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Attribution breaks new ground

News, 05 February 2015

LONDON: Advanced attribution models are not only boosting marketing effectiveness, they are also improving decision-making across organisations, a leading industry figure has said,

Writing in the current issue of Admap, Daniel Kehrer, vp/marketing at analytics firm MarketShare, highlights five innovations which are "writing a new chapter in smart analytics".

His article Precise attribution fuels marketing effectiveness describes how consumer-level attribution and market-level modelling are merging into a single marketing optimisation technology platform, with 'adaptive marketing' starting to replace older planning and measurement processes.

New sophisticated tools can factor in brand impacts alongside shorter-term, consumer-level impacts, so producing a more accurate ROI calculation.

Better modelling enables marketers to ask 'what if?' questions, a development one financial industry marketer described as "the most powerful thing I've seen in my 20+ years as a CMO".

But potentially the most significant change, Kehrer suggested, was the ability to integrate attribution insights with programmatic buying.

"In essence, this turns your attribution platform into the 'brains' of your programmatic efforts, helping inform everything from how to allocate spending across DSPs to which creative works best and where."

An equally important but less heralded development has been the way in which companies using these approaches have refined their internal structures as a result, creating a "virtuous feedback loop for measurement, learning and change".

Hotel chain Hilton is one brand that Kehrer reported had benefited from a move away from simplistic and inaccurate last-touch attribution.

By connecting offline media, digital data, CRM, targeting and web analytics solutions with a MarketShare-supplied platform it is now able to get real-time recommendations for programmatic buying as well as marketing planning and optimisation capabilities.

Adding in the capability to track brand advertising impacts has given Hilton insights into the best way to allocate marketing investment across its portfolio of hotel brands.

Consequently it understands marketing portfolio and halo effects and can specify spend and messaging at an individual level.

A key refinement, said Kehrer, is the ability to interpret results across both short- and long-term return on marketing as he noted brand equity building activity often manifests its impact over much longer horizons than bottom-of-the-funnel digital conversion activity.

Data sourced from Warc