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February 12th, 2014

5 Cross-Channel Attribution Myths That Are Holding Back Your Marketing

As more companies move to embrace cross-channel marketing attribution, myths about what it can and can't do keep hanging around—and holding marketing analytics programs back. If you want your analytics program to truly succeed, it's worth putting these five myths aside today:

Myth #1: Attribution is only a digital thing.

Reality: That was once true. But not now. That's why the preferred term is “cross-channel" attribution instead of just digital attribution as in the past. If you measure only digital, you're missing the bigger picture. Attribution needs to account for online, off-line and non-media factors (like what your competitors are doing, or even the weather).

Myth #2: Marketing Attribution and marketing mix modeling don't play well together.

Reality: In fact, the two technologies are merging to form the future of advanced marketing analytics. As this happens, what Forrester Research calls “adaptive marketing" is replacing old planning and measurement processes, transforming how major brands deliver on marketing goals and connect with customers. As attribution and mix modeling tools are integrated, old campaign mindsets become obsolete and real time optimization becomes reality.

Myth #3: Marketing attribution can't inform programmatic buying.

Reality: This, too, is changing. Top tier attribution technology can sync with media buying engines to help companies instantly adjust their media spending to match the analytical insights they generate.

Myth #4: Attribution is plagued by ad viewability, cookie stuffing, un-tracked media and other problems and isn't worth the bother.

Reality: While these issues are real and pose problems for simpler systems, the most advanced attribution technology can filter results to count only what should be counted, and measure the true effectiveness of your marketing.

Myth #5: Attribution can't measure longer term brand impacts.

Reality: As the technology evolves, the most advanced tools can now measure longer term brand impacts alongside shorter term, consumer level impacts. That's significant since failing to account for brand can throw ROI calculations off by a bundle.

See our Forbes article on this topic for more myths and realities of cross-channel attribution.


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