Monday, 11 April 2016


Marketing attribution has been a subject of discussion in recent years. It has become a necessity for advertisers as well as agencies in order to better control their marketing costs. Here at Mazeberry, we have worked for 4 years (when this article was written) in this industry and have managed to identify the traps that advertisers tend to fall into when they start an attribution project. Here are 5 mistakes to avoid when starting a marketing attribution project.

  • Number 1: Confusing attribution and deduplication
  • Number 2: Assigning the project to the wrong person
  • Number 3: Not involving all stakeholders
  • Number 4: Wanting to go too fast
  • Number 5: Using the wrong marketing attribution rule
Mistake number 1: Confusing marketing attribution and deduplication
In the marketing industry, attribution and deduplication have two distinct roles depending on the problems involved. Whereas attribution can be used to allocate and divide the result of a conversion objective to the marketing channels which have had a direct or indirect contribution (check our article about marketing attribution), deduplication determines the remuneration of the marketing channels by performance (CPA). Deduplication is therefore only applicable for CPA channels where the result is correlated to the activation of a tag on the site.
Thus, depending on the problem, you will have to choose attribution or deduplication :
  • Are you primarily investing in channels by performance (like affiliation) and want to reduce your costs? => Deduplication
  • Do you want to generate dashboards integrating the profitability (CAC, ROI) of your marketing acquisition channels? => Attribution 
Mistake number 2: Assigning the project to the wrong person
It is often said, in the Human Resources field, that recruiting the wrong person costs the company twice as much. The same goes for marketing attribution. Of course, entrusting the project to the wrong person won’t double your costs. However, if the persons are linked to the results, they will be less objective in their decisions and they might prefer certain channels through purely personal decisions. It is therefore preferable that the person who initiates the project is an impartial entity within the company. It is also possible to go through an independent outside consultant of any advertising agency.
Mistake number 3: Not involving all stakeholders
As seen above, the management part of the project should be given to an impartial and expert person. But the project should not be carried out in the dark. The teams and stakeholders concerned must be kept informed of decisions taken, the progress of the project and especially be given justification of decisions taken! Without communication, the project will be constantly challenged. It may be that this generates tensions within the team or with the providers involved.

Mistake number 4: Wanting to go too fast

Marketing attribution turns out to be a complex subject* which you must take time to understand step by step. You shouldn’t rush in and try to do everything straight away. If from the beginning of the project you want to tackle Cross-device, Offline or engagement, you’ll have a huge amount of data to process… with a strong risk of missing the most important components in your analyses. So we advise you to start with a simple solution to evolve into a more complex one as you gain in maturity on the subject.

Mistake number 5: Using the wrong marketing attribution rule

Between the attribution window, the marketing attribution model and the consideration of the reputation, there are millions of possibilities. So it’s a matter of properly preparing and testing your attribution project! If your configuration does not seem to suit you, change it! At Mazeberry, we recommend de-prioritising traffic sources related to the advertiser’s reputation in order not to under-estimate traffic acquisition. But do not remove all their priorities at risk of over-estimating the e-marketing channels. We also recommend to measure the error margin associated with an attribution, meaning comparing it with other attribution models to see if there is a marked difference in conversions.
Marketing attribution is therefore a project that is prepared, practised and improved. Done well, the analyses help you reduce your e-marketing expenses and get a good return on your investments.

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