I think attribution is being overvalued. It’s the buzzword that keeps coming back and that nobody seems to be able to crack. And most probably nobody will ever will as it isn’t the only answer to the allocation on marketing resources.
I see attribution as a pair of glasses that you put on. And by looking at the world only from a “contact” and “traffic” channel perspective, the rest is automatically out of scope. By putting on this pair of glasses we should realize what we are missing out on. Our view on marketing becomes far to limited.
1. We miss out on the essence of communication
The story you are telling on the different channels is not at all taken into account. Performance of traffic drivers differs so much based on the content of the message. A compelling message can be 10 times more effective than a non-compelling message. Your affiliate and display ads can be shit, while search ads are spot on. Does that means you should invest in more in Search? Could be, but more probably the learning should be that we should create more compelling display ads. Ask ourself the question: Why that channel isn’t working for us? But working for competitors.
2. We don’t look at the rest of the sales process
In many cases we can’t measure the current flow of sales processes coming from traffic drivers. How are the flows on the website? and offline? How does the advertising correspond to the on-site messaging? If that isn’t inline with Radio, TV or Online messaging measuring the outcomes will be skewed.
3. The basis, the product
Do people really like it? Main attributes and value it has for certain audiences will influence performance in a major way.
Treat attribution as a pair of glasses; as one view at your business. Don’t be a blind believer, be skeptical and most important go for compelling messaging.