How Can We Overcome the Weaknesses of Advertising Attribution?

By aiwpadminJuly 27, 2017

by John Egan   

When it comes to advertising ROI attribution in customer acquisition, there’s a mismatch between online and offline tracking. That’s just one of the takeaways from a recent study that brand and media metrics consulting firm Sequent Partners conducted for the Coalition for Innovative Media Measurement and the 4A’s Media Measurement Task Force.

Among the current attribution weaknesses outlined in the study are:

●     Digital gets too much credit if other factors aren’t accounted for.

●     Most systems don’t account for consumer purchasing habits.

●     The quality of household-level data might be questionable.

●     Some data and techniques are untested.

Attribution and other advances in customer acquisition will be explored at LeadsCon’s Connect to Convert, Aug. 21-23, 2017, in New York City. One of the sessions, “Last-Click Attribution Is So Yesterday,” will be led by Akeel Haider, vice president of innovation and strategy at performance marketing company Sparkroom.

“What we are seeing is that simply taking the best of both marketing mix and attribution modeling and marrying the two has led to varying degrees of success,” says Jane Clarke, managing director and CEO of the Coalition for Innovative Media Measurement. “What’s needed are significant advancements in the area of integration of data, modeling techniques and organizational best practices.”

The study identifies cross-channel attribution—the integration of offline media like TV, magazines, radio and outdoor advertising—as the “ideal” sought by marketers, but it’s often lacking in available attribution tools because of the absence of addressable/programmatic inventory in offline media.

Other types of attribution cited in the study are:

●     Digital. This generally includes at least one trackable online element on computers and mobile devices, including display, paid search, organic search and email.

●     TV. This studies the effect of TV advertising on digital outcomes such as website or app traffic.

●     Multi-touch attribution. This incorporates an important distinction—promising that all digital “touchpoints,” including social media, are evaluated.

“By its nature, attribution can examine individual creative executions, individual media placements and the potentially synergistic combinations of the two. It can consider the responsiveness of various consumer segments and place the right ad in front of the right consumer at the right time,” the study says.

However, the study points out, attribution currently depends on untested:

●     Data inputs

●     Media matching

●     Offline-online matching

●     Modeling techniques

“Advertising attribution modeling is one of the biggest challenges in cross-platform advertising. Although there are several companies and organizations offering insight on the most effective form of attribution, the jury is still out on its overall use,” according to Videa’s MediaWave blog.

However, as noted by MediaWave, companies like 605 and comScore are developing new approaches to attribution that could turn out to be “breakout solutions.”

MediaWave says it’ll require the “full commitment” of advertising buyers and sellers to agree on a standard solution for attribution. “It is in the best interest of media buyers and sellers alike to get involved in the process to ensure that the industry has options moving forward that truly serve our needs,” Clarke says.

In a column for AdExchanger, Max Mead, CEO of Acceleration Labs, declares that the future of attribution—“enabling data-driven cultures to finally bloom and thrive”—is here.

“Forrester describes a new category of measurement that it labels ‘unified measurement,’ which ties these two previously separate approaches together,” Mead writes. “Gartner has a similar concept it calls ‘total marketing measurement,’ which includes all marketing touchpoints, not just media, such as customer service interactions.”

To learn more on what’s driving today’s customer acquisition, performance marketing and sales, join us at LeadsCon’s Connect to Convert this August in New York. Register today!

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