Marketing TechnologyData & AnalyticsAttention to attribution: Q+A with The Trade Desk CMO Susan Vobejda

Attention to attribution: Q+A with The Trade Desk CMO Susan Vobejda

In this Q+A with The Trade Desk CMO Susan Vobejda, we discuss the importance of offline attribution as a KPI during the holiday season.

It’s not even Halloween yet, but most marketers are probably already in full-blown holiday mode. The Internet makes it easier to start shopping earlier and besides, the National Retail Federation estimated that holiday sales will increase between 4.3 and 4.8% this year. Since most of those sales are going to happen in physical stores, few key performance indicators (KPI) are more important than offline attribution, according to The Trade Desk CMO Susan Vobejda.

Vobejda has a unique perspective there, having been on both the brand and tech provider side. Prior to joining The Trade Desk last year, she served as CMO for Tory Burch.

“I wanted to be squarely in the future of marketing and understand how to activate data and technology in a deep way,” she says. “While digital is a growing vehicle, it doesn’t account for the majority of sales for most brands. It’s imperative that brands focus on in-store sales and leverage digital channels’ offline attribution to drive business.”

The Trade Desk CMO Susan Vobejda

How else can brands leverage their data to learn more about offline attribution this holiday season? Read on for more.

ClickZ: How do you connect offline and online activity?

Susan Vobejda: We connect online activity through cross-device graphs that allow us to see a segment activity across devices and platforms, which connects your whole journey across digital. You can target specific consumer segments and see the sequence of messages across mobile, digital, video, connected television and determine whether that drove and increased in-store visits. You can then optimize the best sequence of visits to drive more in-store visits.

CZ: What do you think is the biggest misconception around offline attribution?

SV: Not everyone fully understands the capabilities of what you can do, or how quickly you can do it, with programmatic. Now, you can get feedback about your digital activity in hours and optimize your digital campaigns to drive offline metrics, which is so important in the holiday season. Ninety percent of U.S. sales this year will be done in stores. But we also know that according to many studies, Deloitte and Forrester among them, digital media influences the majority of those in-store sales.

Deloitte: Digital influencing in-store sales

CZ: Which metric do you think marketers tend to give too much weight?

SV: In many cases, a click is a proxy metric because what you’re really trying to do is drive sales. I think what’s so phenomenal about where measurement is going is that we’re going past the proxy metrics and into more relevant metrics like revenue or in-store visits, which can be connected much more easily with digital media measurement. It’s important for marketing leaders to have detailed discussions with agency partners about what’s possible in terms of measurement.

CZ: You mentioned connected TV earlier. That’s a channel you don’t tend to hear as much about as, say, mobile. What are some of its greatest benefits?

SV: The Trade Desk works with a lot of automotive brands. One of their key goals is typically to drive dealership visits, so we target specific consumer groups in certain locations with certain characteristics. Are they car-involved? Are they browsing? Using first-party data that shows that people’s leases are expiring, the brand can develop a holistic strategy to drive more dealership visits.

Connected television is great a channel for that because you can use video commercials, which have that storytelling element. But you can also target specific audiences and cap frequency. On linear TV, you might see the same ad 16 times.

CZ: Can you tell us more about The Trade Desk’s Planner?

SV: The Trade Desk’s Planner is a data-driven planning tool we launched this year. Say you’re a brand with a last-minute budget, trying to drive in-store visits. If you put that KPI in the planner, it will scan all the data across the web. In a few hours, it delivers a pre-optimized digital media plan that allows you to drive most effectively against that KPI.

CZ: You transitioned from retail to tech when you joined The Trade Desk. What’s your best tip for the brand marketers out there?

SV: Many brands look primarily to email to activate last year’s holiday shoppers. You can also use programmatic media to target them across channels and devices. That allows you to leverage your greatest asset, which is data on who your shoppers are.

The holiday season is also a great time for competitive conquesting. It’s easy to activate data sets that allow brands to target likely competitive shoppers, or competitive shoppers in certain categories. If I was still a fashion CMO, I’d target competitive shoppers looking for shoes.

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