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March 22, 2012

Social media impact in digital marketing undervalued by nearly 100%: report

First-click vs. last-click attribution decides marketers' budget allocation for digital marketing

By CBR Staff Writer

Marketers significantly underestimate the value of social media in digital marketing, as they believe that the use of last-click attribution may cause them undervalue social media’s website impact by up to 94%, according to Adobe Digital Index report.

The report, which analysed more than 1.7 billion visits to more than 225 US companies’ websites in the retail travel and media industries, found that first-click attribution models more accurately capture the benefits of social media in engaging customers earlier in the buying process.

Marketers’ decision on the allocation of the budgets across social and other digital channels depends on significant differences in the results of first-click vs. last-click attribution data for various social media sites, the report said.

First-click places responsibility on the channel the consumer first touched, while last-click attribution assumes that the marketing channel most responsible for a consumer’s behavior is the channel the consumer last touched.

Last-click attribution gives disproportionate credit to the marketing channels customers use late in the purchase process, potentially undervaluing the role of other channels in building awareness, engagement, and ongoing relationships.

On the contrary, first-click attribution gives social media more credit for these earlier interactions, the report found.

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