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Blog: Tag: Attribution

The Value of Attribution

The topic of attribution, which advertisements get credit for a particular conversion event, is often brought up when discussing bid optimization. A question we get frequently asked is if a more “sophisticated” attribution scheme will provide value. The answer is a resounding, unsatisfying “maybe”. There are two major factors to consider with any attribution scheme. The first is “how much does it cost to implement and measure?” The second is “does it provide any benefit?” 

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Digital Attribution is Growing Up

A study commissioned by the IAB (Interactive Advertising Bureau) and conducted by Forrester Research shows that "advanced techniques for attributing value to digital media channels, based on specific campaign goals and detailed data analysis are replacing simplistic first and last click measures."

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Google's latest sneeze: AdID

Google sneezed and everyone stopped to find out why. The latest rumored innovation is being called Google AdID. It appears Google’s master plan may be to replace third-party cookies with an alternative. Google’s solution would track browsing activity with the added benefit of stronger privacy and control for users. From the USA Today article (emphasis added):

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eMarketer: Approaches to Cross-Platform Attribution

Note: For the purposes of this post, the terms cross-platform and cross-channel are used interchangeably.

Welcome to the second in a series of posts based on eMarketer’s recent report, “Cross-Platform Attribution: A Status Report on Overcoming Select Attribution Challenges.” Post number 1, which you can read here, introduced eMarketer’s definition of attribution and explored its current state of adoption in the market. To sum it up, adoption isn’t good and there are a variety of reasons for the poor numbers. Chief among them, according to some industry experts, are cost and a lack of confidence in ROI—getting it and proving it. 

The cost can be substantial, pushing beyond a million dollars and requiring hundreds of hours of implementation time, but the real kicker is the ROI. For reasons we’ll go into in a future post, attribution is a flawed way to measure ad value as a means of deciding how to allocate ad spend. And those goals—measuring value and allocating spend—are what the two types of attribution studied in the report are attempting to achieve. eMarketer identifies bottom-up (path analysis) and top-down (media mix) as the two ways marketers use attribution. In this post, we’ll look at media mix and path analysis, and the role each plays in measuring value and allocating spend. 

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The Importance of measuring cross-channel value: A Q&A With Rob cooley, OptiMine CTO

The following is the first in a series of interviews conducted with OptiMine CTO Rob Cooley. In this series we will dive deep into one of the biggest challenges facing advertisers today; measuring the cross-channel value of their digital ads. Each installment will focus on a different aspect of the issue and include Rob's insight and analysis. In our first interview, we layed the foundation through a discussion of the importance of measuring cross-channel value. Rob also offered two ways advertisers can think about the problem--indirect marketing & direct marketing--both of which are rooted in traditional, offline, advertising strategies. To be sure, online advertising is a different beast, with characterisitics that fit in both paradigms and Rob explores both in this segment. 

Q: How does OptiMine define cross-channel value?

A: What we’re really after is cross-ad value.

Early funnel ads such as display, Facebook, and other social ads do not generate many direct conversions. On the rare occasions when there is a click that results in a conversion, measuring that value is very easy. What is more difficult to measure is the effect upper funnel ad impressions have on the conversion performance of lower funnel ads such as search and retargeting.

But the impact of one on another does not always happen across channels. In fact, intra-channel effects are not unheard of, so what we’re really measuring is cross-ad value.  

 

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Digital Advertisers beware; consumers are blocking your cookies

The ebb and flow of the online privacy debate has been flowing for some time, and it doesn’t appear that it will let up any time soon.  This is bad news for advertisers whose attribution schemes rely on the data gathered from third-party cookies for measuring ad value—something they were never meant to do. Because every time the issue of privacy is in the headlines, consumers become more educated on A) what information is being gathered and B) what they can do to stop it. 

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emarketer: roadblocks to attribution

Note: For the purposes of this post, the terms cross-platform and cross-channel are used interchangeably.

Welcome to the third installment of our series where we break down the eMarketer report “Cross-Platform Attribution: A Status Report on Overcoming Select Attribution Challenges.” If you haven’t read part I or II, or if you’d like to refresh your memory, you will find them here and here.

Last time out we focused on two types of attribution—bottom-up and top-down—and the role each one plays. In this case, value measurement and spend allocation respectively. We also inferred, unequivocally declared really, that attribution, regardless of the type, will never solve the problems it sets out to solve. There are several reasons for this and we are going to explore two in this post; viewability and third-party cookies. In part IV of our series we’ll dive deeper into the current rage of all digital advertising channels and one heck of an obstacle in its own right, mobile. 

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Social Content—Don’t rely on “likes” alone to measure value

The findings explored in this eMarketer article concern me. That brands are increasingly using social media to reach their audience is great news, but the lack of understanding of the true value of the audience is troubling. Counting the number of “Likes”, “clickthroughs”, and “Retweets” is a reasonable exercise and it does have value, but it cannot take the place of measuring the effectiveness of social content using financial metrics.  

And that is where my concern comes in.

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