Almost half (46%) of businesses don’t carry out any type of marketing attribution.

This is despite the fact that 89% of those that do measure attribution say it has benefited their business, with almost a third (29%) saying the benefit has been ‘major’.

The statistics come from Econsultancy and Adobe’s new Quarterly Digital Intelligence Briefing: Making Sense of Attribution.

The report, which is based on a survey of more than 700 companies and agencies carried out in October, looks at the extent to which businesses are using and benefiting from marketing attribution.

Of those that do measure attribution, a large proportion still relies on a last-click model.

The last-click-wins approach has served the digital industry well, but in an increasingly multichannel and data-driven world, a reliance solely on last click now represents a major gamble when more granular (and actionable) information is readily available.

What is holding businesses back?

So if the vast majority of businesses stand to benefit from measuring marketing attribution, why do so many companies neglect to do it?

The main reason is a lack of knowledge around what is involved and can be achieved, and technology limitations (particularly among the largest companies).

Common attribution methods

Like any marketing performance analysis tool, attribution is most effective when you define marketing goals and closely examine the typical customer journey (including the average number of touch points and time to conversion).

However, most organisations get stuck with the most common attribution models because they’re satisfied when these methods validate their current theories.

As our new report shows, last-click is still incredibly popular among businesses, however separate Adobe research showed that, for search, there is a 38% increase in the value per visitor when moving from a last-click model to first-click attribution.

This suggests that last click attribution undervalues those channels that are more influential in generating awareness rather than in triggering a purchase decision.

Our new report also looks at which methods businesses use for attribution other than last-click.

The results are quite varied between client-side and agency respondents, however first-click and custom approaches are the most popular.