One of the hottest and most widely discussed topics in digital marketing over the last few years has been the measurement issue around Last Ad attribution. There’s not a marketer who I’ve spoken to on this subject that does not intuitively understand the inaccuracy of crediting the full value of a conversion to the last ad exposure (or click) in a customer journey.

The general consensus is our industry should move away from this flawed approach and move to models that better depict the true value of all the advertising interactions that occur between brands and consumers. Multi-touch attribution (MTA) is becoming more and more attractive as a possible solution to this issue.

Measurement has always been an incredibly important part of advertising. Without accurate measurement, marketers cannot allocate budgets correctly, figure out which channels and creative best engage consumers, and discern how to properly optimize once the advertising is live in market. In essence, without correct measurement, marketers could waste billions of dollars chasing ineffective opportunities.

However, while everyone agrees the Last Ad model is flawed, the mass migration to MTA has yet to supplant Last Ad as the default measurement lens. Why?

There are several explanations which include the lack of familiarity and fear of change, but I believe one of the biggest reasons is that there has yet to be solid research into just how inaccurate the Last Ad model really is. I imagine the internal champions for MTA trying to lift this issue above the clutter of other pressing problems in their organizations without much success because they don’t have the hard numbers to show just how big this problem actually could be.

That is why I’m excited to announce that the research Kenshoo is publishing today will provide the supporting evidence needed on how important it is to embrace alternative measurement methodologies such as MTA over Last Ad. In Quantifying the Impact of Multi-touch Attribution, Kenshoo analyzes a large sample of digital marketing campaigns measuring Last Ad versus five standard attribution models to conclude some marketing channels may be undervalued by as much as 30% under Last Ad.

30%! I can’t think of another business case where a 30% discrepancy is acceptable.

In this study, we selected Facebook advertising as the marketing channel under the spotlight due to the fact it has become such an important platform for advertisers and presents a unique measurement challenge as it engages consumers at multiple key apertures throughout the customer journey. With over 1 billion active users, Facebook delivers incredible reach and scale, and it offers a wide variety of creative ad formats and targeting options for both brand and direct response advertisers.

By comparing the standard value metric of Cost-Per-Acquisition (CPA) for Facebook advertising against Last Ad and multiple MTA models, it becomes clear just how impractical the Last Ad model really is.

When we shared our findings, Blake Chandlee, vice president of partnerships at Facebook, had this to say, “Kenshoo’s meta-analysis reinforces what we’ve been seeing in the marketplace. From Kenshoo’s data, we’ve seen that Facebook is between 12 percent and 30 percent more efficient on CPA when measured using multi-touch attribution, as opposed to last-touch. We’re seeing great results with a multi-touch approach when looking at conversions generated by Facebook.”

Please download the research and read the full report to get the full details into the study, the methodology, and results. Our hope is that by actually quantifying the value of MTA, we’ve armed digital marketers with the ammunition they need to motivate their colleagues to support their efforts to leave Last Ad behind and move into a new era of accurate, useful measurement.