So how was your winter?  I hibernated, holed up in a cave studying the interactive attribution category.  Like a freakish, human Punxsutawney Phil, I emerged – but unfortunately I saw my shadow and hit the snooze button. According to tradition, this means that we are subjected to more cold days ruled by the "last click" measurement standard.  And we're still stuck in those cold days:  even among marketers we surveyed who work with an attribution provider, 28% indicated that they still rely on "first click" or "last click" to assign value to their interactive marketing activities.

Now for the good news:  the thaw is coming and we’re optimistic that it will be permanent. I’m excited to announce that The Forrester Wave™: Interactive Attribution Providers, Q2 2012 is now available to help you select the right partner and learn more about attribution. In it, we discuss how momentum is accelerating for the interactive marketing community to dismiss "last click" and employ advanced attribution, the measurement of the partial value of each contact that contributed to a desired outcome.

In the Wave report we evaluated eight vendors:  Adobe, Adometry, C3 Metrics, ClearSaleing, Convertro, Google, IBM, and Visual IQ.  These vendors, plus others with attribution offerings that didn’t meet our screening requirements, are partnering with forward-leaning marketers to usher in the transition to smarter measurement.  Compared to the previous Wave we published on this category, we identified several encouraging developments:    

  • A more defined category of vendors with maturing capabilities.
  • Greater interest in attribution among marketing and finance leadership.
  • Wider use of algorithmic attribution models.
  • Broader and more efficient input management across digital channels.
  • Improved tie-ins to media buying and search marketing execution.

For the evaluation, we assessed each vendor’s current offering, strategy, and market presence.  We also spoke with clients using each vendor’s offering to gather feedback and inform the scores. 

My colleague Tina Moffett in Customer Intelligence has also published The Forrester Wave™: Cross-Channel Attribution Vendors, Q2 2012, which reviews the state of providers that handle attribution across digital and also offline channels like broadcast, print, direct mail, and POS.  Like all Forrester Wave reports, readers can download vendor scorecards and customize the weightings to reflect their own needs.

I encourage you to check out both reports and let us know what you think.  Post your comments here.