Marketers Are Finding it Hard to Create A Single Source of Truth for Attribution

June 24, 2022

Marketers are generally fairly pleased with the success of their marketing attribution efforts, with about 1 in 5 rating them very successful and an additional 7 in 10 somewhat successful. Over the coming year it seems as though they’ll be focusing on strategies and hoping to find an elusive unified data source to help them with attribution, according to a study [download page from Ascend2 and its Research Partners.

Overall, marketers said that their top area of focus for improving marketing attribution in the year ahead is to create an overall strategy, as cited by 62% of respondents. At the same time, they separately said that their top challenge to improving marketing attribution is again creating an overall strategy (52%), indicating that while there’s power to having an overarching strategy to guide attribution, it’s not an easy thing to achieve.

Likewise, the second-most cited area of focus for improving attribution in the year ahead, improving data quality, is also the second-most cited challenge. On the other end of the scale, optimizing the tech stack is both the least-cited area of focus and also considered the least challenging aspect.

Benefits, Features, and a Single Source of Truth

There are two main benefits of successful marketing attribution, per the survey’s respondents, and they just happen to be two of the biggest themes in marketing today: improving the customer experience; and improving marketing ROI. Considering that these are two of the top issues keeping CMOs up at night, it’s not hard to see why successful attribution would be a priority for marketers.

With many marketers adding or replacing attribution tools in their martech stacks, Ascend2’s survey reveals that marketers consider the most critical feature of a marketing attribution platform to be easy setup and integration (52%). Other important features include in-depth reporting (40%) and cross-channel attribution (32%), with few seeing much need for the use of AI for forecasting (12%).

Finally, virtually all (95% of) marketers surveyed either strongly (39%) or somewhat (56%) agreed that having a single source of truth (unified data source) improves marketing attribution. The problem? Almost as many (85%) agreed to some extent that it’s difficult to create a unified data source for this purpose.

About the Data: The results are based on a May survey of 320 marketers targeting B2B (33%), B2C (43%) and B2B and B2C equally (24%). The majority (66%) of respondents work at companies with fewer than 50 employees.


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