Analytics Strategist

December 31, 2008

Attribution Models

In marketing, particularly in search engine marketing, there has been a growing interest in attribution models.  It is perhaps no coincidence that the same period saw a tighten-up budget and increasing demand for accountability – afterall, attribution is the process of how success are credited to its source(s) – a highly contentious field in marketing. 

This is one of the many reasons I expect attribution modeling to atrract even more attention in 2009 – with SEM and multi-channel marketing at the center of it all. 

There are many uses of “attribution”: in arts and academia it refers to crediting the original authors; in performance attribution – a large area covering investment, marketing etc – it refers to crediting results (or partitioning the results) to its sources or its causes; still it has a place in psychology where the attribution processes of behaivor is the focus of study.

Attribution in marketing/advertising world is the process of attributing the success (usually sales or other metrics) to the marketing/advertising activities.  Since most of the time different activities result in different customer touch points, it reduce to crediting sucess to different touch points.  From this perspective, multi-protocol attribution, engagement mapping, marketing mix modeling, even customized 800 numbers are all attribution approach and techniques.

In the follow up post, I will discuss in details the other aspects of attribution modeling; why attribution modeling is important, what are the different type of attribution challenges, how to do it, and finally what are the limitations of the whole attribution modeling approach …

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