Google’s Marketing NEXT event in May is now over, the presentation was a valuable resource for upcoming changes to Google Adwords and Analytics. While they have discussed tools to measure in-store foot traffic and display-like targeting for search campaigns, my favorite announcement was the new Attribution platform.


What is Google Attribution

According to Google, “The new, free solution can pull in data from Google Analytics, AdWords or DoubleClick Search to provide a more holistic view of conversion actions across channels and devices for attribution modeling and bidding information


Marketing attribution has been a chief concern for the digital marketing industry for a long time now, the world of last click is sufficient for measuring marketing channels that behave in a last click fashion (like branded paid search) but marketers want to know how to measure the impact of upper funnel activity like branding and display.


Google’s Acquisitions Tend to be Important

Google acquired Urchin to make Google Analytics for the measurement of click data and years later Google acquired Adometry to help their enterprise clients understand display and TV with Attribution 360. Google’s enterprise marketing cloud is getting larger every day, but now they are making free tools available to businesses large and small to understand the ROI of dollars spent on awareness.


How Does it Work?

The new tool has just been announced, and so far it has been explained that it will connect all of the google paid data together in one tool that leverages data driven attribution (a complex attribution algorithm using machine learning) to understand what conversions are credited to each channel. This new way of analysis will arm marketers with the confidence they need to explore channels that have been too obscured to evaluate effectively in the past.


The reporting available in this new platform has not been shared yet, but if it mirrors the technology they are already using in Google Analytics 360 with impression tracking then it will be many times more powerful than the simple click tracking that users have been confined to for the last two decades. Google Attribution currently in beta and will be available in coming months. To get a feel for data driven attribution, advertisers can look at data-driven attribution modeling in AdWords.


The Google Attribution platform will mark the beginning of a brave new world for many marketers, marketing channels of the future will be judged on how they work together rather than how they perform in a silo. Companies that dabble in many channels with several vendors will now have to quibble about whether to attribute conversions with data driven models, 30 day engine pixels, first click, or last click. The information and insights garnered by these tools will open the door to confusion for some brands as they try to reevaluate what the best methods of measurement will be but when the dust settles the marketplace will be better educated and less money will be wasted on ineffective advertising.


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