Digital Attribution Comes Of Age
AdSafe AT&T AdWorks ClearSaleing Quantcast SAS

Digital attribution—the measurement of the value of each digital marketing contact that contributed to a desired outcome—allows marketers to more clearly understand what’s working and what’s not. It’s no surprise that more marketers are turning to attribution to gain better insights. In April 2012, the Interactive Advertising Bureau, in conjunction with AdSafe Media, AT&T AdWorks, ClearSaleing, Quantcast, and SAS, commissioned Forrester Consulting to examine the state of digital attribution, its various approaches, and its benefits and challenges for marketers and publishers.

In conducting in-depth interviews with 15 agencies, service providers, and publishers, Forrester found strong support for fractional attribution and bullish predictions on the ongoing adoption of the practice, along with notable challenges that must be addressed.

Key Findings
Forrester’s study yielded six key findings:

  • Practitioners of attribution indicate general consensus on the definitions, benefits, and expectations of attribution.
  • Forty-four percent of interactive marketers don’t have processes in place to assign credit to their efforts, not even rudimentary attribution such as “last event,” indicating that adoption of attribution has room to grow.
  • Few marketers, agencies, or publishers stand behind last-event attribution, but it’s still commonly used as a standard for attribution.
  • Algorithmic attribution models are gaining acceptance, but some in the market remain skeptical.
  • Publishers are cautiously enthusiastic about marketers using attribution to show the value of upper-funnel inventory.
  • Attribution across devices represents a major challenge.