Attribution Vendors Are Not Created Equal


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All attribution vendors are not created equal. I've done a lot of hands-on research about various attribution solutions available. As I've become more comfortable with the tools and methodologies available, a few things have become evident that every marketer should consider when selecting an attribution product.

Products that offer “full-funnel attribution” yield significantly better insights and are worth the investment. Completeness of the underlying data set is the only way to ensure accurate attribution results and recommendations. Having the ability to confirm the quality of the data set is also essential.

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Attribution Vendors Are Not Created Equal

  1. 1. Selecting an Attribution PlatformAll attribution vendors are not created equal. I’ve done a lot ofhands-on research about various attribution solutions available. AsI’ve become more comfortable with the tools and methodologiesavailable, a few things have become evident that every marketershould consider when selecting an attribution product.Ensure the Data Is Complete and AccurateProducts that offer “full-funnel attribution” yield significantly betterinsights and are worth the investment. Completeness of theunderlying data set is the only way to ensure accurate attributionresults and recommendations. Having the ability to confirm thequality of the data set is also essential.And it matters how the attribution vendor assigns credit to theconversion. Currently, most providers use one of two differentmethodologies to assign credit. The more accurate approachassigns credit based on analyzing actual campaign data, whichallows you to make objective investment decisions. A simpler, butless accurate, technique relies on pre-determined assumptions onwhich campaign attributes deserve more credit. Making decisionsbased on arbitrary assumptions like these does not produceactionable results.Automation of Insights Help Scale a Marketing OrganizationNote that data sets are far too complex and large for analysts tomanually evaluate and optimize. And by the time you find anyhelpful correlations, it’s likely too late to do anything meaningfulwith the information. Rather than having to re-build and re-runmodels multiple times, a sophisticated attribution tool shoulduncover as many insights as possible in an automated fashion.And the outputs from these insights need to be automated so theycan feed search engines, display platforms and other media-buying venues, allowing tactical recommendations to becomepractical to implement.No optimization tool is flexible enough to handle all of thecampaign constraints that a client might have. There arecontractual, as well as policy reasons, that live outside of thedata that need to be respected. That’s why it is critical to haverobust modeling tools you can use to adjust recommendationsbased on varying constraints. Once the media buyer has the coreoptimization recommendations, she can use what-if modeling toolsto apply constraints.A discussion posted on Digiday on what to look for in an attribution vendor by Troy Lerner, president of Booyah Advertising.Attribution Vendors Are NotCreated Equal
  2. 2. Pitfalls to AvoidFinally, there are also a few things you should actively avoid whensearching for an attribution partner. For example, be skeptical ofany vendor that promises immediate returns or “out of the box”insights. The truth is, there’s no such thing as one-size-fits-allattribution, and for every campaign and client, it takes some levelof customization and understanding of business goals in order tomake attribution work. Steer clear of products that promise resultswithout investing the time to understand the business and its goals.Similarly, avoid real-time attribution reports. Several vendorstout products that deliver real-time results. I hope we get theresomeday, but I don’t believe it yet. Actionable attribution analysistypically requires several weeks or even months of data.Finally, make sure your contact includes access to the nerds.Getting high-quality attribution insights is complicated andrequires lots of data and a flawless trafficking/tagging system.You’ll need to put your own talented folks onto the project,but you’ll also need regular contact with the experts from yourselected tool provider. The sales guy will certainly promise you thisaccess, but it’s worth asking the technical experts directly if this istheir understanding as well.Pick a Vendor for the Long-TermAttribution tools have matured greatly, but many vendors still sellsolutions that sound (and are!) too good to be true. Keep in mindthat you’ll likely be engaged with your attribution partner for a longtime. It’s a significant investment of time, effort and money, so picka tool that serves your needs and a provider that will stand by you.You’ll be glad you did.NEXT STEPSTo learn more about Adometry, advanced attributionand media verification, please visit us at www.adometry.comAdometry, Inc.4301 Westbank Dr.Building A, Ste. 100Austin, TX 787461-866-512-5425info@adometry.comAbout AdometryAdometry, Inc. redefines marketing analytics by combining and interpreting previously silo-ed sources of big data togenerate actions that improve return on advertising spend and increase sales. Through its SaaS-based attributionplatform, Adometry processes tens-of-billions of marketing touch points from online and offline media channels forsome of the world’s largest advertisers to identify the true consumer purchase journey. Adometry’s scientifically provenmethodology and flexible, easy-to-implement solution generates the industry’s most accurate insights, in the shortestamount of time. Headquartered in Austin, Texas, Adometry is privately held and backed by Austin Ventures, SierraVentures, Shasta Ventures and Stanford University. For more information, visit www.adometry.comCopyright 2013. Adometry and Click Forensics are registered trademarks of Adometry, Inc. Adometry Attribute and Attribute Catalyst Framework aretrademarks of Adometry, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 0413