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The number of channels, platforms, tools, and data available to marketers today is higher than it’s ever been. Marketers are getting more and more ambitious with regards to digital media campaigns and cross-channel marketing as new technologies and capabilities emerge. And they should be. As greater budgets make their way to the CMO, the marketplace for marketing and advertising in digital channels, in particular, continues to grow.

In fact, in an upcoming VB Insight study on marketing analytics, we’re counting nearly 800 tool providers that offer data and analytics to marketers as a platform or service.

However, this overabundance of tools leaves marketers with a serious problem: They simply don’t understand what channels are actually working.

CMO pressure to deliver results is as high as it’s ever been

If CMOs are going to spend more, they need to deliver more. The annual Duke CMO Survey clearly shows that marketing organizations feel more pressure than ever to prove their value. In fact, 65 percent of respondents report that pressure from their board or CEO is increasing. At the same time, 65 percent say they lack the ability to really measure marketing impact accurately.
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The same study shows that brands plan to increase their spending on marketing analytics by a whopping 73 percent over the next 3 years. For big market cap B2C companies (up to $10 billion in revenue), it’s closer to a 100 percent increase.

Marketing attribution is a key piece of the analytics puzzle

Marketing attribution, simply put, is the process of identifying a set of actions that contribute to a desired outcome and assigning value to these events. It’s what helps marketers understand what combination of events, in what particular order (or stage of the funnel), has resulted in a particular lead or conversion. And it’s really, really hard to do well, cheaply, and in a repeatable way.

Unfortunately, this means most marketers end up relying on the easiest method, called “last click attribution,” which is exactly as it sounds. It’s the last trackable engagement your customer had before they completed a desired action.

It’s easy to calculate, but this doesn’t even come close to taking into account the customer journey. There’s recent research indicating that last-click attribution is actually harmful to marketers and can cause competition between publishers who compete for the last click and may defraud advertisers.

Expedia CMO David Doctorow called the practice “dead” at VentureBeat’s MobileBeat last month, but admitted that it’s still the most common method.

On the flipside, multi-touch revenue attribution — which incorporates campaign, customer, revenue, and funnel stage data — helps marketers potentially evaluate performance across every touch point in the buying process. It’s not a new concept, but the rise in channels, platforms, and sheer raw data available to customers can render it an inefficient use of time for highly paid data scientists.

While we’re still a ways off from a truly repeatable marketing ROI model that can be applied to all types of businesses, there’s room for optimism, and tons to learn from the growth-oriented marketers of the highest pedigree.

If you want to learn more about connecting marketing data to real insights and calculating attribution, you won’t want to miss GrowthBeat. We’ll have informative, actionable insights from notable speakers such as:

  • Christopher Butler, VP, Marketing, Equifax Inc.
    • Christopher is a marketing executive who has run the customer retention function for leading brands. He has expertise in customer retention, marketing analytics, and customer research.
  • Alison Hoffman, EVP, Starz
    • Alison leads all facets of marketing strategy and planning for original Starz productions, including show positioning, creative and media strategy, and digital marketing.
  • Jim Underwood, Global Head of Entertainment Strategy, Facebook
    • Jim is responsible for making Facebook a more enjoyable place for audiences to discover the entertainment they love.

We’re incredibly excited to kick off this event on August 17 and August 18 at the Parc 55 in San Francisco.

To join us, grab your ticket here.


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