The challenge of digital marketing attribution across internet devices

With the rapid adoption of smartphones and tablets, the number of internet-enabled devices per internet user has increased over the last several years. As users employ multiple devices to complete their online objectives, the data used to understand online behavior are increasingly fragmented. Piecing together a complete picture of activity requires the ability to identify users on every device used. Without user identity, there is no way to connect events on one device to events on another. This has implications for measuring the value of marketing investment as marketing attribution requires the ability to attribute some desired behavior to marketing activity that occurred in the past. For websites that do not require login or registration and therefore do not have a source of user identity, the accuracy of marketing reporting will decrease as the number of devices used increases. This paper explores the issue of data fragmentation, its impact on the ability to measure marketing effectiveness, and possible solutions for addressing the issue.

Applied Marketing Analytics
Hogan, Christopher
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