Advancing Marketing Attribution

Advancing Marketing Attribution

A Companywide Blueprint for Success (Part 1 of a Two-Part Series)

Executive Summary

Holistic attribution, defined as the ability to understand how marketing and nonmarketing touchpoints influenced a specific business outcome, is a must for measuring marketing’s true impact in today’s extremely competitive and fragmented media world. But with less than 10% of companies capable of attributing holistically, it’s early days.

  • Why are so few companies doing holistic attribution today? Lack of companywide buy-in, lack of a true business goal, difficulties in accessing the right data, and problems with technology integration are just some of the obstacles that keep marketers and their organizations from attributing in a more holistic way.
  • So what attribution methods are most marketers using? Most marketers remain stuck on the first few levels of the measurement hierarchy. While the majority do measure marketing results in some fashion, only about half rely on either a marketing mix model (MMM) or multichannel digital attribution solution.
  • How can marketers advance their attribution efforts? Attribution is a journey, and there are guideposts along the way that companies can use to identify what’s needed to move to a more holistic practice. These focus on the state of their culture, data, technology and their desire for better measurement.
  • Are there stories of holistic attribution success? Yes. We profile two firms, Adobe and Mindshare North America (on behalf of a client), that are well on their way to making holistic attribution work.

WHAT’S IN THIS REPORT? This report discusses the current state of marketing attribution. It shares best practices for moving more advanced measurement practices throughout one’s organization and highlights two firms successfully navigating this shift.

KEY STAT: Holistic attribution is the most advanced form of marketing measurement today, but we estimate fewer than 10% of all companies have achieved this stage of their measurement journey.

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Lauren Fisher


Ross Benes
Writer, Tech & Marketing
Nicole Perrin
Principal Analyst
Jillian Ryan
Senior Analyst
Tracy Tang
Senior Researcher