UK Airline Monarch Tries Cookieless Attribution To Cover Data Gap

how-the-cookiecrumblesDespite skyrocketing mobile traffic and climbing mobile conversion rates, British airline Monarch was struggling to determine precisely what was or wasn’t working for mobile media buys.

“We persistently got all the data in and still faced the question: What about mobile?” said Robert Foulkes, senior marketing manager for the low-cost airline.

Monarch was among the first marketers to use a cookie-free, cross-device attribution solution from Flashtalking. The ad tech company released the product after acquiring mobile device ID firm Device[9] in 2015 and attribution solution Encore Media Metrics this year.

Monarch is a longtime Flashtalking client, but this campaign marked its first use of cookieless tracking and attribution.

Device[9] offers a probabilistic solution that combines mobile signals like location, OS and browser settings to identify users. Working with Tapad’s device graph, Encore was able to look back at Monarch’s digital advertising to identify when a single person was being served duplicative ads across devices and browsers.

The company found 30 percent of conversions came from people with duplicate mobile user profiles, Foulkes said. In other words, frequency for those individuals had been underreported. “It definitely is helping us understand what kind of media channels we need to up or downsize,”

Monarch’s results gave an added boost to display campaigns, which were credited with a 35% boost in ROI after the cross-device data was applied, said Steve Latham, general manager of Encore.

Performance-driven channels tend to wilt under the scrutiny of multitouch attribution, but it isn’t always a clear-cut case.

“Retargeting is a tricky one,” Foulkes said. Retargeting ads ended up with an oversized share of brand dollars throughout the purchase funnel, according to the study, but “when a retargeting ad is in a journey, even if it doesn’t get the final conversion, there’s a noticeable improvement in the odds of that person eventually converting,” he said.

Paid mobile search also didn’t earn high marks in Flashtalking’s analysis, “but it’s one we’re comfortable with because it does drive a large amount of traffic,” Foulkes said.

Flashtalking talked with other device graphs, but Tapad – which was purchased by the Norwegian telco Telenor earlier this year – made particular sense for this European campaign because it offers a graph specifically for EU users and regulations.

Based on the results, Foulkes said Monarch will continue to use Flashtalking’s attribution add-on.

“To become a currency, we need other ad tech spenders to use our product among their marketing clients,” said Chris Feo, Tapad’s VP of global data licensing and strategic partnerships. “We don’t have a contract with the end marketer, but we still get to be part of solving the problem.”

It also marks the next step in Flashtalking’s strategy of packaging online ad programs, à la Google, as a way to incrementally boost the value of standing accounts.

“We think there’s a real opportunity in the market by bringing together in a bundle all the options for online advertising programs,” Flashtalking CEO John Nardone told AdExchanger when Encore was purchased.


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