Everybody wants a solution to the attribution problem – but attribution is more than just another shiny object.
“The marketer’s world has never been more fragmented – from channels to possibilities within channels,” said Anush Prabhu, chief channel planning and investment office at Deutsch NY.
“Data is the new integration,” he said.
What key factors will drive change in the marketing attribution space in the coming year?
To answer that, we reached out to three speakers at AdExchanger’s upcoming Industry Preview 2015 conference. The three will participate in a panel discussion called “The Colliding Worlds of Attribution and Marketing Mix Modeling.”
- Wes Nichols, CEO, MarketShare
- Sunny Youn, Director of Digital Media Analytics, Epsilon
- Anush Prabhu, Chief Channel Planning & Investment Officer, Deutsch NY
Scroll to read their responses.
Three major trends will shape marketing measurement generally, and attribution in particular, in 2015: analytics sophistication is accelerating; analytics will continue its prominence as a career maker – or career breaker; and digital branding will disrupt attribution.
We continue to see a substantial increase in demand around more sophisticated and precise analytics and attribution… For marketers, proving value – a.k.a., providing good measurement – has become a job security issue. We’re also seeing CMOs leverage analytics to gain unprecedented influence far beyond the marketing suite.
Marketers have long treated digital as a performance marketing channel and used offline media to take point on building brand. But that divide is going away. MarketShare’s clients, for instance, are uniquely able to quantify the long term brand equity impact of digital, as well as offline/digital interactions. That shift completely changes attribution. It means marketers need to sync branding initiatives – initiatives that live across online and offline channels – with campaign-based tactics. Sophisticated marketers will embrace holistic approaches to attribution. Those who can’t will fail.
The rise of “data plumbing,” or the ability to integrate all types of big data across channels, will continue. The ability to gain more confidence in cross-channel and cross-device attribution will depend on a single ID sync or building a key ring around a single account, which includes matching online and offline data.
DMPs will embrace channel integration to support omnichannel initiatives, but many may not be prepared to undertake that level of detail, beyond the Googles and Facebooks of the world, with their multichannel attribution offerings.
In the short term, specialized online solutions consultants can apply custom modeled intelligence to drive value out of the DMPs more than anything else.
As today’s marketer attempts to connect and understand the fragmented landscape, data can be the savior, a perspective that brings me to the three changes that will will – hope to – see next year.
Individual or segment-based attribution: We have been attributing average values to each channel’s contribution within our mix for years. But any marketer will tell you that not all consumers behave like the average. Each individual or segment of individuals are influenced in different ways by different messages in different channels. With the advent of more deterministic tracking solutions like the new Atlas, we will start seeing more segments or individual-based channel attribution intelligence.
“Right sizing” channel effects: With more fragmentation, it also becomes more difficult to measure an individual channel’s contribution, as the larger noise tends to overshadow the smaller channels, despite their relative effectiveness. Channel associations will gain more importance in the mix to make up for the size bias.
Architecture attribution: With more educated marketers relying less on biased attribution models, like last click, there will be a move to evaluate and optimize overall communications architectures by comparing different combinations of well thought through touchpoints that collectively drive the best result.
We have been operating in a world where marketers understand that no channel operates on its own and that they make each other more effective. 2015 should be the year where we act more on that understanding than we have in the past.