Marketing Attribution – State of the Industry

Marketing Attribution – State of the Industry
June 13, 2016 János Moldvay

86% of European and 60% of US digital advertisers are wasting their budgets because they are not correctly measuring the effectiveness of their campaigns.

Industry reports from AdRoll for EMEA and US state that only 14% of advertisers in Europe and 40% in the US use multi touch attribution. Multi-touch attribution means taking into account all digital marketing touches of a customer and is a minimum requirement for correctly calculating the ROI of marketing campaigns.

In contrast to this, 70% of European and 84% of US marketers think that attribution is critical or at least very important to marketing success. There seems to be a significant insight-to-action-gap. This gap exists because up until recently there was a lack of tools or services available for advertisers who can’t spend north of USD 50.000 per year for an adequate multi touch attribution solution.

That’s why we founded Adtriba: to give smaller and medium ad spenders access to an integrated marketing reporting solution on the basis of algorithmic multi-touch attribution. Our aim is to provide advertisers with a single point of marketing truth.

Another interesting finding from the AdRoll report is that more marketers attribute greater weight to view-through conversions, i.e. conversions that are attributed solely to the impression of (not the click on) a display ad. AdRoll might be kind of biased here, since they would profit from more advertisers attributing conversions to AdRoll’s display impressions.

From our experience, display advertising platforms, DSPs and retargeting services are in a sort of dilemma: evaluating their performance from the antiquated, but widely spread last-click perspective leads to these channels seemingly being ineffective, which in turn leads the advertiser to pull budget out of display advertising. But if e.g. the DSP tries to prevent this by arguing for a simple view-through conversion attribution, the advertiser gets suspicious, since pure view-through conversion is usually frowned upon in the digital marketing industry (one of the main reasons being that there is a lot of room for manipulation and fraud when measuring and attributing view-based conversion).

With Adtriba we provide a neutral and unbiased assessment of display ads, neither applying last-click attribution, nor solely using simple view-through conversion. From our experience, display ad impressions should be included in every marketing attribution modelling. With Adtriba, the exact fraction of sales attributed to view-throughs will be calculated by machine learning based attribution modelling algorithms, and not depend on the “intuition” of some marketing expert or DSP.

Advertisers who can correctly assess the performance of display ads including view-throughs and applying algorithmic attribution modelling, have a competitive advantage. They can invest in and benefit from a channel, that the competitors might not consider. After all, one of the success factors in digital marketing is finding campaign types and channels that others advertisers haven’t discovered yet or regard as unprofitable.