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Six Steps Towards Marketing Attribution on a Global Scale

Six Steps Towards Marketing Attribution on a Global Scale


Advanced marketing attribution is a proven winner when it comes to measuring and optimising large cross-channel campaigns, especially given the number of variables now influencing the consumer’s path to purchase.

When implemented correctly, advanced attribution can provide clear and accurate insights that marketers can use to inform budget decisions, and discover exactly which consumer interactions were successful, and which were not. While rolling out attribution globally can be complicated, there are a number of ways to minimise these complexities and reduce implementation times to ensure the process is as smooth as possible.

1. Consider implementing a single ad server

Before rolling out advanced attribution across multiple regions you may wish to consolidate data into a single ad server across those countries. Though not essential to the process, such consolidation will help minimise the variety of data sources that need to be recognised, collected, standardised, and integrated. Setting up a pre-defined process for consolidating ad servers will also help to simplify the expansion of an advanced attribution solution into new regions.

2. Create a universal taxonomy

When rolling out advanced attribution, it is vital that data can be understood, used, and compared across all regions for global decision-making and performance management. This requires the creation of a universal taxonomy that can be applied across all inputs to ensure data can be interpreted across the globe. A universal taxonomy also promotes simplicity and reduces potential misunderstanding during implementation.

3. Consider language capabilities

Reporting in different languages according to geographic region can make the attribution solution more complicated, and many brands choose to report primarily in English – a language spoken and understood in numerous global regions – to simplify the process. However, for channels such as search, which involves keywords, using the local language may be necessary. As a compromise, marketers may want to reduce the level of granularity when incorporating search into an attribution system. While such an approach won’t allow for granular, keyword-level insights, it will still enable the automatic pushing of your attributed data to your media buying platforms for more efficient activation.

4. Stick with local currencies

Converting figures across all regions to a single currency is more difficult than it sounds – and can over-complicate the input and reporting processes – so maintaining local currencies is often the easiest approach. Assessing performance using local currencies ensures the teams using the data are able to understand the meaning of the figures in a regional context, but they must be made aware that local currencies are being employed if they need to make use of data from other regions.

5. Start with a single region

Switching from a last click model to advanced attribution represents a major step change in measurement, planning, and purchase of media, and attempting to do this in multiple geographies at the same time can be challenging. Commencing the rollout in one country allows an organisation to understand the opportunities that advanced attribution provides, as well as the new metrics and benchmarks involved. Begin with a top performing country that has a broad mix of media in the market. Demonstrate the understanding and efficiencies gained in this region to the rest of the organisation to promote global buy-in, and build momentum for a wider rollout.  

6. Expand cautiously

Once attribution has been successfully implemented into one region and subsequent improvements in ROI have been marketed internally, further expansion can be explored. Successful implementation of an attribution solution relies on the ability to demonstrate its value in terms of efficiency and budgetary benefits, so initial expansion should focus on geographic regions that have a high level of media spend across a wide range of channels. Improvements will therefore be more significant and easier to demonstrate. Optimisation will be less obvious in markets with smaller marketing budgets and a more limited media mix, so these should only be considered once the global rollout has gained traction.  

Advanced attribution is vital for marketers to understand how audiences interact with their brand and – with companies increasingly expanding into new regions – it is crucial that marketers are able to do this regardless of where the consumer is based. By implementing a universal ad server and taxonomy, considering language and currency, and beginning the implementation in regions with most to gain from the attribution solution, brands can benefit from a lucrative global rollout, tracking their successes across every region, allowing the accurate planning of future budgets and plans, and ultimately boosting ROI. 

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Ben Sidebottom

Ben Sidebottom

Ben Sidebottom is the director of product management, research and development for Visual IQ in the EMEA region, based in the company's London office.
Before joining Visual IQ, Ben served as head of media systems at, where he was responsible for the design, implementation, and use of the brand’s online marketing technology stack. During his time with the company, he created one of Europe's first client-side brand trading desks, which offered first and third-party audience overlays on third-party inventory, all optimised using an algorithmic, automated attribution model. With more than eight years of experience in the digital sector, Ben has also held positions at Essence Digital, one of the UK’s leading media agencies, and comScore, where he led the technical consultancy for its largest Digital Analytix Enterprise clients, including BBC and ITV.

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