Multi-touch Attribution: The ThighMaster of Marketing

Nancy Smith

Nancy Smith

Nancy Smith [pictured], CEO and President at Analytic Partners, writes: Bowflex, Shake Weight, ThighMaster, Ab Roller, Ab Belt… you have seen or heard of some of these “As Seen on TV” fitness products. What they all have in common is The Promise: Buy this product and you’ll look great in just 30 days without any hard work or dieting, and all for just “3 easy payments”. But how many buyers have ever achieved thighs even remotely like Suzanne Somers’? Few. Which is about the same proportion of marketers who have realized great marketing effectiveness gains from Multi-touch Attribution (MTA).

We all know that resistance exercise works to improve strength, tone muscle, and improve overall fitness. In theory, Bowflex or Ab Roller should have worked for millions of out-of-shape consumers. So it wasn’t the product that was flawed, it was The Promise. In real life, resculpting your physique takes work. It is not fast, easy, nor fun, especially when you’re just beginning. Most people end up frustrated and the gadget ends up gathering dust and the user likely will swear off all exercise programs entirely — a huge mistake and a missed opportunity. This is especially true if it’s not your belly, but your marketing budget that’s out of shape.

Marketers who bought into MTA platforms promising fast results with minimal data gathering effort in a plug-and-play form are feeling like promise hasn’t lived up to the hype. Industry groups have held panel discussions, conducted surveys, designed meta-studies, and issued reports to find out why MTA is developing a reputation for failure. According to the MMA, marketers who have attempted MTA have given attribution a negative Net Promoter Score (NPS) of -31. The promise has not lived up to the reality. More...