Attribution: Digital Marketing’s Broken Promise


A new survey commissioned by digital marketing and SEO agency QueryClick revealed that unreliable or false attribution leaves almost 90 per cent of marketers afraid to invest in activities with any kind of long-term payback because of their inability to prove the value.

Digital marketing managers have slammed current attribution solutions as “verging on useless”.

The survey, which was sent to digital marketing professionals from retail (UK top 500), travel (UK top 100) and finance (UK top 100) businesses, also found that fewer than one-in-seven marketers find that adjusting their marketing investments based on attribution insights delivers the predicted results.

A total of 67.5 per cent reported that internal stakeholder pressure restricts their option to employ marketing activity that has a longer payback period than last-click measures.

Meanwhile, 13.5 per cent of respondents disagreed that this is the case.

Overall, the survey revealed that marketers find current attribution insights tools are of negligible, arguably negative, value.

The main topics of the report, compiled by QueryClick founder and managing director Chris Liversidge, discusses the extent to which digital marketing decisions are influenced by factors that ought not to play a part, as well as the degree to which the digital marketer’s work is hampered by a lack of good attribution models and solutions.

“Our survey confirms an unwelcome aspect of the circular relationship between decision-making, attribution and programmatic,” Liversidge said.

“The survey tells us time and again that attribution is something done as a matter of course, but without much conviction, and rightly so: if the insights gleaned from historical analysis cannot help marketers to perform better ‘next time’, then the accuracy of that historical analysis must be in doubt. When we factor in that marketers feel under pressure from management and agencies to invest in specific channels (PPC), we might also speculate that pretty much everyone is aware that current digital marketing attribution is little more than an unacknowledged charade,” he added.

QueryClick is a challenger digital marketing agency to the big five advertising groups. Founded in 2008, QueryClick managed £3.1 billion of client revenues last year, delivering an uplift of £366 million on behalf of their clients in Search and averaging 12:1 ROI for new customer growth.

QueryClick brought a Unified Analytics solution, Corvidae, to market in 2018. Using a completely new approach to attribution, it blends online and offline data, of any type or quality, using a patented machine-learning approach.  It cleanses marketing data and reveals up to 334% more data for attribution than any other available solution.  During its first pilot, Corvidae delivered a 37% media spend reduction and a £976k revenue uplift across £11.8m of multichannel media spend, giving an overall ROI of 40:1 for the client.

To read their report in full, click here

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