SAN FRANCISCO: Attribution is emerging as a major issue for marketers in 2017, according to new research which highlights the importance attributed to this issue by marketers and their intent to change current models.

The 2017 State of Performance Marketing Report from AdRoll, a performance marketing platform, surveyed more than 1,000 US marketers and business owners to gain a perspective on the future of digital marketing.

This found that almost 75% of marketers believed that attribution is critical or very important to marketing success. And nearly 60% indicated that they planned to take the definitive step of changing their attribution model in 2017.

"Attribution has accelerated from a topic that has long loomed in the background, to the top issue marketers are looking to solve," said Adam Berke, CMO and president of AdRoll.

The reason for its current prominence is that the marketing discipline is increasingly seen a growth driver for business, with direct revenue accountability.

"This is causing marketers to look for smarter and more sophisticated ways to connect their activities to actual business metrics beyond the rudimentary last click models that have been around for the last 15 years," said Berke.

Marketers focused most of their budget (72%) on prospecting for new customers and converting those prospective customers. Just 16% of budget went into activating and upselling existing customers.

The survey further found that the most successful channels for attracting new customers were paid social media (54%), organic social media (35%), programmatic display (32%) and paid search (28%).

Email campaigns remain popular for marketing to existing or lapsed customers and 70% of marketers claimed their email campaigns are now dynamic – moving beyond traditional batch sends to include content based on user behaviour.

But despite being around for many years, many email campaigns are still not being integrated with other marketing efforts, such as messaging, reporting, and KPIs.

Almost 30% of all those who were surveyed said that email campaigns were only somewhat integrated or have no integration whatsoever.

Data sourced from AdRoll; additional content by Warc staff