Attribution: What’s Next In 2016?
Where is attribution headed in 2016? Columnist Eric Dezendorf describes upcoming innovations that could take your marketing to the next level.
In 2015, marketing attribution took huge leaps forward. Many marketers are now able to understand the incremental value of their marketing on an almost real-time schedule and see placements, campaigns and channels grouped and recalculated almost on a whim without relying on simple last-click metrics.
The days of the old attribution model are long gone, and in 2016, attribution providers are going to make the next leap toward serving their clients with the fastest, most relevant and actionable data to help them understand the impact of their marketing campaigns.
Though most of these ideas have been kicked around and explored for a while, I think that the technology has evolved to the point where the points below will become more than just pipe dreams.
If your attribution provider isn’t doing some of the following yet, look for them to start introducing these enhancements soon.
Daily Data Updates
If you can provide your data on a regular daily schedule, it’s possible you’re already receiving these metrics. But if not, expect announcements soon.
In my opinion, the next advantage that attribution will provide is the ability to provide new data on a daily basis. This will allow end users to update and adjust budgets and placements each and every day to influence marketing programs expertly.
Furthermore, these views will be smart enough to show your incremental marketing over the last day, seven days or another period you might specify.
If you aren’t yet producing a daily feed of your marketing and site activity, you should work on making sure one is set up soon to take advantage of this upgrade.
Cross-Channel Marketing Updates
One of the top five things I see on almost every one of my clients’ wish lists is the ability to understand the effect of their cross-channel marketing.
In 2016, even more will be done to effectively study and communicate the top user paths and assign the proper value of a conversion to each marketing player.
Look for reports to become far more robust and interactive, allowing users to easily filter, segment and digest granular data.
Furthermore, I think 2016 will be the year that mobile attribution takes a huge leap forward.
Right now, it’s extremely difficult to follow a user who views a mobile ad but converts from a desktop ad or vice versa. Customers will not only be able to attribute cross-device conversions correctly, but they will also be able understand the cross-pollination impact the two channels have on each other.
Demand-Side Platform Integration
Attribution providers are going to begin integrating back into the DSPs (demand-side platforms) they are reporting off of, allowing users to see their attribution data directly alongside their DSP information.
It’s a very cool upgrade that will save many hours and headaches for an analyst looking to create reports that include attribution data.
DSPs optimize on many more factors than just placements — e.g., time of day, geography, browser, network, creative size and many more.
New integrations will take the value attributed overall to your programmatic buys but then will rerun the attribution again on this segment to allocate the correct value to the factors that your DSP works from.
Attribution Over Time
Another one of my clients’ top wish list items is the ability to see the marketing of a given day attributed forward across the next few weeks. This can be really useful in analyzing a big campaign push or a home page takeover type of event.
Though this may be commonplace in old format attribution reports, it’s now going to make its way into the real-time arena, making it even easier for users to understand the latency and impact of their daily marketing.
As you can see, the world of attribution is going to grow immensely over the next few months, and these are only some of my thoughts.
There may be many more exciting innovations in the works that will help you and your company better understand your marketing and make educated choices toward aiming your marketing at the correct audience at the correct time.