Attribution gets simplified if everything happens within a single garden. Mixing traffic from other sources – anything from TV to out-of-home to ads on other networks – muddies the attribution waters.
But that would be a Faustian bargain – selling your soul in exchange for perfect (or at least pretty good) knowledge.
Facebook might say, “Work with us because we can provide you with more volume than anybody else and we can calculate ROI precisely because of all of our deterministic data,” said Seufert. “Ownership of that data could be more important that the actual provision of the ad impression.”
There’s not much that developers can do about it – not if they want granular targeting and attribution at scale.
“[But] I don’t know that it’s a problem,” Seufert said. “It’s a good thing that companies are building robust data structures that allow them to provide more value with their service. The only possibly problematic component of that [would make] working with one network over another mutually exclusive [because] it wouldn’t make sense to work with both if the traffic gets muddled together.”
The “solution” would be to go with the biggest provider and let the various behemoths “battle it out,” he said. “And in the meantime, we get to enjoy the benefits of healthy competition and cheaper prices over time.”
The more data you have, the more of a competitive advantage you have. “That’s what Facebook and Google have and you sort of have to accept that reality,” Seufert said.