Where Are You in the 4 Stages to Attribution Zen?

President Bill Clinton said, “In today’s knowledge-based economy, what you earn depends on what you learn.”
But change…is hard. After defaulting to last click and siloed measurement every week for years, undoing that weekly repetition (harmful to the ROI of your ad buy) is difficult.
Tolstoy said change is so difficult that, “Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself.”
Change comes in stages, and change towards multi-touch attribution comes in four stages.

Stage #1 – Last Click
If you’re spending ad dollars in multiple channels…say Google non-brand, pre-roll video, programmatic display, social display, SEO, paid content, and TV…that’s seven channels.
To think there’s only one “converter”, one channel that converts, one row or cell occupying the outdated label of converter…and none of the six other channels you spend hard cash on don’t contribute at all?
That’s logical insanity.
That’s last click. That’s playing baseball with a football.

Stage #2 – I Want to Believe
The biggest indicators that you’re in Stage 2 (I Want to Believe) are the following:

  • When you add up the conversions from each reporting silo (AdWords, RocketFuel, etc), you end up with 4x the number of conversions you actually have.
  • When programmatic display vendors claim view-through credit resulting in 4,000% ROI, but revenue is growing single digit…something makes you feel funny.
  • After compiling data for the monthly report, conversion rates from seven different channels don’t mathematically make sense…and you worry when Finance will figure this out.

You want to believe there’s got to be a better way.
Not worrying about programmatic’s crisis of 68% unviewability.
Removing click-fraud from taking conversion credit.
Unifying cross-device.
Having the opportunity to integrate offline media and TV into the user-level journey.
Normalizing and fractionalizing credit amongst a team of touches versus only one player in a team.
Doing so with cutting edge, sophisticated modeling: preferably Bayesian and machine-learning Bayesian.
Desire to believe.
Yes Virginia, there is a funnel.

Stage #3 – Instinct Takes Over
Instinct takes over and you act.
You act to do throw away last click’s 6 inch yardstick.
You deploy attribution because all your instincts (and maybe Finance) point to the fact that last click and siloed measurement doesn’t pass the common sense test.
You become the change you want to see happen in the world.
The biggest hurdle in your company, however, is education.
You believe. You have acted.
Like Jim Morrison of The Doors, you have to sing: “Break on through to the other side,” and get everyone listening and singing in unison.
Education is the hardest part of all, because not only are you changing minds, but also hearts.
Hearts that have been invested in making their media channels succeed.
Hearts that could be afraid of the unknown.
These are the pessimists.
But this path of pessimism has been travelled before.
Now reinforcements have arrived in the form of AttributionCertification.com
In 45 minutes, ten years of attribution research is bestowed upon any marketer or non-marketer.
When anyone asks a question you’ve answered 17 times, you simply say:
“Have you been Level One Attribution Certified?” and park that question until they’ve been Level One certified.
As Yoda said, “You must unlearn what you have learned.”

Stage #4 – The Force Is With You
You’ve deployed attribution many months ago.
You’ve successfully flown through the asteroid field.
Your team has unlearned.
Now you know great accomplishments aren’t done alone: it took the combination of Luke, Leia, Han, and Chewie to find success amidst challenge.
You too, are experiencing success.
After one year of attribution, marketing budgets surge by 30%.
Because ROI on media spend increases 15-44%.
A 3x return on investment in attribution…which is a better return than Warren Buffet.
You have become the change you want to see happen in the world.
You have learned.
You have earned.
You no longer work for marketing, because marketing works for you.
The force…is with you.