Marketers Turn to Algorithms to Improve Attribution - eMarketer

Newsletters Sign-Up

Plans & Pricing

Does My Company Subscribe?

Marketers Turn to Algorithms to Improve Attribution

More sophisticated tools help marketers shift media spending on the fly

September 12, 2016

The growing field of marketing attribution is getting some much-needed help from the world of software. Algorithmic attribution, a more software-driven approach to marketing attribution, is leaving behind traditional “last-touch” and “first-touch” attribution models in favor of sophisticated computer-generated statistical models that help companies better optimize media spending and consumer targeting.

Ways in Which Marketing Decision-Makers in the UK and US Are Using Attribution-Informed Insights to Take Action on Digital Channels, June 2016 (% of respondents)

Based on the results of June 2016 research from Forrester Consulting and Visual IQ, marketers are using the attribution-informed insights from this algorithmic approach to develop more precise strategies for targeting and adjusting media spends. Three-quarters of US and UK marketing decision-makers in Forrester and Visual IQ’s study said they used attribution-informed insights to develop more precise reach strategies, while 71% used them to target more effectively. Another 67% said they used attribution-informed insights to better allocate media spends.

In fact, more rapid optimization of media spending across channels may be one of the most important benefits of this new software-driven attribution approach. Many marketers note that daily channel optimization is critical to their success in a variety of situations. When the same group of US and UK decision-makers in Forrester and Visual IQ’s study were asked about the critical time periods for daily channel optimization, 55% mentioned when their competitors were live in market, while 53% said at the start of campaigns and another 51% said during key sales seasons.

Critical Time Periods for Daily Channel Optimization According to Marketing Decision-Makers in the UK and US, June 2016 (% of respondents)

The hope for many marketers is that these more automated attribution software tools will help them quickly adjust their media spending, allowing them to react faster to an increasingly dynamic market environment and ever-nimbler competitors.

Test Your Cross-Platform Attribution Know-How

More than eight in 10 US senior-level agency and marketing professionals polled said they were interested in learning more about multichannel attribution in 2016.


  • Go beyond the articles:

    eMarketer Products

    You've never experienced research like this.

  • Hear from our clients:

    Customer Stories

    Nearly all Fortune 500 companies rely on us.

  • Want to learn more?

    Contact Us

    Inquire about corporate subscriptions today.