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Who Is Using Multitouch Attribution?

The Marketers Series | Infographic

How Many Companies Are Using Attribution Models?

Among US companies with at least 100 employees using more than one digital marketing channel, 85% will utilize digital attribution models in 2018, according to eMarketer estimates. We expect the adoption rate of attribution models to increase to 88% by 2020.

While adoption of multichannel attribution models is increasing, the growth rate has slowed. eMarketer lowered its 2018 multichannel attribution adoption estimates from 62.0% to 54.0%.

This week, we’re looking at how marketers use various technologies. Each day, we’ll feature a different topic. First up: content marketing.

Why Has Multichannel Attribution Lagged?

Multichannel attribution is a form of digital attribution that assigns marketing credit to more than one marketing channel or touchpoint. Multichannel attribution can help marketers differentiate how different pieces of marketing, or even non-marketing touchpoints such as call centers or in-store experiences, contribute to a desired outcome, such as increased sales. These models can include both digital and nondigital channels and touchpoints.

While many marketing industry observers have emphasized that simplistic attribution models like last-click—which credits a purchase to the last ad clicked by a customer—do not provide a complete picture of who to credit with a sale, it can be difficult for marketers to transition to more thorough attribution models that they may be unfamiliar with.

"There's little argument across the industry that companies need to have better insight into how their marketing dollars are being spent," said Lauren Fisher, principal analyst at eMarketer. "But shifting from a simplistic model to a more advanced, multichannel attribution approach remains a significant undertaking for companies. We see marketers continuing to struggle to prove the value of such hefty investments to executives; others are still trying to figure out the best tools for piecing it all together."

Are Marketers Taking Control of Their Attribution?

Although multichannel attribution adoption has lagged, many marketers value these products. In a March 2018 survey by Nielsen of 3,000 US marketing executives, about half of the respondents said that multitouch attribution is very or extremely important to them.

One way marketers are taking more control over their attribution is by bringing it in-house. In an April 2018 poll of 119 US media decision-makers by Advertiser Perceptions and the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB), 47% of respondents said they brought their attribution in-house.