Campaign Attribution is Broken

Peter O’Neill
Reading time: 1 minute
16th December 2012

Note: This post has moved from to Ayima as part of the 2018 acquisition.

I recently attended the Conversion Conference in London, thanks to a free ticket from Conversion Thursday.  It was an interesting event although my attendance at sessions was impacted by a request I received at the start of the first morning.  eMetrics was happening at the same time and was suffering from a few cancellations – I was asked if I could take a session.  Some frantic thinking later and I realised this was an opportunity to put together my thoughts on Campaign Attribution.

It was a topic I have wanted to explore for some time, building on discussions from my former employer Matthew Tod and extending with my own experiences and thoughts since then.  I disagree with the current approach using Campaign Attribution models (last click, first click, weighted attribution, etc.) as I believe the data it is possible to collect will always be incomplete – leading to incorrect interpretations & decisions.

This presentation explains why Campaign Attribution is broken and then goes on to explore the real business problems/questions and suggest alternative approaches which can work – even if very difficult.  Following Matthew’s description of Last Click attribution as the goal scorer in football, all points are made using football as an analogy.

I expect a large degree of disagreement with my thoughts here and look forward to these discussions.  I managed to get a reasonable level of agreement at eMetrics on the issues raised, although this was followed by “I will continue using campaign attribution” (which confused me).  Please have a read through and let me know what you think.

Campaign attribution is broken from Peter O’Neill

Written By Peter O’Neill
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