At a digital advertising seminar i spoke at last week there was, in my view an unhealthy and disproportionate amount of time spent discussing this notion of last-click attribution.
This is the obsession many marketers have with crediting the 'last click' to the sale in an attempt to quantify channel ROI and such like.
What about all the other habits, touchpoints, encounters and interactions that a customer had prior making a purchase?
The problem (for those who want to measure) is that most of this is unmeasurable in a linear way.
Principally because if there are interactions most of them happen between people.
There's too much spillage.
This idea of spillage came from listening to Wilko Johnson talk about the making of Dr Feelgood's debut album on the BBC 'Mastertapes' podcast.
Wilko describes throwing a tantrum with the studio engineers who wanted to record the band doing their parts separately then mix it together afterwards with multiple guitar overdubs - as is the norm.
But Wilko wanted the band to play together in the same room, as if it were 'live'.
The engineers were worried about separation and spillage.
Spillage being when the sounds of drums, bass and guitars 'spill' into each other.
They wanted it neater and cleaner.
But Wilko recalls having none of it.
“Take me somewhere in this wonderful world of ours where you get separation.
It doesn’t happen.
You walk down the street… you get a lot of spillage. That’s the real universe, man”
Last-click attribution or any other form of single channel ROI measurement strikes me as an attempt at separation - such is the wont of marketers who are purely data driven - when we should be more happy with the spillage that comes from prioritising for creativity.