Riding High on the Forrester Wave - Clearsaleing
Forrester Research, Inc. recently released their ‘Interactive Attribution Q4: 2009‘ report on the topic of interactive attribution. The report opens with a statement of why accurate, interactive attribution is so crucial:
Operational attribution allows an advertiser to see all of the steps or clicks that lead to conversion in real-time and continuously attributes conversion credit across the team of ads. The benefit of Operational attribution is that all of your daily marketing decisions (bid price, CPM, ad text and ad sources) reflect accurate attribution, so each click gets the credit it deserves.
In order to perform Operational attribution, you need the ability to track the performance of your advertising in real-time and must be able to track all forms of online advertising, not just one medium, to get an accurate picture of how much credit each media deserves.
Another requirement is the ability to track conversions that do not occur online. Many conversions from online advertising may occur via the phone, CRM or ERP, or in a point of sales system. The best attribution solutions, according to the Forrester Report, support both online and offline conversions, and also include ‘out of the box’ attribution models that can be used on day one.
Project-based attribution focuses on your overall marketing program and produces an optimized marketing spend plan, and its solutions include both technology and service providers. Project-based attribution analyzes historic advertising, as well as factoring in new or changed information, to determine the best advertising mix for the future.
Typically, project based attribution is performed on a time interval that makes the most sense for your business, i.e. quarterly, yearly, etc., where you’re looking at attribution performed over that interval and measuring its impact during that time. Then, based on the previous intervals performance, and predicted outside factors that will occur in the future, a decision is made about the best way to attribute your marketing dollars going forward.
In order to perform Project-based attribution, complete and accurate historic ad performance data is required. This can create a challenge for Project-based attribution providers since they must rely on their clients to provide the data. If the clients’ data is flawed or limited in scope, then the models that they build will be flawed as well.
There are a few vendors that were capable of performing both using their own proprietary technology to perform the Operational attribution and their consulting group to analyze the output of their technology to perform Project-based attribution.
Forrester did a nice job of highlighting the spectrum of the available options to perform attribution today. Given that attribution is a relatively new field, Forrester notes that new methods are continuously evolving.