I have been invited to talk at Google’s Attribution Event yesterday in the new Amsterdam office. Oliver and his team did an amazing job in organizing an inspiring day and it was a very humbling experience to talk on the same stage as industry experts Ian Carrington (Performance Director North & Central Europe / Google), Gabriel Hughes (VP Web Analytics / Elsevier) and Bas Geenen (E-Commerce Manager / Sundio Group). Bas provided a very insightful look into how a group like Sundio tackles attribution in a very smart and thoughtful way and uses it to optimize marketing budgets across channels.
My talk focussed on some of the key issues that I value as important when we talk about attribution and try to be less wrong:
- To be less wrong, we have to move away from the idea of an absolute truth in online marketing measurability. An important first step is to know the limits of the tools we use.
- We then have to explore the world beyond the last click to learn more about how users interact with our channels
- Mind the gravity of preconceived information: We see “absolute” numbers everywhere we look – in the AdWords interface, in Google Analytics, in MailChimp Reports, in the spreadsheets we share with our colleagues etc. Preconceived information has a very strong gravitational force and we need to constantly challenge ourselves to remember that this is not the absolute, technical truth.
- Attribution also has an impact on your organization: To succeed with attribution means to also anticipate political risks associated with shifting the way you measure and report performance, in order to then leverage the insights of this new mindset. This holds especially true if your team’s compensation is linked to the last-click model.
Here’s my slide deck. I slightly edited it to include some of the content that I only talked about but wasn’t written on the slides.