I’m back to obsessing about attribution models and how they do and don’t get adopted by marketing organizations in big companies. I’ve spoken with folks who have had success in this regard – they are few and far between – and most of the success stories are from companies that are inherently data driven, where the math behind attribution plays a central role in their businesses. Think credit cards, financial services, insurance, etc.
As well, I’ve spoken with some of the providers – ad servers who do custom work around this stuff for large customers, and of course pure play attribution companies, and talked about some of the common challenges they all face in big orgs. Turns out the biggest challenges are not technical, they’re organizational.
The central theme here is the inherent tension between models that are sound (mathematically) and those that can be easily understood. As this plays out and evolves, stakeholders are less willing to buy into these attribution models and that’s where the process falls apart. More detail in my Search Engine Land column published today.