Brand Supplied Data: Channel Mapping

Estimated time to complete: 30-60 minutes

Channel mapping gives our customers the ability to implement channel attribution logic that is unique to their business for a more accurate picture of which marketing efforts are driving the most traffic and revenue. 

The Channel Mapping tab requires the most effort, but is also the most important sheet to fill out if you track channel performance, which most D2C brands do.

Why do Channel Mapping

Google Analytics has a default marketing channel grouping that covers the most commonly used traffic sources such as organic and paid search, affiliates and social media, however, it has limitations that our Channel Mapping logic easily solves:

Google Analytics Daasity Channel Mapping
Updates to Default Channel Groupings do not apply to historical traffic Applies to all historical data, so YoY or period over period comparisons are comparing apples to apples
Groups all social platform traffic as "Social" with no distinction between paid vs. unpaid Can segment out paid vs. unpaid
Tends to put unfamiliar (customer-created) UTMs into channel (Other) Customer can determine exactly what UTMs are associated with which channel
 May require certain roles to make updates to Channel Groupings Easy for anyone to update in simple template.
 

Includes additional categories such as Sub-Channel, Vendor and Media Type. This allows data to be rolled up to the top-level channel (I.e. Paid Social) but also segmented easily by things like Prospecting vs. Retargeting

How Channel Mapping Works

The logic is based on UTM codes, which are both given different priorities and mapped to specific channels, vendors, sub channels, and media types.

The logic runs top to bottom, meaning that the database looks at the first row of rules to see if an order matches the criteria, if it doesn't, it looks at the 2nd row, then 3rd and so on until it finds a match. At this point, it moves to the next order and starts over.

This means it is very important to have more specific rules at the top and less specific or catchall rules at the bottom. 

For example:

If sessions had these UTMs:
utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=paidsocial&utm_campaign=prospecting2020

There are many ways to update channel mapping to classify this traffic, but each way could result in a different outcome.

In the sample image below, the rules begin below the highlighted line, which is serving as an example. Because the first rule is very broad:

source = facebook --> then Channel is Social

The order associated with the above blue UTMs would be classified as Social because it meets the requirements of source = facebook. 

However, it would be intended that the order be classified as Paid Social and have a Sub Channel of Prospecting, based on the UTMs.

 

Screen_Shot_2020-05-15_at_12.15.59_PM_copy.png

The correct way to ensure this attribution occurs is to reverse the order, so the sheet instead has the most detailed rule first and the broadest rule last:

Screen_Shot_2020-05-15_at_12.56.21_PM_copy.png

Tips & Instructions to Complete Channel Mapping

The easiest way to start channel mapping is to first learn how your UTM parameters are currently being used. This is simple using Daasity:

To Determine your current UTMs and classifications

  1. Follow the instructions outlined here.
  2. Ensure the list is sorted descending, it's more important to make sure the largest traffic sources are updated first
  3. Pay particular attention to those sessions that are classified as (Other), you will want to make sure you re-classify
  4. Download your results to an excel or csv for easy manipulation and copying of values

Update your Channel Mapping

Watch the video tutorial:

Since the Brand Supplied Data is built off of a google sheet, it is easy to copy from your downloaded results and paste into the Channel Mapping template.

What Does the Operator Column Mean?

The Operator columns (Column C / F / I) have 5 options to choose from:

  • =           exact match
  • like        contains/wildcard
  • in           list, separated by commas (this will look for any of the items in the list, having a match to any item in the list will apply the rule)
  • not in    exclusion list
  • not like exclusion, not case sensitive

Make sure that if you are using an operator besides =, that you have evaluated which UTMs it could effect. 

Other Tips

  • Classify the largest sources of traffic first
  • Insert new rows towards or at the top for more specific rules
  • For detailed mapping that will include Sub Channels or UTM Campaign parameters, you may wish to sort your downloaded data in sections and enter all the rules for those channels at once
  • When adding several entries that are the same (I.e. same channel), position your mouse in the bottom right corner of the cell with the value you wish to duplicate, and drag down, copying the value to the cells
  • Use the same case for Vendor, Sub Channel and Media type as these fields are case sensitive
  • Keep It Simple! If you don't need to further classify channel info, don't. Use a catchall, such as source=affiliates --> Channel = Affiliates if you don't need to segment traffic and orders further for attribution
  • If a channel your business uses is not listed in the Channel dropdown, you may add it in the Configuration tab, Column A
  • Criteria 1 (Columns B, C, D) are required if populating this tab
  • If Columns B, C, and D are populated, a "Channel" must be selected (Column L)

 

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