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 San Francisco Revolutionize your digital marketing campaigns at ClickZ Live San Francisco (August 10-12)!
Educating marketers for over 15 years, our action-packed, educationally-focused agenda offers 9 tracks to cover every aspect of digital marketing. Join over 500 digital marketers and expert speakers from leading brands. Register today!

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

US Consumer Device Preference Report

US Consumer Device Preference Report
Traditionally desktops have shown to convert better than mobile devices however, 2015 might be a tipping point for mobile conversions! Download this report to find why mobile users are more important then ever.

E-Commerce Customer Lifecycle

E-Commerce Customer Lifecycle
Have you ever wondered what factors influence online spending or why shoppers abandon their cart? This data-rich infogram offers actionable insight into creating a more seamless online shopping experience across the multiple devices consumers are using.

WEBINARS

Resources

Jobs

  • Sr. Marketing Specialist, PPC
    Sr. Marketing Specialist, PPC (Charter Communications) - StamfordSr. Marketing Specialist, PPC– Digital Marketing Charter Communications...