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State of Multi-Touch Attribution (MTA)

State of Multi-Touch Attribution (MTA)

Multi-Touch Attribute (MTA) has variously been touted as the solution to many issues facing marketers today. Supposedly MTA can provide complete visibility into the customer journey, help with buying decisions, scenario planning, and audience optimization. Take your pick.

Given MTA’s importance, the Mobile Marketing Association has been conducting an MTA survey for the last 5 years and published the results of the 2021 edition in January. The actual report is available here. However, as the report is behind a paywall, this post provides a short synopsis for interested readers. BTW, report was based on a survey of over 250 marketers followed by 1-on-1 interviews with multiple respondents.

MTA Adoption is Significant

MTA is currently being used by 40% of marketers, with another 40% planning to use it in the next 18 months

Key Obstacles Persist

Three significant obstacles were identified as the reason for the failure of prior MTA experiments:

1) Data: Marketers call out significant issues relating to Data Quality, Linkage, and Access

2) Methodology Discrepancy: Companies today use Mix modeling (MMM), and A/B Tests in addition to MTA. Unfortunately, the results from these methodologies don’t always align causing confusion

3) Organization: Silos within the marketing department and lack of cooperation from other corporate functions was also identified as a significant obstacle to MTA success

BUT New Developments Offer Hope

The development of addressability on TV, privacy-preserving technologies, and emergence of Identity as a unifying framework offer new possible ways to overcome some of the most significant MTA hurdles.

Bottom line, the world of MTA is changing rapidly and still offers the best framework for understanding the complete consumer/buyer journey. However, MTA success can be achieved if marketers are willing to implement a disciplined and patient approach to the problem.