Vanessa Branco – Founder, Versa9

Vanessa Branco knows:  When you buy digital media at scale, you need to have advertising attribution.  She used Attribution to discover the ‘halo’ of digital advertising which filled the funnel for one public company and increased their ROI over 300%!  Tune in for an insightful episode as Vanessa offers important advice on creative performance, what to budget for testing, and how long you should test for (it’s longer than you’d think!).

About Vanessa:

Vanessa Branco has been working with startups, Fortune 100’s and publicly traded companies for well over 15 years.

Her extensive experience includes digital branding and marketing, expertise in media and creative optimization, performance-based marketing, traffic growth, attribution, and customer retention.

She first started as Advertising Manager for a publicly-traded company which was advertising in-house and operating sites including

She currently serves as Vice president of business development for a white label trading desk and through her digital consultancy, VersaNine, Vanessa provides brands who are looking to in-house their media buying a hands-on expert.

Key takeaways:

[1:33] I introduce today’s guest, Vanessa Branco, and ask her about how she came to be where she is today from a false start in finance in the early 2000s.

[4:42] Vanessa calls herself white-labeled which means that she works in-house but she is still an outsourced asset — a contracted CMO.

[6:17] Priorities are always the same: acquiring customers, driving revenue, increasing ROI; it’s the methods that have diversified. Vanessa talks us through her experience at

[10:25] Without attribution, manual reporting, a three-month turnover customer rate and a constant need to acquire new people, Vanessa talks about her strategy to start slow. She also talks about the birth of the affiliate networks, pixels, and the secret sauce back then (the Halo effect).

[14:21] After her crazy experience at the very start of MySpace, Vanessa was already trying to prove that display worked. She recounts her experience with over-counting.

[21:09] After all this over-counting and inaccurate reporting, what happened when attribution came into this scenario? Vanessa shares a funny story about her big vs. small vendor.

[25:17] Vanessa details the results of using attribution: testing different creatives, changing affiliate programs and search terms and changing vendors, the way they’re viewed, and the parts they play, which in turn, changes budget attribution.

[27:05] Whatever happened to that small vendor?

[28:35] I highlight a great point Vanessa has made: it’s not only about the math, but you also have to move slowly and get the people on board — 3 to 6 months is usually what it takes, according to her.

[30:29] Can attribution tell you what creative is performing? Vanessa insists it absolutely can, granted you put in the work and tag it properly. Attribution, along with the CRM data, can also give you the ‘why’ of a customer’s decision, and this is important information for future campaigns.

[33:40] Vanessa explains how many sets of creatives you should be running simultaneously for an example budget of 250K a month. She also shares advice on how long to test your creative for!

[36:47] Vanessa shares one thing that she knows that no one else knows: if you’re not using attribution for everything — capturing the whole journey and it’s much, much longer than you think — you don’t have attribution. I thank her for coming on the podcast and sharing so much of her experience.

Be sure to tune in for the next episode and thanks for listening!

Connect with our guest:

Vanessa M. Branco on LinkedIn

Vanessa M. Branco on Twitter