Brand Supplied Data: Channel Mapping

The channel mapping BSD gives merchants the ability to control their channel and vendor attribution based on UTM codes

Estimated time to complete: 30-60 minutes


Channel mapping gives our customers the ability to implement channel and vendor 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 DTC brands do.


Important Note: Update your Channel Mapping

It is likely that as your business evolves and you begin to advertise in new marketing channels you will need to update your channel mapping.  It's also possible that you may enter in some incorrect data or miss some UTM mappings when you first fill out the Channel Mapping BSD.  In these instances, you need to contact or reach out to your Merchant Success Manager and ask them to reset your channel mapping after you have updated the BSD.

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 This 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). Customers 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 the 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 the 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:

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 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.

Brand Supplied Data Channel Mapping - Paid Social

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:

Brand Supplied Data Channel Mapping - Attribution

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 in 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

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 them 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 affect. 

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 into 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.
  • 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 H.
  • 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).


Use the same case for Vendor, Sub Channel and Media type as these fields are case sensitive

Mapping tips

  1. If source = lm.facebook, m.facebook, l.instagram, pinterest, etc.
    And medium = referral

    Brand Supplied Data Channel Mapping - Source
    Channel = Social, Vendor is whatever social platform is in the source.

    Brand Supplied Data Channel Mapping - Channel 2
  2. If source = social network, like facebook, Facebook, fb, ig
    And medium = Paid Ad (different from #1) ->
    Then Channel = Paid Social, Vendor = whatever social platform is in the source
  3. Search should be broken out by Vendor (google, bing) and channel (Paid Search, Organic Search)
  4. If the source = any social,
    And medium = cpc
    And GA Last Click Channel = Display
    Then (usually) Channel should be re-mapped to Paid Social

    Brand Supplied Data Channel Mapping - Channel
  5. If source = google,
    And medium = cpc, and campaign contains the word search -> 
    Then Channel = Paid Search (sometimes it appears as Display)