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The Scariest Word In Marketing Attribution: "Direct"

Matt Bahr

The scourge of marketing sources goes by many names: "Unknown", "None", "Dark", "Other"... but in many circles, he is known simply as, "Direct".

Direct haunts you and taunts you with his presence. The harder you work to banish him, the more infuriated you become when he shows up. In the olden days of Ecommerce, he was a dominant figure in the attribution pie, laying waste to any notion of control over your marketing funnel. And in spite of the industry spending billions of dollars and millions of hours trying to rid itself of him over the years, he still accounts for up to 40% of all site traffic.

But here's the great epiphany about Direct: once you get to know him, he's a really good guy.

Direct has a lot to say, and historically the problem has been that marketers simply don't bother to listen -- compounded by the fact that all those other quantifiable attribution sources you hold dear are incentivized to keep Direct out of the conversation.

Give Direct a voice, and he'll reveal some magnificent insights into your customers' personas and behaviors. It sure beats having a huge chunk of your customers wandering aimlessly through attribution limbo.

Think of Direct as a detective you've hired to find the story behind the headline. Consider all the myriad ways customers can discover brands; the possibilities are endless, and that's a fact your ad platforms would prefer to sweep under the rug. But Direct? He’ll get to the bottom of it. 

Going on SharkTank? Featured on Good Morning America? How will you quantify the value of your greatest media achievements? Did the conversions turn into quality long-term customers with high LTV? These are all questions Direct wants to help you answer. Don't write him off -- study him. Learn from him.

So, how do you help Direct find his voice? With attribution surveys. This powerful participatory marketing tool acts as a qualified translator between your customers and your marketing mix, not to mention a reality check on the performance your advertising platforms are reporting.

Enquire delivers attribution surveys post-purchase, to the tune of over 60% response rates. With so much site traffic begging to be heard, that's enough new insight to guide major shifts in ad spend and brand strategy. Direct is happy to help; he knew you’d come around some time.

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