Love at First Sight – Who Get’s the Credit?

Is there such a thing as love at first sight? Sure there is, but in most cases, it’s a process. The question is… Who gets the credit for closing the deal?

Here’s a real-life example of the point I’m trying to make.

Through a mutual friend, I introduce Gary to Bonnie. I then arrange, through another mutual friend, to provide Bonnie’s phone number to Gary.

Shortly after, they go on their first date and have a good time. After several dates that include dinners at nice restaurants, movies, and even some flowers, she invites Gary to meet her family. They begin dating more seriously on a regular basis. Then, Bonnie’s dad, being an avid hunter like Gary, invites Gary on a bear hunting excursion.

Ultimately, one nervous night, under a romantic full moon, Gary gets up the nerve to ask Bonnie to marry him. She says, “Yes”, accepts his ring, and the sale is made.

Who gets credit for the sale? Me, the friend who introduced them? The restaurants, movie theatres, or flower shops? Bonnie’s dad? The months of dating and getting to know each other? The ring? Or how about the full moon?

Human behavior, including perceptions, attitudes, relationships, and buying decisions is seldom based upon one singular event, but rather on a series of events, experiences, and influences.

Advertising is no different. Many advertisers give all the credit of the sale to the “moon”, or the last touchpoint. Years ago, it was the newspaper or yellow pages. Today, it’s Google and social analytics that now provide a “Last Interaction Attribution Model” and give 100% of the credit for a sale, which they call a “conversion”, to the clicks that immediately precede the sale.

And… advertisers, hungry to measure the ROI (Return on Investment) of every expenditure, eat it up!

The “Last Interaction Attribution Model” would leave out me, the friend who introduced Gary to Bonnie, the countless dates, good times, the hunting trip, and give all the credit for the marriage to the “moon”.

Are you and your people trained to understand the Purchasing Funnel and the Targeting Pyramid? Are you able to explain, articulate, and sell radio’s role in the entire “conversion” process from introduction, to building a relationship, branding, and asking for the order?

Digital media and last-touch clicks shouldn’t get all the credit. All exposures play a role in what those in search of ROI call “conversion”. In reality, there is no single source that can take credit for the sale and no single source that can make the sale without the influence of other touchpoints along the path to conversion.

 P.S. Gary and Bonnie have been happily married for almost 25 years, and like radio’s role in the Purchasing Funnel, I’m proud to take my fair share of the credit!!

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