Attribution, the Secret Sauce of Success, Looms as New Priority for Marketers

marketingSweet success is what marketers crave from their efforts. But knowing exactly what to attribute it to is becoming more important to advertisers everywhere.

“Marketers have always acknowledged the benefits of accounting for every marketing channel and brand-imposed touchpoint, but in spite of such awareness, adoption of these types of practices has been slow and labored,” notes eMarketer in a new report.

Its latest report — “Cracking Cross-Device Attribution in 2016: Data Quality, Blended Models and Merging Online-Offline Data” — illustrates that many marketers have been to slow to get in the attribution groove, mostly due to a perceived “lack of knowledge or experience, an inability to justify an often six-figure price tag for the necessary capabilities and limited prioritization for such services over more pressing marketing needs, such as in social, video, mobile, and even programmatic.”

Industry players were candid with eMarketer staffers about the situation.

“There are always other things to do,” according to James Collins, the senior vice president and general manager at Rakuten Attribution (formerly DC Storm). “There’s always a logistics and supply chain to improve, there’s a product to improve and a website to re-platform. There’s a whole bunch of other stuff that will get in your way before attribution may bubble up to the top in terms of priorities. Companies will always have opportunities to spend money on something else.”

But the report also notes that there has been a change in the direction of the attribution winds.

“Its growing importance is apparent in a January 2016 survey conducted by the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) Data Center of Excellence and the Winterberry Group,” reports eMarketer. “Among U.S. digital marketing and media practitioners polled, cross-channel measurement and attribution were the most-cited tactics expected to occupy respondents’ time and resources in 2016.”

Notably, interest in attribution technology and practices had the biggest year-over-year jump of any mentioned marketing tactic.

Now, eMarketer estimates that more than half of U.S. companies with more than 100 employees will utilize multichannel attribution for their digital marketing efforts in 2017.