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    Posted July 3, 2014 by
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    Is this the new frontier for online markters? Data attribution gains momentum

    As online marketers are under more pressure from C-level executives to deliver a return on investment (ROI), research shows attribution software is helping to more fully understand the online and offline sale funnels.

    According to the introduction of an eConsultancy report titled Marketing Attribution: Valuing the Customer Journey, “traditionally available tools have provided visibility into the very top of the funnel (views, clicks, opens) and the bottom (sales, registrations, leads). Marketing and budget optimization have overlooked most of the funnel, where influence and research occur, and where 100 percent of opportunity gets whittled down to 2 percent conversion. “

    Marketing attribution platforms determine the role specific marketing channels play in informing and influencing how customers find, research, compare and ultimately come to buy products online. Attribution can track each of the many touch points (online and offline) that bring the customer to the sale. This enables marketers to understand how marketing affects the entire sales cycle, and then allocate proper resources for each channel. Attribution can also provide deep insights as advertisers try to improve and plan future campaigns by calculating metrics over a historical period.

    “Understanding attribution is key to learning the true value of different click streams, campaigns and cross-channel marketing efforts,” says Sarah Bundy, the award-winning CEO of All Inclusive Marketing, a digital marketing agency . “It sheds light into what works and what doesn't while giving decision makers better insights into where to spend their next dollar for smarter ROI.”

    The eConsultancy study shows several barriers to attribution adoption including:

    • A lack of priority within marketing (51 percent)
    • Being unsure of how to choose the appropriate method/model of attribution (42 percent)
    • A need to better understand political advantages (42 percent)
    • A lack of data or access to inform the process ( 41 percent)
    • Requirements for new staff resources (37 percent)
    • A lack of budget (33 percent)
    • A lack of management buy-in (32 percent)
    • The idea that attribution technology is not where it needs to be (27 percent)

    “Big brands, and small alike, are pouring money into measurable performance from marketing,” Charles Calabrese, Vice President of Operation at Performance Horizon Group, says. “But regardless of company size, brands should be interested in click path analysis, to understand the role of different players in the path to the sale, with an ultimate goal of uncovering better insights into customer behavior.”

    But there are some who are not convinced that attribution is not the Holy Grail for advertisers.

    “For example, search is generally inelastic compared to display. And search is highly sensitive to other media (interaction effect). Attribution alone sends you on a wild goose chase.” according to one industry veteran who didn’t want to be named.

    According to PeformanceIN, the industry is no closer to a big shift away from a last click attribution model. “While advertisers are looking at better ways to reward publishers based on their role within customer journeys, there is unlikely to be a major shift away from the last click model any time soon.”
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