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January 17, 2019

Last touch or last click attribution is an outdated and costly measurement model yet the majority of marketers are still using it

Digital marketing spend continues to increase and consume most of marketing budget resources. The latest forecast from research firm eMarketer predicts U.S. digital ad spend will increase 19.1 percent in 2019, to $129.3 billion and traditional advertising will decline 19 percent, to $109.5 billion, putting digital ad spend at 54.2 percent to traditional taking up 45.8 percent.

In addition to increased digital marketing spend is the increase in the average number of touchpoints, both offline and online, required to close a valuable lead, the number of channels consumers use to research new products and the number of devices used in that journey. This, in turn, increases a vast amount of data that is spread across dozens or perhaps even hundreds of data silos making the holistic understanding of the consumer journey very challenging.

15 years ago, the average consumer typically used two touch-points when buying an item and only 7% regularly used more than four. Today consumers use an average of almost six touch-points with nearly 50% regularly using more than four. (Marketing Week)


Understanding the customer journey has always been paramount for marketers in designing marketing budgets and for years the bulk of ad spend justification was built around measuring the final touchpoint or click – which gave attribution to one channel – the final one. This is fairly easy to track but it also fails to take the entire customer journey into account, only tracking the last action and only tracking one device. So, why are the majority of marketers still using this outdated model?

Multichannel – Multidevice Attribution

Attribution is a pain point for companies of all sizes leaving many consumed in analysis paralysis and still using the outdated last-click attribution model. With so many options and costly decisions to be made based on available information it may be a daunting task just deciding where to start. Technological advancements, including the utilization of artificial intelligence and deep learning, provide market researchers with the ability to pool, analyze and formulate strategies with accuracy through sophisticated marketing attribution solutions.

Marketing Attribution Solutions
There are a variety of marketing attribution solutions available – below are just a select few:

Google Attribution: Merges data from Google Analytics, AdWords or DoubleClick Search to provide a more holistic view of conversion actions across channels allowing marketers to see and credit upper- and mid-funnel interactions in addition to final-click.

Last Click Attribution – Credits last click for transaction
First Click Attribution – Measures top of funnel engagement
Linear Model – Distributes credit to every interaction a user takes before converting, equally
Time Decay Model – heavier credit is given to actions that occurred closer to final conversion
Position-Based Model – 40% of credit is given to the first and last touches and 20% to the remaining clicks
Data-Driven Model – Google machine learning technology is used to give credit to the most influencer keywords in the conversion process

Google Attribution Model

AMAZON Attribution: Gives advertisers the tools needed to estimate the cost of acquiring new customers on Amazon and identifies the most efficient channels and tactics to achieve campaign goals.
Measure – Gain insight into advertising channel effectiveness through Amazon sales impact analysis
Optimize – On-demand attribution reporting allows for in-flight optimization
Plan – Review channel performance and relevant Amazon audience segment insights to help plan future marketing strategies that can maximize ROI

Bizible –  Unifies behavioral and ad data with sales outcomes and machine learning for more accurate decision making in allocating marketing dollars
Multi-Touch Attribution – True measurement from first touch to close, across all your marketing channels
Account-Based Measurement – From measuring accounts to mailers, ABM marketing can all be tied to revenue
Full Funnel Insights – Get full credit for marketing no matter where it happens in the funnel
Custom Attribution Modelling – Apply marketing credit to the various stages that matter in your buying cycle
Events & Conferences Tracking – See marketing performance for offline channels alongside digital channels
Ad Network Integration – Granular media insights including keyword and ad level performance

Full path marketing attribution concept – Bizible

TrackMaven: delivering the technology and expertise needed to prove the value of social media, improve campaign performance, and more.
·         Executive Reporting & Data Storytelling

·         Social and Content Attribution

·         Competitive Intelligence

·         Social, Content, and Web Analytics

·         Social Listening

·         Social Advertising Analytics

Trackmaven Marketing Funnel Diagram

Bottom line – if you are still using the final click as your measuring stick for what is working and not working in your marketing campaigns you are missing out on a lot of valuable data and the opportunity to better target your consumer and allocate more efficiently your marketing dollar. It may be time to leave final-click attribution in the dust.