MMA: Multi-Touch Attribution Stifled By Lack Of Understanding, Transparency

Only one-third of marketers participating in study released by the Mobile Marketing Association (MMA) this week said they use multi-touch attribution tools today, which helps them determine the value of each customer interaction leading to a conversion. More than 75% said they will use the tools by 2019 if they can gain a better understanding of how they work.

In EMEA those numbers are slightly lower. Findings reveal that 24% in EMEA use MTA tools today, while 16% said they will in six months, 18% in 12 months, 11% in 18 months, and 31% say they have no plans at all.

One of the biggest challenges that marketers face when it comes to MTA involves monitoring attribution and conversions inside walled gardens. Some 35% of marketers are not sure -- or don't know -- whether MTA solutions can address their needs. About 33% believe the tools could in the future, 19% are unsure, and 13% say the tools they use already do.

This uncertainty makes marketers more selective about where they use MTA tools. About 35% use MTA tools across 10% of their budget, 18% between 10% and 30%, and 17% across 50% to 70%.

Six out of 10 marketers think their MTA solution drives some incremental results and return on investment, yet the majority is not convinced that the cost of MTA is covered by the benefit.

Marketers who don't use MTA say that resources and lack of strategy are the main challenges for adopting MTA. Some 73% said they either "somewhat" or "definitely" agree. Marketers say sales and conversions are the focus of their MTA strategy, but believe that upper-funnel metrics will be addressed in the future.

Some 67% of marketers using MTA tools believe they understand what drives sales today, 59% understand what drives online conversions, and 35% understand what drives brand equity and upper-funnel metrics.

About 63% of marketers believe that MTA addresses the allocation of marketing spend across communication channels, both digital and traditional. Some 54% say they adjust spending during the campaign, and 51% support the annual budgeting process.

Very few marketers are advocates of their MTA provider. While some say they are "somewhat" satisfied with their vendors, most are unclear about what they provide, which means the vendors do a poor job of communicating. When marketers were asked whether they are satisfied with their MTA providers, 52% said "somewhat" when it comes to transparency in providing information about their modeling approach vs. 32% who said "completely."

Some 57% gave their MTA providers a "somewhat" rating when grading them on validation evidence and accuracy of methods versus a rating of "completely." About 55% said they give their vendor a "somewhat" rating when it comes to seeing what's working in close to real time, so the marketers can adjust the campaign while it's running versus 17% that say they are completely satisfied.

Along with the study's findings, the MMA released a Request for Information (RFI) interactive tool to MMA members that provides marketers a scoring system brands can use to understand and rank vendor offerings based on their own business objectives.


1 comment about "MMA: Multi-Touch Attribution Stifled By Lack Of Understanding, Transparency".
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  1. John Grono from GAP Research, November 19, 2016 at 5:46 a.m.

    Para 3 started promisingly with "One of the biggest challenges the marketers face...".

    It would make sense if it went on to say that "... is understanding that most attribution models only look at a sliver of (most) marketing campaigns - the online (some Luddites still call it 'digital') component - yet they still generally imply that they are covering all marketing activity".

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