Marketers are failing to link consumer insights to their automated ad platforms, meaning they could be wasting budgets on inferior data, according to new research.
The study, commissioned by Kenshoo and conducted by Forrester Consulting, found that marketing attribution (assigning a value to consumer actions) is still in its infancy and often not tied to automated campaign optimization, according to new research.
Attribution is the process of identifying a set of user actions (“events”) that contribute in some manner to a desired outcome, and then assigning a value to each of these events. Marketing attribution provides a level of understanding of what combination of events influence individuals to engage in a desired behavior, typically referred to as a conversion.
The study includes a survey of 106 advertisers, agencies, and analytics professionals in the U.S. and Europe. It outlines challenges marketers face when implementing cross-channel attribution, the benefits they reap from doing so, and the importance of connecting attribution modeling to bid management platforms in an automated manner.
Kenshoo commissioned Forrester Consulting to evaluate attribution management; Forrester’s study yielded three key findings:
• Marketers still embrace elementary approaches to measurement
Only one in nine marketers use advanced attribution methods, and among those using attribution, 28% still use single click methods.
• Marketers struggle to turn attribution insights into action
Having an attribution tool does not guarantee that an organisation will act in new ways. Several obstacles remain, including understanding the analytical model, convincing colleagues of the validity of recommendations and incorporating results into cumbersome media buying systems. However, these challenges diminish with time.
• Savvy marketers get sharper and nimbler with attribution measurement
Advanced marketers use sophisticated multi-touch attribution models to inform a broad array of strategic and tactical decisions in more detail and with more speed – 49% adjust their long-term media plans, 38% change media spend, 34% compare the performance of different campaign measures, and 23% take some action in real time.
Key charts from the report are below:
These findings verify what many marketers intuitively know; marketing attribution is still in its infancy. While marketers rely on an increasing number of channels to drive their marketing objectives, they continue to use basic attribution approaches to measure cross-channel impact. Part of the problem is the deeply fragmented attribution vendor market where marketers rely on data management providers, marketing service providers, web analytics providers, attribution specialists and media buying platforms for attribution about evenly. Interestingly, Forrester found that only 5% of marketers rely on their bid management platform for attribution.
“Attribution provides valuable insight into which channels have the greatest impact on any given campaign or ad, while showing marketers where their budgets can generate the greatest return,” said Aaron Goldman, CMO of Kenshoo. “But having access to attribution data isn’t enough; marketers need the ability to take immediate action on the insights, and that’s something many marketers struggle with. By leveraging advanced attribution models directly in bid management platforms, marketers can quickly and efficiently adjust bids and channel budgets to maximise their investments.”
Forrester provides four key recommendations for marketers to consider when implementing cross-channel attribution:
• Build an attribution business case and get executive sponsorship
Advanced attribution methodologies require an investment to build and time to understand; put a realistic plan together covering the range of benefits, costs and potential risks to get organisational buy-in.
• Dig into your partner’s attribution approach
Marketers should not bear 100% responsibility for implementing a new attribution solution; they should work with customer insights teams to validate a vendor’s analytic approach and the value of their attribution through robust tests.
• Connect attribution insights to media execution engines
Connecting attribution modeling to bid management platforms enables marketers to adjust their digital advertising spend in real time. This gives brands the agility required to respond to the rapidly changing interest of digitally connected consumers.
• Test and experiment with new marketing and media strategies to continually improve results
In addition to proving out your recommendations, testing and better measurement with attribution promotes experimentation; use a new attribution tool as an opportunity to discover new approaches and refine strategies.
“I feel that Forrester’s findings confirm what Kenshoo has long believed: gathering attribution data provides a great first step, but without real-time application, marketers miss a big opportunity to optimise campaigns,” added Goldman. “We have developed best-in-class attribution solutions that provide Kenshoo clients with visibility into the true value of cross-channel and intra-channel ad placements to automate bid management and optimise performance.”
Visit Kenshoo.com/Attribution-Converts-Insight-Into-Action to download the commissioned study conducted by Forrester consulting on behalf of Kenshoo: “Cross-Channel Attribution Must Convert Insights Into Action.”
In this study, Forrester conducted an online survey of 106 advertisers, agencies, and customer insight professionals across all industries at US, UK, French, and German organisations with more than a $5 million marketing budget. The study evaluated how organisations use attribution results to better understand their customers’ journey within the brand. Questions provided to the participants asked about their satisfaction with attribution results, the methods they are using for attribution, and obstacles they faced. The study was completed in April 2014.