A recent study by Econsultancy and Google Analytics indicates that a majority of marketers are still using last-click attribution to measure performance-oriented campaigns. But at the same time, marketers are realizing that it is ineffective at gauging the true influence campaigns have on the consumer’s path to conversion. For online video campaigns, be it advertising, email, or on-site, last-click attribution suffers from similar inaccuracies.
To quote Morpheus, it seems that many marketers are still on the blue pill.
Marketers are abuzz over attribution analysis, which provides insight into how their ad channels are working—individually and together—to accomplish online marketing goals. Alan Osetek, president of digital marketing agency Resolution Media, an Omnicom Media Group company, says few marketers understand what attribution analysis is. He spoke with eMarketer’s Lauren Fisher to share his insights on attribution analysis and modeling, particularly for search and display.
eMarketer: Before we jump into speaking about attribution analysis for search and display, can you share with me some observations about how marketers are currently using search and display?
Alan Osetek: In the last 12 to 18 months, there have certainly [been] a variety of new ways of looking at display as a behavioral demographic unit, from a search retargeting perspective or by using cookie-based information to figure out where people have been, what they are doing and what they’re in market for.
Your options for visualising and better understanding the combination of media that assist sale across multiple touchpoints on the “path to purchase”
Back in 2008 I did an interview with Gary Angel, an analytics consultant at Semphonic, where I asked him about attribution approaches. What he said two years on is still equally relevant:
Attribution remains a significant issue for clients. In our view, there is no one right answer to attribution. We all know that first or last doesn’t cut it. But it turns out that channels interact quite differently for different organizations. It also turns out to be nightmarishly difficult to produce coherent reports on channel interactions that capture anything like reality.
Building an attribution model usually seems to involve a significant company-specific deep-dive analysis followed by the creation of a set of business attribution rules that are applied to ongoing reporting. This is an area where we tend to emphasize Analytic Reporting (reports that have a model built-in using programmatic code) to achieve reports that capture the complex reality but can actually be digested.
This challenge certainly remains in 2010 and I expect to gain increased attention in 2011. But the difference now is that there is a wider range of tools to help with this challenge.
What is digital media channel attribution?
To take an example, from my Internet Marketing book, here a search for a car rental the overall customer journey or “path-to-purchase” can involve multiple touch points from an affiliate to natural search to a banner ad.