5 Attribution Trends to Watch in 2019

Marketing attribution is evolving. It’s evolving in how it is used. More companies are ingraining it into their marketing programs. More companies are concerned with bridging the gap between online, offline, and between digital channels. It’s becoming a quickly-embraced tool that has the ability to fundamentally change the way that companies do marketing. In fact, eMarketer forecasts that 58.3% of companies will use multi-channel attribution in their digital marketing strategies in 2019. That number was up from 48% in 2017.

Omnichannel marketing attribution is critical for understanding how all of your cross-channel strategies work together to deliver an experience that guides your prospects through the funnel and toward conversion. As attribution is adopted more frequently, the ways in which the largest companies bake attribution into their strategies will grow as well. It’s a young industry.

2019 is sure to be a year with a lot of change in attribution strategies and boost its broader awareness. This year, we expect to see a few different attribution trends emerge:

Online and Offline Will Come Together

For the last decade, we have been in what you could call a digital gold rush. The wealth of channels and innovative digital strategies that were producing results for companies small and large seemed limitless, leading to a rush from companies to embrace digital strategies and adopt the newest attribution trends.

But that gold rush is coming to an end. That isn’t to say that digital channels aren’t worthwhile anymore — they definitely are. It’s just that more companies are starting to understand that if they want a well-rounded marketing strategy, they might need to swing back in the other direction, toward offline channels.

Only evaluating your online strategies and digital touchpoints provides an incomplete picture. It’s a narrow look into the people that are engaging with your marketing materials and advertisements. In 2019, we’ll see more companies start to understand that they need to embrace attribution for the whole picture including broadcast advertising, direct mail, events, and other programs. Knowing how every channel works together is critical for creating an effective broad-scale strategy.

Radio Will Prove To Be More Cost Effective Than Many Digital Channels

Digitally-founded companies often rely too heavily on digital marketing channels. The new generation of marketing talent is often under-experienced in offline channels like radio, direct mail, and television advertising.

We’ve seen it time and again here at LeadsRx. Companies in the direct-to-consumer or eCommerce space come to us, hoping to string together the varied digital channels that they use in their marketing programs. Eventually, as the competition across these channels increases, they start to seek out new and fresh advertising channels to supplement their programs. Regularly they’ll find something that converts at a higher rate than the digital platforms they’ve used. We recently completed a comprehensive study with Cumulus Media on this topic that you can read about here.

Often, that channel is radio. Traditional media like radio can be surprisingly cost effective when compared to digital channels like paid search and social media advertising. Traditional media is also much less crowded than modern digital channels.

Radio and other traditional media channels can help to lower the cost of acquisition. They have a very broad reach, making them ideal for building awareness and setting the stage for retargeting. Modern traditional media advertising also provides excellent audience targeting options — which is something that surprises many companies first giving it a shot.

Job Titles Will Start to Include “Attribution”

As more companies begin to embrace attribution and fully understand the effect that it could have on their business, the demand for attribution skills on the job market will increase. As a burgeoning industry, the amount of talent out there with experience or specialization in attribution is relatively low.

As that smaller pool of experienced talent begins to dry up, companies will have to search for attribution experts more directly. We predict that we will begin to see the word “attribution” begin to make its way into job titles and listings in many industries. It’s the most direct way that companies can attract people with experience in attribution, and as companies more deeply engrain attribution into their marketing programs, they’ll need people to oversee those efforts.

The Cost of Attribution Analysis Will Come Down

Cost is another area that will benefit from an increase in awareness. Today, there simply aren’t a whole lot of options when it comes to very detailed attribution analysis solutions, and the experts that avail themselves to companies are in very high demand. This leads to inflated prices for companies that are looking for attribution analysis that they can build from.

We predict that we will begin to see a shift in the industry, with costs coming down as more providers enter the market. As the attribution of awareness continues to skyrocket, we’ll see more software solutions, more attribution consultants, and more attribution agencies specializing in omni and multi-channel attribution.

This year the price of these services and solutions will start to come down. As it becomes more accessible to companies with limited budgets, that will help to push the envelope farther and spread awareness more.

More Recognition of Attribution Needs

A recent study by Kantar showed just how critical improvement multi-touch attribution has become in the minds of many senior marketing leaders. The survey showed that multi-touch attribution was identified as the single biggest gap in their marketing research. No other tool that was included in the survey, including conversions and media measurement, were perceived to has as many gaps.

This tells us a few different things. First, they understand that they need to know more about multi-touch attribution. Second, they understand how important it is. They have to, to express that level of concern.

Attribution Trends: A Leap in Awareness

The attribution industry is in the midst of a sudden leap in awareness among companies in all industries. They are just starting to connect the dots on how multitouch and omnichannel attribution could be so critical for growing their revenue and optimizing their marketing programs. Seeing how your marketing programs as a whole influence the customer’s decision to buy provides a level of insight that allows for data-based decisions across your organization.