Multi-Channel Attribution Models Spur Lively Debate at I-COM

  |  March 12, 2010   |  Comments

Agencies predict more brands will adapt the models in the next year, while others question the practice's value.

LISBON, PORTUGAL-- One of the more intriguing panels from the International Conference on Online Media Measurement (I-COM) on Thursday was about multi-channel attribution. Which ad buy gets credit for the conversion? What constitutes a "conversion"? What constitutes "attribution" for that matter?

Later that day, the panel's breakout session was joined by other marketing veterans, and a debate ensued about the need to know exactly what "caused" a consumer to make a purchase or take other action.

Andy Fisher, EVP of global data and analytics director at Starcom MediaVest USA, and Jason Shulman, CRO at [x+1], explained the value of setting up a model where appropriate marketing channels can get accredited for sales to better inform future campaigns. Each said they only know a handful of brands that use sophisticated models to do just that, while predicting that more brands would adopt what is an expensive and comprehensive practice in the next year.

"We've worked with clients who do draw value from it," Fisher said. "It's a difficult subject... The really hard problem is, how do you build the right model? And how do you show that the model you've built is better than what you were using before?"

Mike Hess, Carat USA's EVP of research, argued that brand advertisers have long used models to show causation in their post-campaign analysis. He suggested that direct marketing disciples too often get caught up in data minutiae of attribution.

"For those of us who have been working with the 'marketing mix' model for the last 10 to 15 years, we do attribution," Hess said. "But the attribution there is in the decomposition. For five points of digital, we can say that [one point is display and four points are search]. What I like about that approach is it allows a familiarity of the market forces that simultaneously impact [sales]. So there's attribution, but there's not an obsession about it."

One thing everyone on the panel seemed to agree about was that SEM gets too much credit for conversions in the current digital climate.

ClickZ is a media sponsor of the I-COM conference. Our travel and accommodation expenses were paid by the event's producers.

ClickZ Live Toronto On the heels of a fantastic event in New York City, ClickZ Live is taking the fun and learning to Toronto, June 23-25. With over 15 years' experience delivering industry-leading events, ClickZ Live offers an action-packed, educationally-focused agenda covering all aspects of digital marketing. Register today!

ClickZ Live San Francisco Want to learn more? Join us at ClickZ Live San Francisco, Aug 10-12!
Educating marketers for over 15 years, ClickZ Live brings together industry thought leaders from the largest brands and agencies to deliver the most advanced, educational digital marketing agenda. Register today and save $500!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Christopher Heine

Christopher Heine was a senior writer for ClickZ through June 2012. He covered social media, sports/entertainment marketing, retail, and more. Heine's work has also appeared via Mashable, Brandweek, DM News, MarketingSherpa, and other tech- and ad-centric publications. USA Today, Bloomberg Radio, and The Los Angeles Times have cited him as an expert journalist.

COMMENTSCommenting policy

comments powered by Disqus

ClickZ Today is our #1 newsletter.
Get a daily dose of digital marketing.

COMMENTS

UPCOMING EVENTS

Featured White Papers

Gartner Magic Quadrant for Digital Commerce

Gartner Magic Quadrant for Digital Commerce
This Magic Quadrant examines leading digital commerce platforms that enable organizations to build digital commerce sites. These commerce platforms facilitate purchasing transactions over the Web, and support the creation and continuing development of an online relationship with a consumer.

Paid Search in the Mobile Era

Paid Search in the Mobile Era
Google reports that paid search ads are currently driving 40+ million calls per month. Cost per click is increasing, paid search budgets are growing, and mobile continues to dominate. It's time to revamp old search strategies, reimagine stale best practices, and add new layers data to your analytics.

WEBINARS

Resources

Jobs

    • GREAT Campaign Project Coordinator
      GREAT Campaign Project Coordinator (British Consulate-General, New York) - New YorkThe GREAT Britain Campaign is seeking an energetic and creative...
    • Paid Search Senior Account Manager
      Paid Search Senior Account Manager (Hanapin Marketing) - BloomingtonHanapin Marketing is hiring a strategic Paid Search Senior Account Manager...
    • Paid Search Account Manager
      Paid Search Account Manager (Hanapin Marketing) - BloomingtonHanapin Marketing is hiring an experienced Paid Search Account Manager to...