average businesses suffer an abandonment rate of close to 70 percent. On the positive side, at least a high abandonment rate can narrow down the problem to one point in the marketing funnel. In other words, the position of the problem can also offer some clues to finding actionable insights.

With that in mind, consider some conversion rate optimization tips to reduce cart abandonment and recoup more of that marketing investment.

Use a CRO marketing perspective to reduce abandoned shopping carts

CRO simply refers to conversion rate optimization. To find a shopping cart’s own abandonment rate, simply compare the number of purchase to the number of filled shopping carts. As an example, one purchase for every three filled shopping carts equals an abandonment rate of 67 percent, which is just about average. Businesses should start out by calculating their own rates, so they can have a handy metric to gauge improvement.

Six tested tactics to reduce cart abandonment rates

Few companies can completely eliminate shopping cart abandonment. At the same time, even moving the needle just a few percentage points can dramatically improve revenues and profits. Better yet, better conversion rate optimization generally doesn’t require a large investment and may even employ tools and information that businesses already have.

1. Make total costs more transparent

Online shoppers may arrive at an eCommerce site because they saw promotion that advertised a great deal. Very often, they can only see shipping, taxes, handling, and extra costs after they’ve already added items to their cart for viewing. Businesses should not assume that customers will hit the buy button just because they’ve already gone to the effort to fill up their shopping cart.

Even worse, consumers may feel tricked and less likely to revisit the seller again. Some businesses have thrived by offering free or discounted shipping with minimum orders. Not only does this promote transparency, it even encourages customers to make larger orders.

2. Offer more payment options

Not every customer wants to use a credit card for online purchases. Some may prefer a digital wallet, debit card, or even a draft from a checking account. Many businesses have also optimized conversions by offering financing plans for big-ticket items, like TV sets and bicycles. Some customers may even prefer to split a payment between methods, and most local stores allow this.

In any case, offering flexible options for payments generally leads to quick conversion rate optimization. In contrast, retailers that only accept one payment method will probably lose business to more flexible competitors. 

3. Exit popups

At the least, an exit popup might gather information about the reason a customer decided not to commit to their purchase. At best, they might offer a promotional discount on the price or shipping. The popup might also display an offer to enroll in a loyalty program which will provide customers with future incentives. This will also benefit the business by adding more people to their subscriber list. 

4. Followup emails

Less intrusive than popups but somewhat less likely to get viewed, emails can also help recover abandoned shopping carts. As with exit popups, businesses can use this form of communication to offer discounts, especially in return for information about the reason the customer abandoned the shopping cart in the first place.

5. Employ social proof

Testimonials from satisfied customers, links to third-party reviews, and ratings from such business sites as the BBB can also prompt customers to complete their purchase. Social proof can help build customer confidence because it gives customers and other independent parties the chance to tell their own stories about a business.

6. Earn customer trust

Search Engine Land called Amazon’s ability to earn customer trust its true competitive advantage. Not only do consumers rely upon Amazon’s transparency, refund policy, and customer service, a majority of them trust this large retailer to protect their privacy and personal data.

Some steps that any eCommerce step should take to build a trusting relationship with customers include:

  • Clear refund and return policies
  • Responsive customer service, perhaps including chat boxes customers can use during their purchase
  • Transparent prices and other costs
  • Communication of privacy protection and data use policies
  • Other trust symbols, like security and compliance logos

Why start optimizing conversions by reducing shopping cart abandonment rates?

The list above addresses common reasons why customers abandon shopping carts. Still, some other causes might include an unintentionally difficult or complex checkout process or consumers arriving at an early stage of their buying process. That’s why businesses may also want to conduct some A/B testing with various processes and collect customer feedback.

Still, on the positive side, most companies have complex, multi-channel marketing plans. At least, isolating conversion optimization problems at the shopping cart stage means the customers have traveled pretty far along the funnel. This stage offers a narrow focus and a good place to earn some quick gains in sales.

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Why Digital Marketers Should Prepare for the End of IE

Microsoft withdraws support for Internet Explorer. Do you know which browser your customers are using and what that tells you?

At about 25 years of age, or about an eon in internet years, Microsoft recently announced the upcoming retirement of Internet Explorer. While the news should not entirely surprise most internet users, especially since Microsoft rolled out Microsoft Edge about five years ago, some people have concerns about Explorer web apps that businesses may still rely upon.

Take a moment to learn about the solutions Microsoft has introduced to bridge the gap left by IE and the concerns a digital marketing agency may have about losing this old and established browser for good. Most of all, understand why marketers should keep track of the browsers their customers prefer in order to glean some useful data.

How businesses can run IE legacy apps without IE support from Microsoft

Microsoft announced their upcoming withdrawal of technical support for Internet Explorer. This also includes having Microsoft apps, like Windows 365 supporting the aged browser.

Some businesses made sizable investments in developing their own web apps for IE, and Microsoft acknowledged that. Also, Internet Explorer has been around for decades, and many people have even used the latest version for a few years, so this announcement has caused some concern over having to change. In particular, businesses didn’t want to have to rely upon different browsers for access to various apps.

Microsoft has a plan to bridge the gap and reassure users in two ways:

  • Even though Microsoft won’t support IE, they said they had no plans to remove it from Windows at this time.
  • Microsoft Edge, the company’s more modern browser, can run in “Explorer Mode.” Legacy apps should still work fine. Prudent businesses should probably not wait until the last minute to test that theory on their own custom apps.

Why a digital marketing agency cares about retired browsers

According to ZDNet, no third-party has successfully gathered precise or reliable information about the total share of internet traffic for each browser.  Because of this, they trusted the official numbers for U.S. government websites as a fair sample. These are the ranks they came up with:

  • Chrome ranked first with almost 50 percent of the federal traffic. Even so, it still didn’t rank as well as IE did 20 years earlier.
  • Safari ranked second with about 30 percent of the government traffic, indicating that a good share probably originated from phones.
  • IE ranked in third place, even just ahead of Edge.
  • Surprisingly, Firefox came in fifth on this list with only 3.6 percent.

Except for those who rely on apps developed for IE, marketers might not have thought to base digital media targeting by web browsers. Personal preferences or exceptional requirements aside, they all do just about the same thing for average users. Still, Marketing Experiments presented a case study that demonstrated the possibility of gleaning marketing data from browser choices.

As an example, users of their desktop app tended to prefer different browsers than their cloud app users. After looking at the analytics, the market researcher noticed over half of the traditional software users favored IE; however, IE only accounted for about one-third of the web app users.

How can the end of IE disrupt businesses?

Even with the end of IE looming, lots of people still use it. Digital target marketing should include checking browser preferences and preparing for some disruption. The researcher did speculate that the people who tended to favor both traditional software and IE may have been older than the web app users.

After all, Baby Boomers and older Millennials have matured right along with the internet, and for many, they also grew up with IE and installed software. Companies with a lot of IE traffic might want to test that theory with a survey of their own audience.

In particular, businesses that target older or more traditional customers should anticipate the change. Reaching out to customers about the end of IE can even provide a good opportunity to provide some useful customer engagement. For instance, customers might appreciate having a business contact them with helpful suggestions about transitioning to a different browser or better yet, the company’s app.  

The king is (almost) dead; long live the king

Once the declining IE user base evaporates, no clear browser winner may emerge. As an example, many people prefer one browser on their phone and another on their laptop. While Safari powers a lot of Apple phone searchers, it’s not so dominant with Apple laptop owners. The Samsung browser for phones ranked right behind Firefox, and that’s obviously from mobile users.

Anyway, marketers probably won’t care so much about which browser gets the most overall traffic; instead, they will focus upon trends among their own site visitors and customers. Most of all, businesses can use this information to ensure customers keep enjoying a good experience and to understand them better.

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