I had posted this to LinkedIn Pulse the other day but thought it would be good to share it here and add some comments.
Digital marketing has always been about measurement. The digital wave gained momentum because it disrupted traditional media by showing that you can, in fact, prove that an ad has an attributable effect on a conversion. For years the predominant attribution methodology was to judge the last event before conversion to be the one to receive credit for the conversion. It was perfect! Well, perfect if you have a marketing program with only one channel that could affect a conversion. If you run two or more channels, you quickly lose sight of the big marketing picture. Demand-based channels like PPC and PLA generally operate lower in the funnel when someone has an idea of what they’re looking for. It isn’t inconceivable that those customers may only see one ad before a conversion. But, that’s not the perfect world we live in.
Clever marketers came up with a bevy of alternative, but no less accurate attribution methodologies. First event. Time decay. Even distribution and so on. These were all a more thoughtful way of judging conversion, but all shared some level of speculation and guessing.
Enter the world of programmatic, fractional attribution. Products like Google’s Attribution 360 promise highly granular, actionable data from tracking a brand’s eCommerce marketing ecosystem. From every traceable point in the marketing funnel, one can now judge channel performance based on its programmatic fractional attribution.
Google isn’ the only player in this space. There are a number of competing technologies that all have a slightly different way of answering the attribution question. C3 Metrics, Rakuten, VisualIQ, Impact Radius are among the few that are frequently discussed, but other solutions are available. There are some other more basic ways of calculating attribution, but the ones listed above are among the more talked about discussions.
Attribution at this depth is a game changer. Some early adopters have jumped on board. Publishers and advertisers will need to adapt to this new environment. Earning buy-in from your organization takes work, time and patience. Your skills as a teacher and an influencer will be pushed to the limit as this new view of marketing changes many of what were previously thought to be truths. If you have a chance to work with this technology, go for it.