Six months ago Google released a major improvement to Google Analytics: Multi-Channel Funnels.  With this new feature, we now have deeper insight into conversion attribution and we can improve overall sales tracking.

Previous to this release, a fundamental problem with web tracking was that it only credited the last link clicked prior to the conversion.  Marketers using the last click methodology were not able to provide a complete view of the customer’s journey through the entire digital buying process.  With Multi-Channel Funnels we’re able to generate reports showing the full path to conversion over a 30 day period. Analyzing a customer’s path across multiple digital channels (organic searches, paid searches, referrals, social networks, email etc.) has given Brand Labs a much clearer understanding of how all channels can assist each other in driving a conversion.

Since their release the assisted conversion attribution reports have lived up to the hype with their ability to connect the conversion path dots in ways we previously could only guesstimate. This has resulted in the ability to make more informed business decisions and better allocate resources on behalf of our clients. The best way for me to illustrate the value of these reports without getting anymore technical is to turn the microscope on my own buying behaviors and processes. The info graphic below shows how I jumped from channel to channel on my quest to purchase a Marmot brand jacket. Hopefully the value and insight gained from attributing assists to each channel involved in the conversion is more clearly illustrated in this graphical format.

Purchasing the Perfect Michigan Winter Coat

In preparing for a Michigan winter one must stop just shy of actually stuffing a gaggle of geese into a jacket lining to appropriately battle the bitter, bitter cold. My coat buying process began in late fall just as Old Navy started relentlessly pummeling us with their ridiculous Puffi-Coat Factory tv ad campaign. Although I had little interest in the Old Navy brand, I was mesmerized by the puffification process and knew I had to have something similar. I immediately took to the web in search of a coat whose warmth rivaled that of a polar bears coat and whose fashion stylings could only be compared to that of the Michelin Man or the Stay-Puft Marshmallow. Below is a channel by channel / assist by assist breakdown of the conversion journey taken to find and purchase a Black Marmot Stockholm Jacket.

 The Puffycoat Project - Buying Process

The Wrap Up

The final Assisted Conversion Path illustration shows the complexity of my journey and clearly illustrates that had a marketer taken the last click methodology of old, they’d have done a disservice to themselves and Moosejaw by giving all of the conversion credit to the last link clicked (Direct). Using the new Multi-Channel Funnels methodology painted a more complete picture and would allow a marketer to attribute value to each of the channels that assisted the final conversion. It was a team effort!

(I’m also pleased to report that despite the mild winter in Southeast Michigan, the coat has proven to be a fantastic investment since the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man has always been my hero.)