Many have commented on the 14 product enhancements announced at last week’s Google Analytics Summit (GAS), but I attended to learn about their new Data Driven Attribution (DDA) tool. Why travel to Mountain View, CA “just” to focus on a new advanced attribution tool?

  • Digital pathways are rarely last click. Imagine a consumer who clicks on a banner ad sending them to your YouTube video.  They watch the first 45 seconds and then enter your website through natural search. Do you really want to give zero credit to the YouTube ad? Assuming this pathway is common, should you increase or decrease your banner ad budget? Now with Google’s DDA (or competing tools) you can get an accurate answer for each touch point. 
  • Pathways are rich with insights—in theory. Now imagine your team is struggling to optimize YouTube across a set of products. Also imagine you could measure how the influence of YouTube varied across journeys based on what was purchased, lifecycle stage and persona. Armed with those insights your team could develop a content creation schedule or define the role of YouTube in new product launches. Unfortunately Google’s DDA is limited in pathway comparisons, but I predict expansion of that functionality in the next 12 months.  I applaud Google for its simple interface, but marketers need more options than the limited demographics and attitudes available today.
  • Few attribution leaders have emerged. The most recent Forrester Wave on Cross-Channel Attribution Providers identified only one leader in this space (subscription required). Will Google’s DDA tool create an army of Google Analytics-equipped agencies and disrupt the attribution market? No, not yet, but I’ll be listening carefully for announcements regarding DDA at the next GAS in 2014.

To read more about Forrester’s take on Google’s DDA and what it means to marketers thinking about attribution, read my latest article co-authored with Tina Moffet (subscription required).

Interested about what’s new in attribution? Jump over to my co-author’s recent blog on current trends in attribution and measurement. Do you currently measure attribution using Google Analytics? I’d love to hear about your experience with the tool and how you are using attribution. Drop me an email.