Attribution vs. Contribution

By Marketing, Media, Search, Social, Technology, Thought Leadership

The Impact of Platform Over-Attribution on Marketing

Attribution vs. contribution is a significant issue that isn’t confined to just one industry. The epidemic of platform over-attribution affects multiple categories, creating a widespread problem for marketers. Without a single-source of truth to assess campaign success and results the marketer must decide how much they choose to “believe” the conversion reporting coming from the ad platforms.

For mobile performance marketers, especially app developers, the big three—Apple, Google, and Meta—operate with nontransparent systems. These platforms reach billions and often claim credit for conversions linked to ads that were barely seen, sometimes stretching back weeks. Even developers with declining sales might find platform reports boasting of increasing success, a situation highlighted by two frustrated mobile game developers.

Grocery brands face even harsher realities. The rise of retailer-owned media networks, which function like walled gardens, has led to a scramble for attribution. Retail networks are eager to take credit for every sale, often leading to marketing data that seems completely detached from actual business performance.

Google, Meta, Amazon, Walmart, Target, Kroger, and numerous smaller retail networks are frequently self-attributing conversions without a logical connection to a brand’s seasonal or monthly business trends. For instance, a brand might consistently see a sales dip in April or a spike just before Valentine’s Day. Ideally, ad platform attribution should reflect these patterns. However, reports often show rising ROAS (Return on Ad Spend) as platforms either enhance their targeting or claim full credit for sales they only minimally influenced.

This misalignment directly impacts a brand’s profit margins. Brands end up paying more for sales attributed to ad campaigns compared to organic conversions. The discrepancy between actual sales data and platform attribution can distort marketing strategies and budgets, leading to inefficiencies and increased costs.

In summary, the over-attribution by ad platforms creates a significant challenge for both mobile app developers and grocery brands, emphasizing the need for more transparency and accuracy in reporting and attribution models.

Moving Cybersecurity Forward

By Technology

Cybersecurity is paramount in today’s businesses

Forward Media understands that businesses today are actively seeking cybersecurity partners. We aim to connect our clients with this extremely active category and insert them into the conversation. We use digital media to drive awareness of the issues and develop comprehensive lead generation programs for our clients in the space.

It’s a Complex Category That Demands Clarity and Authority

Forward Media understands that choosing a cybersecurity partner means understanding the complexity of the issues and the risk profile at hand. Our lead generation programs pinpoint potential customers and engage them in the process of choosing a company to assist in decisive and clear ways. We use full-funnel digital media campaigns to assist customers in their research and decision-making processes.

Simple Choices in a Rapidly Expanding Category Are Crucial to Better Decision-Making

As companies explore the topic of cybersecurity, it is important that we design digital media campaigns that assist them in simplifying their choices, especially considering the complexity of the category. Forward Media develops campaigns that ensure our clients’ brands are easy to understand and fully able to drive and influence the purchase decision.

Digital Campaigns Are Bridging the Gap Between Fear and Knowledge

Our digital media campaigns fully acknowledge that cybersecurity requires the ability to move clients from an overall sense of fear of the cyber risks inherent in today’s world toward partners who can solve this problem. The role of the digital campaign is to emphasize the solutions our clients provide with a strong sense of confidence.

We Take You Further Than the Rest

Forward Media drives greater ROI by activating and mobilizing a multitude of digital products, data, media buys, and consulting opportunities. We help empower the real-time optics and performance of cybersecurity companies by driving greater leads and lowering overall marketing costs. Our search insights and strategies align with your search optimization, marketing, and site analytics in a way that balances campaigns.