Choosing An Attribution Provider When The Curve Balls Keep Coming

August 10, 2020

Apple’s recent curve ball announcement of crippling limitations on the IDFA is yet another nail in the coffin for MTA, the latest in a series of walls limiting the amount of data tracked at the user level for mobile, desktop and apps. The limitation will drastically alter how mobile advertising is measured – particularly for Google and Facebook, who rely on them for targeting and leverage IDFAs for 1:1 marketing personalization with mobile and in-app targeting, re-targeting, and measurement. Use cases will now be limited based on the availability of user level data, which has already seen increased limitations from Social, OTT and publishers that have limited access.


As industry trends over the last several months have proven, these kinds of changes are here to stay. With more companies rethinking their privacy standards and providing consumers the choice to have their data tracked, attribution will continue to struggle, and marketing leaders need to be mindful of adapting and evolving their attribution strategies based on the new normal of data collection, a multi-faceted challenge that we recently dove into more deeply with I-COM.


An additional factor to consider when looking at attribution is that while some companies may offer consumers incentives to opt-in to data collection, such as viewing certain content or access to special offers, the ultimate decision maker in how companies will track and leverage their data will be the consumer.


This will impact not only the amount of data available for measurement, but also introduce bias to the data used for attribution – after all, the only user level data available will be from consumers who choose to opt-in. Using only the subset of self-selected user level data for analysis will create an incomplete picture of performance and may lead to the introduction of further bias in the recommendations and optimization opportunities on which business decisions are made.


While the traditional MTA lens of measurement has been gradually becoming smaller, less valuable, and less impactful due to data limitations, Apple’s shattering announcement may now limit MTA as a viable measurement technique. However, amid all the disruption of the attribution space, it is critical to remember that traditional MTA is just one digital measurement tool in the modern marketer’s toolkit. Apple’s move only strengthens the position for a shift in measurement from attribution to a more holistic, unified measurement approach.


Many companies have assumed and supplemented the MTA approach by blending it with MMM, but a truly successful program must be much more complex to be truly holistic. At Analytic Partners, our Unified Measurement capability combines strategic measurement and tactical analysis, along with customer and business level views into a single framework, revealing consistent insights that lay out the incremental impact of spend across all media types. This complex approach requires close collaboration and compatible data to succeed and is rarely possible trying to integrate findings from multiple vendors. Instead of scattered disparate results, utilizing unified measurement will provide you with one version of the truth.


It’s time to harness the power of all the data from both addressable and non-addressable marketing channels with a unified approach. The foundation of that approach? Commercial Mix Modeling. CMM captures data at a granular level for all marketing and non-marketing factors and dives deep into the channels by leveraging data by geography, household and/or segments/personas. This approach enables a full view of the business inclusive of all data points, not just a sample of self-selected data at the user level, for a more accurate picture of performance which enables marketers to make better business and optimization decisions. And the impact is clear: according to ROI Genome CMM has on average 7x the impact and delivers at least 20% higher ROI versus other measurement methods.


As the winds of data expectations and consumer preferences continue to shift, brands must remain agile to the demands of the market. Being adaptable through data-driven decision making prepares brands for the guaranteed disruption that lies ahead. When the attribution world is inevitably thrown another curve ball, those who adapt and evolve will be the ones who thrive.


  • - Jenn Leire, VP

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