Attribution: What? Why? How? When?

June 20, 2017

Viewability, brand safety and attribution are all difficult issues for marketers to solve in the complex digital landscape.

 Credit: Lauren Mancke

The industry has leant heavily on addressing issues concerning viewability and ad fraud but as yet has not thrown its full weight into solving the inevitability accountability issues of attribution. It is not a simple equation to solve and with no definitive solution available, each client or agency embarking on tracking this will take their own bespoke approach. So, here are some points to get you started:

So, What exactly is Attribution? Essentially it is the foundation for further measurement, further understanding the effect of the channels we market in and ultimately a steer on investment.

Why is it so important? This really sits at the heart of understanding your (or in our case ourclient’s) business and will help drive more efficient campaigns and marketing spends in the long run. First and Last attribution models are outdated given the detailed media stacking that makes up the components of everyday life. To only reward partners who serve the last impression or click before a sale is made is to downplay all other touchpoints made on the path to purchase.How can we start to address this? Unfortunately there is no perfect solution (yet!) and the processes can be complex and specific. Ad servers can link up different online channels to track the paths to conversion but can only look at digital in silo and not with any other communications you may be running. Working with a partner who uses deterministic data the most accurate way to go and the rise of cookieless targeting is slowly but surely making its way.

When should we start looking at this? No time like the present! Get ahead of the game and start to analyse and understand the outcomes of your digital (and non-digital) strategies. Start by looking at the channels that can be measured together and build from there.

There is huge value in measuring attribution at any level and something that we feel will in the long term will aid all marketing channels as clients look to seek the most value.

The IAB provides a great video overview as well as a whole host of white papers from industry experts for further reading.

Charlie Griffin, Account Director


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