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October 13, 2021

Polling Your Customers Doesn’t Work — Why Attribution is Crucial

Polling Your Customers Doesn't Work

Can you remember every ad you saw? What was the last commercial that caught your eye? In a world of constant messaging and promotion, it’s nearly impossible to remember every ad that passes your way. So how can you expect your customers to do the same?

A Real-Life Example with Genius Monkey

A law firm recently partnered with Genius Monkey to increase leads, and they started seeing results almost immediately. But when they asked customers how they heard of their firm, most of them didn’t give credit to Genius Monkey ads or any type of display ads. Instead, they gave the first answer that came to their heads: TV, Google, or “I don’t remember.” Note, there were no TV ads running.

Genius Monkey CRO Jeremy Hudgens said that when his team went back to review the law firm’s attribution, they found that “in the first 6 weeks of running ads with Genius Monkey, 35% of the leads that had come in had been touched by a Genius Monkey ad.” That’s a tremendous impact that their client may never have known if they relied solely on polling customers.

This is the hurdle with polling customers. It very rarely works well. Not only is polling customers not particularly accurate, it could be potentially harmful to your marketing goals. According to Forbes, “inaccurate data could lead you in an entirely wrong or counterproductive direction.”

Polling Your Customers Doesn't Work

The Problem With Polling

In an article by Vici Media, they say that most people won’t mention your digital ad when asked how they heard about you: “Most people will say they heard about your business on radio or on TV, even if you are not running on radio or TV!” They shared an example where shoppers were asked, as they entered a store, “What brought you in?” 50% said radio, 30% said TV, and the rest said newspaper.

The store had actually NEVER run an advertisement on TV; they only advertised through radio and newspaper. So how did 30% see an ad on TV, when the store never advertised there? The funny part to this example was that when shoppers were asked how confident they felt about their answer, most of them felt very confident about the advertisements they had seen.

Many advertisements that appear to viewers are delivered at almost a subconscious level—viewers see it out of the corner of their eye or briefly remember it in the moment. So how are they supposed to remember exactly where they found you? This doesn’t mean you have to throw out polling altogether. It means you shouldn’t solely rely on polling to determine where to put your marketing dollars.

Why You Need a Strong Attribution Program Instead

According to Genius Monkey’s Director of Operations Travis Champ, rather than just polling customers, “you need to have a solid attribution solution to really know where the leads are coming from with strong and hard data to back that up.”

Let’s say a potential customer sees a billboard ad or TV commercial. You need a marketing team with the ability to stay in front of them with ads while they’re exhibiting the behavior that tells us they’re still a viable prospect for the company. Genius Monkey helps to push that prospect through, supporting that brand through everything else they’ve ever done along the customer journey. According to Hudgens, “That’s the importance of having good attribution, because if you’re only giving credit to one medium and not paying attention to other mediums that are helping to push that through and drive it over the finish line, you could end up removing those important pieces. That’s like taking flour out of the cake. You’re taking a really important ingredient out of the mix.”

Do You Need Customer Polling AND Attribution?

It’s never a bad idea to poll and get any information you can from your perspective and current customer base. “However,” Hudgens said, “you have to take all of it with a grain of salt. It’s not truly accurate scientific data. The attribution itself is hard data—that does not lie. Having that in your mix when you’re making decisions is critical to your success.”

Keep in mind, if you continue polling customers the “old-fashioned way,” be prepared for less than accurate results. There’s no way to have a poll done perfectly, but you can still use them alongside good attribution for a more accurate view of your customers and prospects.

Making the Most of Your Attribution Solution

One thing that sets Genius Monkey apart from others is that we provide attribution for all the ads we run at NO additional cost. With other vendors, you’d have to pay quite a bit extra for attribution, and it would not be as robust of a solution as the attribution that Genius Monkey provides for free. According to Hudgens, “even with all the extras that we provide at no cost, we are still by far the lowest cost provider for serving these ads by 2, 3, sometimes 4x. This is as a result of our “Media and Device Agnostic” approach and our commitment to providing our clients the best overall value by leaps and bounds.”

To learn more about Genius Monkey’s attribution, tracking, reporting, visit our Measurement & Validation page.

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