Cannes Lions


OMD, New York / H&R BLOCK / 2013

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Our objective was to develop a system that distributed credit equitably and eliminated redundant advertising. We used data to discretely value each of the following:

Introducers: which channel identified and reached the prospect first?

Influencers: Which channels “assisted” in the path to conversion (between introduction and close)?

Closers: which channel was the last interacted with prior to conversion?

We thus differentiated the value for each touchpoint and paid different dollar amounts for each type of contact.

We explained the data collection system to display partners, including AOL, Yahoo!, Microsoft, and potential ad networks; defined dollar values for each step in the conversion path; and the audit process for publishers, agency, and client. All partners were compensated using this interrelated system. By tracking all channels (direct traffic, paid/organic search, display, email, social, affiliate, etc.), every touchpoint was captured and valued for its role in a conversion path.


Digital display contributed to 87% of all conversions in 2012 compared to 38% the year before; with 23% fewer display impressions than 2011. The principal data suggested the more targeted impressions removed clutter from marketplace – using smarter delivery while not forsaking share of voice.

This attribution-based pricing approach saved ~$1MM when compared to last-ad CPA method used in previous years.

Digital display’s cost-per-acquisition came down 36.5% and contributed to an 18% year-on-year growth in H&R Block At Home products (Online Tax Filing).

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