Attribution 6 min read

Over 60% of Retail Marketers Think Data to Support Cross-Channel Decision-Making is Broken

By Chris Liversidge Chris Liversidge 16 July, 2021

In our 2019 survey report entitled “Attribution digital marketing’s broken promise” we uncovered the fact that digital marketers were being pressured into sub-optimal investment strategies. Due to issues ranging from over-simplistic Last-Click measurement approaches to saturation on key platforms like Google and Facebook.

In our most recent survey, The Value of Attribution in UK Retail, we revisited some of these key issues – and some new ones as well – to see what had changed in 2 years. We also wanted to focus our lens specifically on retail sector marketing which has undergone an unprecedented level of change in recent years for reasons ranging from changes in buying behaviours and technology to the impact of COVID-19.

The findings are intriguing – and we wanted to share some of them with you.

Download now: The Value of Attribution in UK Retail

Retail marketers see key benefits from a cross-channel attribution view

When we asked retail marketers what, if anything, would be the value for the business – if AdTech/MarTech providers enabled effective cross-channel decision-making from attribution. And some of the results are telling.

Value of AdTech and MarTech cross-channel decision making

Here are just some of the highlights:

  • Over 40% said they would:
    • be able to capture new, incremental customers more easily
    • be able to confidently report on revenue and ROAS
    • spend more in ‘upper funnel’ activity
  • 24%, nearly a quarter of respondents, said they would eliminate spend on campaigns driven by Last-Click data

When you consider that Last-Click data drives most expenditure today, this last stat demonstrates just how frustrated many marketers are – about being forced to use expensive, short-term, Last-Click campaigns.

Outside of that result, the desire for more upper funnel activity is clear and understandable. At QueryClick we found in a study of a retail customer operating multi-nationally, that re-allocating wasted paid search spend on upper funnel activity – powered by effective programmatic and display advertising measured by attribution – returned new customers and 87% lower cost per acquisition.

But over 60% say data to support cross-channel decisions is broken

However, a significant majority of respondents – over 60% – think that data to support effective cross-channel analysis and decision making is simply not available to them.

Cross-channel decision making is broken

There are real doubts about the efficacy of the data they are seeing – and that CRM and CDP platform’s attempts to provide a “single source of the truth” have fallen well short.

Instead, what marketers are given is a single source of truth that is based on email and transactional behaviour that bears little or no comparison to that they do outside of these events.

Over a quarter of retail marketers didn’t know a cross-channel view was possible

So, if these views are not available why is that?

CRM and CDP attribution
  • For 52% of retail marketers cost was the overriding issue
  • While 44% said it simply wasn’t a current priority – which his slightly concerning

But the interesting figure here is that just under a quarter indicated that they weren’t aware that a single view was a possibility.

This demonstrable lack of knowledge explains, at least in part, the overreliance on last-click data for attribution. Which is truly the same as no attribution at all.

The good news? Over 96.5% of respondents think that CRM/CDP systems offering a single customer view or unified attribution will be available within 3 years.

But when you consider how long sophisticated CRM/ CDP systems have already been available – and the fact that today we are still dependent on Google and Adobe’s broken cookie systems to join together cross-device sessions after nearly two decades of failure – perhaps that is rather optimistic?

Retail attribution survey cover

Our latest findings provide a unique insight into the mindset of retail marketers their views on the importance of multi-channel attribution – as well as additional insight on:

  • Ensuring effective spend and assessing ROI
  • Challenges around assessing offline media and digital media spend
  • The effectiveness of web analytics and providers
  • The importance of attribution technology in the marketing stack

All of which we explore in more detail in the survey. Download your copy now.

The Value of Attribution in UK Retail

Download the 2021 survey report today

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