Digital Economy Companies invest in media to drive growth. As a result, they have relied upon platform attribution, with Multi-Touch Attribution (MTA) playing an essential role in cross-platform attribution. However, the evolving media/ macroeconomic landscape makes MTA challenging for several reasons:

  • Impact of offline and digital media: MTAs are good when the media and sales are digital. To achieve growth, Digital Economy Companies have to rely upon TV to drive reach. Newer attribution techniques are needed when the media and business KPIs are a mix of offline and digital.
  • Controlling for externalities like COVID competitive impact: The onset of COVID has been a tailwind for several Digital Economy Companies. However, COVID results in a headwind as customers head back to physical stores. An MTA strategy will not be able to capture this information.
  • Crumbling cookie: With the cookie deprecation, traditional MTA may not work. This requires a rethink on how to do attribution across the media channels. While platform-based ROI solutions are appropriate, newer solutions are needed for cross-channel media effectiveness.
  • Emphasis on Profitability: The startup ecosystem is rethinking revenue multiples for valuation, and the focus has shifted to profitability. This requires that every marketing dollar investment be spent wisely, keeping return on investment into account.


Digital Economy Companies want to understand the role of top-funnel activity on bottom-funnel in both the short term and long term. We have learnings on Facebook branding vs. performance. The critical thing our clients are looking for is where to scale and where to reduce media investment to maximize revenue. We have used a statistically robust mechanism to validate that COVID-19/ lockdown has been a tailwind for categories like essentials, e-learning, and online pharmacy. 

Publicis Groupe’s Cross Channel Analytics helps our clients understand the impact of Paid (TV, Print, and Digital), Owned (Website traffic, Social Media posts), and Earned (Social Media Engagement, blogs) media in driving sales. The same model will also help our clients understand both the business KPIs and the brand KPIs and provide true ROI of media investment. In addition, it provides actionable insights on how media should be activated at a deep-dive level, for example, is IPL working for you as a brand, which genres are giving higher ROI, and is HD working better than SD?

We have assisted several Digital Economy Companies in holistically thinking about cross-channel media investment and developing scenarios for the right investment balance across preference and performance media. The clients have included E-Learning, E-pharmacy, E-commerce, E-Gaming, ride-hailing, food delivery and streaming music. A typical client has achieved an uplift of 10-20% on the base business KPI and managed to achieve growth goals by making targeted investments. Based on the previous studies, we have observed that TV drives 4-8% of brand awareness. TV also drives sales in the short run. 

Cross Channel Attribution is one of the ways forward for Digital Economy Companies to think about media attribution holistically. 


Author: Deepak Pant, Managing Partner – Data Science, Publicis Groupe India

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