Drawbridge To Update Analytics, Shines Light On Multi-Touch Attribution

Drawbridge, a cross-device ad-targeting firm, is expected to announce updates to its platform in the coming weeks, and the company gave Real-Time Daily an early look at the new features. The updates are -- as one would expect from a company focused on cross-device advertising -- focused on giving marketers more information about where their audiences are.

One of the more intriguing updates from Drawbridge is an “attribution funnel” breakdown, which tracks clicks and conversion across desktops, smartphones and tablets. For example, if a marketer bought one million impressions for a tablet campaign, Drawbridge will soon let marketers know how many of those impressions led to conversions on desktop devices.

It’s the type of birds-eye view of a digital ad campaign that marketers have an itch for. If a consumer bounces from smartphone to tablet, and ultimately makes a purchase on their desktop, it’s all one experience for them -- but it’s easy for the market to get tied up in a knot through that process and lose sight of the consumer.

These aren’t necessarily groundbreaking updates to Drawbridge’s platform (a company should be expected to do what they say they do, after all) and the purpose of this post is to use the Drawbridge updates as a platform on which a larger conversation can be held -- one that revolves around media measurement and attribution.

Perhaps the most interesting angle is to look at the updates through the lens of “last-touch attribution” modeling, a tactic whose grave is calling. Last-touch attribution is the processes of crediting final conversion locations with a conversion without taking into account any of the prior steps.  A recent report from Accordant Media suggested that last-touch attribution can miss almost two-thirds (64%) of the credit when behavioral targeting or prospecting. The same report said about half of the credit is missed with remarketing or social campaigns.

Quick-and-dirty analytics don’t cut it. Marketers know that the surface level of data only tells part of the story, and that part can often be misleading and/or gamed; Rahul Bafna, VP of product at Drawbridge, told Real-Time Daily that the updates were made mostly because of client demand. 

It all boils down to owning and understanding your data. Data, after all, is what gave rise to audience-based advertising in the first place.

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