• http://www.rimmkaufman.com George Michie

    Hi David,

    Your point is well-taken. We’ve just launched our own attribution management service, and recognize both the importance of having a system flexible enough for each different advertiser and with enough analytic power to give meaningful insights.

    Because so many advertising channels are behavior driven, particularly affiliates and email, our mathematicians internal and sprinkled around University research labs aren’t convinced that fancy black box models will actually serve the need. Modeling may be unable to determine what fraction of folks who search for “Acme Coupon” after being driven to Acme’s site by SEM efforts would buy in the absence of that affiliate ad. Absent controlled tests this behavior, and digging up email offers from the inbox may make the models less accurate than good old marketing intuition.

    We’ll see, our statisticians are still hammering on it, but it may be more than a difficult problem.

  • http://www.doyoualoha.com mkematt

    Attribution Analysis (we call it “Attribution Tracking”) will be an important tool once it’s out of its infancy stage of development. The bottom line… it’s all about Marketing Mix. All marketing channels need to be “optimized”. That means developing a strategy where each channel is in alignment with the others (branding, messaging, etc.).

    What we typically see through our “Attribution Analysis” is that most conversions begin and end with Search. Regardless, we understand that a comprehensive Marketing Mix is key in driving revenue. Our efforts are spent ensuring that all of our marketing channels flow together. If one is off balance, the rest do not perform as well as they could.

  • http://www.marketingfinanceobama.com Jamie Voorhies

    I agree that current modeling is flawed, though it seems everyone’s thinking is aligned on that. As in, we all know it is broken, but fixing it is really hard!

    I’ve seen some excited stuff involving placebo tests (i.e., running multichannel DOE testing where you serve up fake ads to monitor the true lift of the varying placements). You could couple this with on/off switches on mass-market campaigns to get even greater understanding. Of course, this isn’t going to give us the answer, but just another step in that direction.

  • http://www.marketing-jive.com Jody N

    Great article David. A key piece to what you stated late in your post: I don’t know of a way to realistically pull any of this off if an advertiser doesn’t have a common tracking/analytics system for all marketing channels.

    Attribution is about giving credit where credit is due, without consistent tracking, true/accurate attribution is impossible to achieve.