By now, a large group of marketers have heard the news about AOL’s acquisition of Convertro, and Google’s acquisition of Adometry. Coincidentally, both acquisitions were announced on the same day. Rather than repeat information already published across the major media outlets, I’m going to provide my take on what this means for the future of marketing analytics.
1. Strong consolidation in this space not only provides market validation, it serves as a catalyst that will fuel user adoption and growth.
Attribution modeling companies had a large challenge – educating the market on the value of leaving traditional attribution methods behind. Similar to how marketing automation companies needed to educate the market on the importance of nurturing and lead scoring concepts, attribution companies, from my perspective, had an even more difficult hill to climb because although the concept is easily understood, the technical components of how it works and why it should work the way it does was not.
2. Google needs new ways of proving the value of display advertising, having ownership of one of the largest public exchanges – DoubleClick
As B2B marketer’s continue shifting their efforts towards content marketing, Google needs ways of proving the value of RTB display advertising beyond the traditional metrics of post-click and post-view conversion attribution. These metrics are nothing more than vapor when a real path-to-conversion platform is in-use. Google has long been criticized for the attribution capabilities built into Google Analytics, largely because it primarily serves Google-owned properties. However, full channel visibility can be provided to advertisers through Adometry. Time will tell how Google chooses to incorporate their platform, but my hunch is that Google Analytics Premium customers will benefit first.
3. AOL just may bastardize Convertro, and I sincerely hope not
The way I see it, Convertro was small enough for AOL to be able to incorporate the technology and people into their organization easier than if they had acquired someone much larger like Visual IQ. While Visual IQ has much more resources, Convertro excels on technology and adapting to individual customer needs. Referring to my earlier point about market education, the marketing and sales driving forces for Convertro just weren’t there. For many advanced data-driven marketer’s, the technology sold itself.
In the case of both Adometry and Convertro, the question still remains of how data source agnostic each platform will remain. Technically, that’s the entire premise of the solution, to remain agnostic to the data source and remain intelligent enough to give marketer’s insights into optimal conversion paths and how much they should be spending cross-channel. With Adometry living under Google and Convertro living under AOL, inherent bias towards their advertising products can be created, and if not in actuality, consumer perception remains. In any case, it’s an exciting time to be a digital marketer and I’m looking forward to seeing how these platforms evolve.
Disclaimer: I have affiliation with Convertro but am not privy to the full economics of their business model. Statements made are speculative. I do however, have high familiarity with their platform. Additionally, I have no relationship with Adometry or have experience using their solution.