Marketers are increasingly turning away from last-click attribution

Marketers are increasingly evaluating the full journey path before a user converts on their website

Over half of all marketers (60%) will alter the way they reward their adtech partners, according to an AdRoll study, which also suggests that over 50% of participants plan to invest over half their online budgets in programmatic initiatives alone.

AdRoll’s Annual State of MarTech Industry Report released today (March 7), surveyed 1,000 US-based marketers asking them their priorities for the year ahead and found that over half will invest their budgets in programmatic initiatives, up from under a third in 2015, with over two-thirds claiming that such investments result in an higher ROI than traditional media.

To accommodate this, most marketers are about to make a fundamental shift in how they benchmark the performance of their digital ad spend, as well as how they work with their adtech partners in the form of changing their attribution models.

“In 2017, attribution is now accelerating to the forefront and is emerging as the highest priority issue for marketers,” reads the report, which emphasizes that measurement is top-of-mind for most marketers.

The survey also found that 75% of marketers find attribution “critical”, or “very important” to the success of their efforts, with nearly 60% reporting that they plan to take the definitive step of changing their attribution model in 2017, according to the results.

Reasons cited for doing so include favoring a “full-funnel approach” that will help brands better assess where a user is in the purchase cycle. The survey went on to further reveal that marketers allocated 72% of their budgets to prospecting for new customers, with the most successful channel for such activity being paid-for social media according to 54% of survey participants, with 35% claiming it was organic social media, 32% claiming programmatic display ads were the most effective, and 28% claiming paid-for social placements are the best branding tool.

Meanwhile, the survey went on to find that 16% of marketing budgets were invested in activating and upsetting to existing customers 70% of participant marketers claiming that their email campaigns were constructed based on users’ previously observed behavior.

Adam Berke, AdRoll’s chief marketing officer, said the findings prove that brands are increasingly looking towards marketing as a “growth driver”, meaning marketers finding their activity and spend under an increasing amount of scrutiny. “This is causing marketers to look for smarter and more sophisticated ways to connect their activities to actual business metrics beyond the rudimentary last click models that have been around for the last 15 years,” he added.

AdRoll partnered with Qualtrics to conduct the survey which also found that 77% of marketers ran programmatic ads on social media in 2016, while 53% ran campaigns using such technology on mobile during the same period, while 37% did so on video.

The survey's top-line findings show that multi-touch models are gaining popularity over last-click models – still the default mode for advertisers to reward their adtech partners – a method which gives all of the credit for a visitor converting, or purchasing, to the last advertisement they clicked on before they converted.

Ronan Shields

I'm the digital editor at The Drum, and cover adtech and martech. Prefer news and analysis, over opinion pieces. Current fascination(s) are blockchain and media futures trading; also curious about transhumanism on a personal basis. NYC-based, but really London Irish.

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