Episode 563:  Enemies No More: Using Google and Meta Together for 10x Returns


The Hidden Truths of Attribution: Why Your Marketing Data is Misleading


In the fast-paced world of digital marketing, understanding the customer journey and accurately attributing conversions has become a critical challenge for marketing professionals. With the rise of multiple advertising channels and the complexity of consumer behavior, it’s no wonder that many marketers are left feeling overwhelmed and uncertain about the true impact of their campaigns.

In this eye-opening conversation on the Perpetual Traffic Podcast, host Ralph Burns and guest Kasim Aslam, a seasoned expert in the field of marketing attribution, dive deep into the hidden truths of attribution and expose the flaws in the current approach to measuring marketing success. This conversation is a wake-up call for marketing directors, CMOs, and business owners who are seeking to acquire more leads and sales and achieve their organization’s vision.

The Flawed Approach to Attribution

The Funnel Problem

One of the first issues discussed in the conversation is the flawed way in which marketers approach the sales funnel. Traditionally, marketers view the funnel as a linear progression from awareness to consideration to conversion. However, Kasim argues that this oversimplification fails to capture the true complexity of the customer journey. In reality, customers move back and forth between different stages of the funnel, and attributing conversions to a single touchpoint becomes nearly impossible.

The Spectrum of Advertising Channels

Another major flaw in the current approach to attribution is the failure to recognize the spectrum of advertising channels. Kasim introduces the concept of impression-based advertising versus click-based advertising. While many marketers focus solely on click-based channels like Google and Facebook, they neglect the power of impression-based channels such as radio, television, and display ads. This narrow focus limits their ability to reach customers at the top of the funnel and build brand awareness.

The Limitations of Impression-Based Advertising

Impression-based advertising presents its own set of challenges when it comes to attribution. Unlike click-based channels, it is difficult to track and measure the impact of impression-based ads. Kasim highlights the fact that advertisers have no control over who sees their ads or when, making it impossible to exclude customers based on intent. This lack of control and visibility further complicates the attribution process and leads to incomplete data.

The Incomplete View of the Customer Journey

Perhaps the most significant flaw in the current approach to attribution is the incomplete view of the customer journey. Kasim emphasizes that marketers only have access to a fraction of the data, represented by a small cube in a Rubik’s Cube analogy. This limited view is further compounded by the inaccuracies of in-app metrics and the challenges of tracking customer behavior over time. The result is a distorted understanding of the true impact of marketing efforts and a reliance on flawed attribution models.

Real-World Examples of Attribution Failures

To illustrate the extent of the attribution problem, Kasim shares real-world examples of attribution failures. He highlights the issue of overlapping conversions, where different advertising channels claim credit for the same conversion. This overlap leads to misleading metrics and inaccurate ROI calculations. Additionally, Kasim exposes the inaccuracy of in-app metrics provided by platforms like Google and Facebook, which often fail to reflect the true performance of campaigns. These examples serve as a stark reminder that the current approach to attribution is deeply flawed and can lead to misguided decision-making.

The Need for a Solution

Recognizing the flaws in the current approach to attribution, Kasim emphasizes the need for a solution that provides a more comprehensive and accurate view of the customer journey. He stresses the importance of investing in awareness and outbound display to fill the top of the funnel and create a strong foundation for conversion traffic. Kasim also highlights the role of first-party data and proper attribution in gaining a deeper understanding of customer behavior. While acknowledging the limitations of third-party attribution software, he suggests that Apple, with its origination device and potential access to comprehensive data, could be the key to solving the attribution problem.

Conclusion and Part Two Preview

In conclusion, the conversation on the Perpetual Traffic Podcast sheds light on the hidden truths of attribution and exposes the flaws in the current approach to measuring marketing success. The examples and insights shared by Kasim Aslam serve as a wake-up call for marketing professionals who are seeking to acquire more leads and sales. In part two of this series, Kasim will delve deeper into the solution to the attribution problem, offering practical strategies and insights for marketers to navigate the complex world of attribution and achieve their marketing goals.

Stay tuned for part two of this groundbreaking conversation, where Kasim Aslam will provide actionable solutions to the attribution problem and empower marketers to make more informed decisions. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of the customer journey and unlock the true potential of your marketing efforts. Subscribe to the Perpetual Traffic Podcast and stay ahead of the curve in the ever-evolving world of digital marketing.