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marketing attribution model
January 22, 2024

2024 Attribution Models Update

Most online marketing and advertising are getting less personalized with less-directly trackable attributes. Major changes in 2023 from increased privacy laws, GDRP oversight, new Google Analytics and the removal of cookies changes the landscape for digital marketing. Today 2/3rds of Google searches (64.82%) end without a click, and only paid search ads get direct attribution.

It's no better in social media, while search has the volume, social media dominates the time spent online. Social media passes very little attribution into GA4, instead social media actions are reported as "direct" traffic in Google analytics.

A quick recap of current attribution data sources.

  • Internet browsers cut off 3rd party cookies.
  • Ad platforms moved to behavioral patterns.
  • Google search shows more ads, less organic clicks.
  • Social networks hide referral data in pass through to analytics.
  • Content Networks (YouTube tube, Tik-Tok) use consumption patterns to target ads.

What does this mean?

Implied attribution models will be expensive and "pay to play" for the near future. The implied attribution may or may not correlate to many businesses.

  • Organic attribution is gone for good. Keyword ranking is a no value vanity play.
  • Many digital ads will move from direct attribution (“this person clicked this ad and then took this action on your site”) to implied correlation (“devices in this behavioral group saw this ad, and later, some number of devices in that group took an action on your site”).
  • Smart marketers inside smart organizations will move toward measurement > attribution like the early days of internet marketing.

How to stay in front of the competition?

Measure the big stuff: Awareness, Interest, Engagement and Audience Sentiment. Key performance metrics defining success might include impressions, traffic, conversions, and number of consultations or leads. Smart marketers will ignore most everything else, and instead be willing to invest in creative, hard- to-measure channels and tactics based on customer presence, gut feel, and “old-school metrics.”

Marketing drives consultations (not case value). Tracking the number of consultations becomes a better measure than total case value - because case value can fluctuate from case to case.

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