Brands are working to step up their attribution game and taking more care in perfecting their data measurement techniques in order to do so, according to Forrester analyst Tina Moffet, who predicts that customer insight professionals will increase their focus on deciphering user purchase patterns over the next year. They’re just not doing it fast enough.
In a recent blog post Moffet writes that while the benefits of attribution analytics are widely accepted, most marketers are still relying on last-click measurements to track consumer behavior, and many face a steep learning curve on new modeling approaches. She blames the shortfall on an overemphasis on measuring returns on investment – which has the effect of diverting resources – and a general lack of insight into what she calls “a complex measurement approach with large implications.” This includes confusion surrounding the differences between marketing mix modeling, which is concerned largely with optimizing marketing budgets, and true channel attribution.
“The immediate benefit of attribution measurement is to measure the true impact of marketing and media efforts, allowing marketers to change their marketing strategies and their media buys,” she writes. “We need to continue to educate the measurement community on different attribution approaches and the benefits of a more sophisticated, focused measurement approach.”
Marketers currently are applying a number of advanced attribution models to this end – including Linear modeling, which assigns equal credit across every touch point; Time Decay modeling, which increases attribution credit as the customer gets closer to conversion; and Position Based modeling, which gives more credit to the first and last interactions while equally distributing the rest of the credit to the middle interactions. Experts recommend that brands begin experimenting with simple models, gauge the outcomes and work to find an optimal mix.
Moffet says she has been getting more inquiries from firms about how to leverage big data sources to perfect their core consumer measurement techniques and expects a more concerted push into attribution modeling from both consumer and B2B marketers.
“On the attribution front, there is an appetite to learn about specific methodologies, use cases, ongoing attribution management strategies, and attribution applications to marketing/media buys,” she writes. “I predict attribution — and general consumer and marketing measurement — will continue to be a hot topic for marketers and CI professionals well into 2014.”