Attribution: Cracking the code

Being able to determine the source of a sale or track customer behaviour accurately is a critical part of media planning.  But constructive attribution is not easy now customers have an increasing range of buying options and methods available to them.

At AJ, we use a collection of tools to improve the quality and quantity of attribution, making sure activity is measurable and media spend effective.  Assigning unique codes is one such tool used to achieve better attribution specificity.

For Aquability, a leading supplier of bathroom mobility solutions, unique codes provide a m
echanism by which to analyse the 300 ads being run each quarter.  Over the 18 years of working together, AJ has grown the Aquability business from £30K to £180K a month whilst
maintaining marketing percentage.

Offering an incentive to quote a unique code produced good outcomes for reading light specialists, Serious Readers. From a low starting point, press has now become their leading source of sales, with ROI increasing by 500%Kinetico, designers and manufacturers of water softeners, offer a free installation as an incentive to use unique codes and telephone numbers so results can be analysed to better effect.  In a similar vein, online furniture retailer, Wallace Sacks, give a substantial discount incentive.  The resulting data generated on a daily basis enables AJ to plan week by week to maintain press spend performance.  Using this approach, Wallace Sacks spend has increased by 400% with ROI improving by 25%.

The many elements able to be scrutinised include ad copy and size, press titles and sections, and days of the week published, as well as volume and cost of leads plus conversions to appointment and sales.  The resulting optimisation of media plans and schedules and growing return on investment enables AJ clients to increase media spend with confidence.

Thomas Sanderson, maker of bespoke blinds and shutters, is a good example.  AJ works hard with them on attribution, using robust data generated from unique codes tracking right through to sales.  Seeing results improve significantly over the last three years, including a reduced cost per enquiry of 85% for blinds and 54% for shutters in the first nine months, the company has doubled its media budgets.

Quality attribution methodology gives AJ and its clients a detailed understanding of how every media channel is performing at any time.  Consequent scheduling is designed to deliver the greatest volume of high-quality response – exactly what every client wants from a Direct Response advertising agency.

For more information about the success of AJ’s commitment to developing attribution, see Knowing What Works:

Weekend changes at the Telegraph

Did you notice anything different about the Telegraph newspapers last weekend?  The Daily Telegraph and The Sunday Telegraph both relaunched their weekend offerings. Saturday’s previously-named Weekend is now called Saturday, with Sunday’s Living section becoming, wait for it……Sunday.   Saturday now includes the sections on gardening and cars, alongside its other lifestyle segments.  Sunday has changed to a broadsheet format enabling amplified coverage of gardening and property.  But are these changes good or bad?  Alice Buttling-Smith reviews the implications for clients.

Saturday’s changes are good.  For gardening clients, the relevant content is retained but with an almost certainly higher readership being among other lifestyle segments than when it was a stand-alone section.   This is particularly true out of season when gardening alone might become less popular.  For advertisers in Weekend, again the change is good.  Gardening is popular so its inclusion should boost the section overall; it’s a good fit with the other lifestyle content.

I’m not so sure about incorporating Cars into Saturday though – to me this doesn’t work so well.  Cars, traditionally, has a male audience, which seems to go against the food, health, lifestyle feel of the other Saturday segments.  Cars advertising, outside of the brand ads, tends to be a bit crude, e.g. Machine Mart, BiGDUG, WOLF Garten.  I think Cars would fit better with Property.

Sunday’s content remains very similar to Living, but with an increased focus on the strong features of gardening and property.  The big change is format – and something I welcome.  25 x 4 ads under editorial have good stand out and this new format allows plenty of opportunities for them.  There is also a new ad site on the puzzles spread; in Living, this was just a DPS with no ads. The new site is great, attracting a long dwell time and a perfect fit for many of our clients.  We were quick to secure it for reading light specialist, Serious Readers, in the very first issue.

Overall the changes are good but it’s really about the numbers.  We wait with anticipation to see how Saturday and Sunday perform over the next few weeks.  AJ placed 10 ads in the launch weekend sections, capturing some of the best sites.  We’ll keep you posted on how they perform.

Homing pigeons – new staff come home to roost

Attinger Jack begins 2017 with a full team having recruited into key positions and taken on extra resource to cover a growing workload. Three of the four new staff members have returned to the UK from all points of the compass, bringing valuable insights from their experiences abroad.

Hannah West – Media Manager

Hannah joins Attinger Jack with a background in marketing and media from UK and Australian markets.  She brings an array of experience from building successful acquisition strategies for many direct response clients over the years.  Having loved her five years in Australia, Hannah has now swapped flip flops for wellies.  She enjoys country walks, sunny bike rides and yoga, although still looks forward to planning the next adventure to somewhere hot.

Billie Arnold – Production Co-ordinator

Bath Spa University brought Billie Arnold to Bath from Gloucester in 2012.  After completing a year of a Fine Art degree, Billie transferred to do Graphic Communications, including a year studying History of Animation at the College of Columbia in Chicago.  Billie returned to Bath last year graduating with a 2:1, while also maintaining a successful job at GAP.  Now living in Bristol, Billie is enjoying her first taste of office life.  And much to the delight of her new colleagues, being a keen baker, Billie is a willing participant in the office Bake Off ventures.

Jamie Home – Media Executive

Having grown up in the Bath area, Jamie Home leapt at the opportunity to work close to home with Attinger Jack.  As a Media Executive, Jamie’s responsibilities include looking after TV advertising through BRTV and assisting the media team with the planning/buying process.  Jamie brings useful skills from a background in customer service, and, like Billie, is relishing being in a new environment called an office.

Jamie is a huge music fan and studied Audio Engineering at SAE in Liverpool.  Aged 10, his vinyl album collection started with Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon and Led Zeppelin’s self titled; reportedly his father’s proudest moment. Jamie considers his buying Sean Paul’s Dutty Rock album on the same day far less cool.

Fiona Carruthers – Media Executive

Although a West Country girl originally, Fiona Carruthers joins AJ having returned home after 15 years in New Zealand.  Fiona’s background in marketing and communications, makes her well positioned to provide in-house PR and communications support to an agency with a good deal to shout about.  With expertise in tailoring communications to key target audiences, Fiona is enjoying working with a completely new range of clients – a far cry from her early days in nutrition.

When not at AJ, Fiona can be seen running or cycling around the trails, having developed a passion for off-road running in the mountains of southern New Zealand.

To discover more about the team at AJ and what we can do for you, contact Alice Buttling-Smith or Ann Gardiner on 01225 758222 or email or

The power of attribution

In a world where customer journeys are increasingly complex and fragmented, attributing a cost or sale to a specific channel can be difficult. If conventional attribution methods are no longer working for you, we can help.

AJ uses a series of tools to greatly enhance the accuracy and quality of attribution across all media. The result is consistently lower cost per sale and improved ROI.

You can find out how  we do this and who we do it for by clicking through to our Knowing What Works section here: