GLOBAL: Eight in ten organisations around the world carry out some form of marketing attribution but seven in ten struggle to act on the insights provided, according to a new study.

The 2017 State of Marketing Attribution report, from AdRoll, the performance marketing platform, in partnership with Econsultancy, was based on a survey of nearly 1,000 brand marketers and agencies across Europe, North America, Japan and Asia-Pacific.

While a majority of respondents were carrying out some attribution modelling, the extent varied, with not all companies and agencies doing it for all campaigns or analysing results in all cases.

Thus, only 39% of company respondents carried out attribution on the majority of/all campaigns and analysed the results, a figure that plummeted to 13% for agency respondents.

The report also found increased uncertainty about how to interpret the data: the proportion of agency respondents reporting that clients typically carry out attribution but are not sure how to effectively analyse results climbed from 18% to 26%.

It put this down to a proliferation of touchpoints and data – from an ever-increasing number of marketing tools – that are making it harder for marketers and analysts to make confident decisions.

The main goals for marketing attribution were optimising the media mix (60%) and understanding the customer journey/sales cycle (57%), closely followed by being able to justify digital spending (56%).

Regionally, North America was the most advanced market with 51% of responding companies using attribution on most or all of their campaigns.

Respondents from Australia (22%) and Japan (19%) were most likely to express uncertainty around analysing results, while those in Europe (19%) were most likely to be thinking about attribution but not actually doing it.

Monica Savut, Econsultancy’s Head of Commercial Research Services, observed that more businesses understood the important role of marketing attribution, but added that “knowledge and confidence surrounding the use of various methods could prove to be a stumbling block”.

Companies need to “take a more holistic and nuanced approach to attribution”, she suggested, “constantly adjusting and refining until the correct balance is achieved”.

Sourced from AdRoll; additional content by WARC staff