The sales and marketing mix has grown increasingly complex. Truly understanding what’s driving transactions across marketing channels can make a significant difference to the success of campaigns, although attaining these insights and a holistic view of the marketing mix can be somewhat problematic. However, there is one tool that marketers have at their disposal, and that’s Attribution.

Not an industry event, or admittedly a client meeting goes by without discussing the true role marketing channels play in a consumer journey – advertisers, agencies, publishers, analysts, and the media are trying to better understand it. Adtech companies love to talk about attribution, commission research papers and discuss how it can improve campaign performance (they’re not wrong by the way), but is anyone doing anything to help marketers utilise attribution?

Following our acquisition of UK based attribution company DC Storm, Rakuten Marketing have been working to develop a proprietary attribution tool, to be made available and distributed to all Rakuten Marketing clients, at no additional cost. 

Why are we giving our attribution technology Cadence to our clients?

As the path to purchase becomes more complex, attribution provides insight into how consumers are interacting with a brand. We have been in beta testing with select clients for some months, and have been able to demonstrate to brands the value of having a complete view of the consumer journey, juxtaposed with a simple last-click wins model. For example, one of our affiliate clients sought insight into the role its content publishers were having on the path to purchase within the fuller context of the user journey. Through attribution we determined a 115% increase in content publisher ROI when comparing Cadence attributed data against last-click data.

For another client, Rakuten Marketing utilised data insights from Cadence to encourage both engagement and clicks for Display campaigns. When comparing last-click with attributed performance Cadence proved a 40% higher average-order-value (AOV) for converting journeys influenced by display, compared with the retailers site average. Without a robust attribution solution, the above mentioned advertisers would not have had the insight to make strategic optimisation decisions.

Further to this, Attribution is what elevates good data to great data. Through analysing converting and non-converting consumers journey’s, marketers are delivered insight into what is and isn’t working. This data provides a greater understanding of marketing efficiencies; wasted ad-spend and consumer inclinations; how different creative and messaging work across networks; and which channels are causing the highest bounce rate. This data may reveal an opportunity to make quick changes, which drive greater results.

A holistic view can then be used to assess budgets and marketing spend. We conducted a study with the CMO Club and it revealed that 20% of CMO’s are currently allocating budget via channel, whilst 30% are allocation brand dollars separately from direct marketing dollars. Attribution gives insight into all marketing performance.  Using an attribution model to decipher budgets, provides marketers with an accurate view of channel and campaign performance, giving marketers a total  view, and allowing for successful campaign optimisation. 

Through Cadence we are making it easy for brands to have a complete view of marketing performance. We are enabling marketers to look beyond a single channel and to see what’s working and what’s not, and providing the power to make strategic decisions that are more accurate, data-driven and effective. We want to make certain that our clients are armed with the complete information when making marketing decisions.

All the buzz is well founded, and I’m happy to say that we are putting some skin in the game, by providing a complimentary solution to our clients, in order to help them along this journey.

Interested in finding out more about Rakuten Marketing’s attribution solution? Contact one of our experts today, or visit

This post first appeared in the June AdNews edition.