Every article about marketing attribution seems to include the famous John Wanamaker quote, “Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is, I don’t know which half.” (highlight to tweet)
For many marketers, this sentiment is as true now as when he said it years ago. In spite of a proliferation of martech, specifically around measurement and analytics, most marketers are still bogged down in spreadsheets and assumptions. Having so many ways to measure so many components can feel daunting at best and downright overwhelming at worst.
Given this environment, we wondered how marketers are honestly solving these challenges. What does marketing measurement look like on the ground, to the people running the metrics? What channels are they using? How are they measuring them? What do executives want to know, and which metrics and tools deliver those answers? What’s getting in the way of unified marketing analytics, and what are marketers doing to overcome those roadblocks?
Closest to our hearts at Conversion Logic, how are marketers using attribution? If they’re not, why not? What does the ideal attribution solution look like, and how can marketers achieve it? Attribution has evolved significantly in its relatively short time in the martech landscape, and has come to mean many different things to different people. We were curious how marketers view attribution, where it fits in their measurement landscape and why.
To answer these questions, we conducted a survey this spring with IDG Connect. Over 250 marketers responded with a candid look into their measurement worlds. From there, we extracted a compelling perspective into the current state of marketing analytics and attribution.
Top findings included:
- Most marketers are using six or more tools to measure marketing performance.
- Even with so many tools, half of respondents worry about accuracy—in short, they don’t trust the results.
- A majority of marketers—78%—plan to use or adopt an attribution solution in the next two years. Definitions of attribution differ, however: only 26% plan to use a tool based on statistical modeling and algorithms, while 23% will still use outdated last-click methods.
These findings certainly validated our instincts that measurement is a complicated tangle for marketers to unravel. But what struck us the most is that while marketers have so many tools at their disposal, they still aren’t getting what they need. 59% of respondents said that data collection and centralization is their biggest challenge, while 46% struggle to gain actionable insight from their reports. That means that even with six or more solutions pulling seemingly endless data from across channels and vendors, marketing professionals continue to lack certainty into the performance of their tactics and strategies.
Given this scenario, it’s no surprise that 43% of respondents believe that an ideal measurement solution should provide a holistic cross-channel view. Marketers need to understand not only what’s working and why, but how different components of their marketing mix are working together. Emerging solutions like unified marketing impact analytics seem to address this need, but best-of-breed tools continue to thrive as well. It will be interesting to see how the martech ecosystem evolves to solve these challenges, and what that means for marketing analytics in the years to come.
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