Next Generation Marketing Attribution

Research project

In online marketing, advanced analytics methods enable the tracking of 'marketing touchpoints' (customer journeys) of customers until they buy an advertised product (conversion). The resulting data and information are essential for identifying successful marketing activities of a company. While the costs of individual marketing activities are relatively easy to determine, it is a great challenge to allocate the sales achieved to the individual marketing activities (marketing attribution). This attribution, however, is essential in order to correctly determine the return on investment (ROI) or the return on ad spend (ROAS) of individual marketing activities and to manage them in a targeted manner.

The company GetYourGuide is one of the world's largest online booking platforms for tours and leisure activities. Up to now, GetYourGuide has relied on so-called Markov Chains for data-driven marketing attribution. This approach is characterised by intuitive comprehensibility and moderate computational effort, but neglects, for example, how marketing touchpoints affect the conversion rate in a decreasing and constantly changing manner over time. Since GetYourGuide invests enormous sums in online marketing, the Institute of Business Analytics is developing a new and significantly more efficient data-driven marketing attribution model in collaboration with GetYour-Guide. The new approach will enable GetYourGuide to make better marketing decisions, such as finding an optimal media mix, launching more powerful campaigns or creating even more engaging content.

The current project is divided into the following three phases:

1. Identification of alternative approaches to marketing attribution 

In the course of a detailed search, promising approaches are identified and evaluated according to the criteria of prediction accuracy, robustness, interpretability, versatility, computational efficiency and self-learning capability.

2. Development and evaluation of the new marketing attribution model

Based on the most promising approaches from phase 1, a new marketing attribution model will be developed, prototypically implemented, evaluated based on historical data from GetYourGuide and compared to the existing Markov Chain approach.

3. Adaptation and implementation of the new marketing attribution model

In the last phase of the project, adjustments to the model will be made based on the evaluation results from phase 2, before the final implemented model is introduced in the live system at GetYourGuide.

Cooperation partner: GetYourGuide

Project period: June 2021 - December 2021