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Facebook Attribution Dunnhumby

Facebook’s Dunnhumby deal makes the case for attribution


By Andrew Burgess, CEO

April 14, 2016 | 4 min read

Attribution should be a priority for marketers, but if the “it ain’t broke don’t fix it’ attitude holds true for many, then this is a huge opportunity missed to improve marketing performance.

In today’s world there are many useful data sources that can shape marketing and improve efficiencies. The problem facing brands is how to connect this data in a way that sheds light on customer behaviour and purchasing, and reveals the role that individual marketing activity has played in the journey.

Facebook’s partnership with Dunnhumby will give brands the data the social network believes will prove the merits of its advertising offering. It also supports the view that marketing investment is currently nowhere near close enough to reflecting consumer behaviour and the customer journey. The likes of Facebook’s Sales Impact solution, aligning campaign data with sales data, will start to address this and create greater predictability in the scale and sustainability that can be generated from digital marketing activity.

The opportunities through mobile, the dominant platform for Facebook, places attribution on the agenda for traditional brand marketers as the pressure mounts to connect digital efforts with offline initiatives and in-store sales, in order to prove ROI. This could remove the ambiguity around measuring the value that can be generated from the mobile channel. Facebook has recognised this and, while there is healthy scepticism around the credibility of its solution, having connected data at marketers’ finger tips will be a revelation.

True multichannel attribution needs to be the model for marketers if they truly want to know how each media is contributing to the conversion path. It will allow them to challenge the norm when media budget for so long has been tied into traditional media. The right tracking and methodology needs to be put in place for marketers and their agencies to take a holistic approach to media plans.

Why aren’t more marketers and agencies doing this? The main challenge is that not all organisations are set up in a way that lends itself to this level of analysis, and marketers may feel more comfortable with the status quo. If marketing efforts are delivering what it is needed, and are cost effective, then some will question the value of attribution in terms of reward versus the effort. It will be the opportunity presented by mobile and connected data that will drive the need for integrated marketing strategies, and encourage organisations to adapt.

There is also a need to challenge traditional ways of thinking and break out of siloed structures. The problem with each agency and in-house department claiming their work delivered the end results, is that this doesn’t give the true picture. Understanding the role of each media, and evaluating the campaign metrics that matter, will help better optimise the media mix. There is nothing like hard evidence to change even the most entrenched of opinions.

Attribution gives marketers the visibility they have been craving, and the confidence to know where to spend their budgets. It will be interesting to see how other media owners follow Facebook’s example in aligning themselves with the likes of Dunnhumby, to prove the significance of their role in the customer journey.

Andrew Burgess is founder and CEO of equimedia

Facebook Attribution Dunnhumby

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