FAQ    Design of Experiments     How Do MTA and DOE Work Together?

How Do MTA and DOE Work Together?

MTA (multi-touch attribution) and DoE (design of experiments) are complementary because incrementality testing addresses many of the data and data tracking gaps that currently serve as severe limitations to MTA’s ability to measure marketing contribution across all addressable marketing channels. Currently MTA has a major data gap in the so-called walled gardens (Facebook, AdWords,Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube etc.) in which no customer level data gathering is permitted. MTA has no answers for these channels with no clear avenues for improvement short of a 180 degree reverse of course on data sharing by the likes of Facebook (don’t hold your breath).

Even in trackable addressable media channels, pixel related data loss can be severe, ranging from 5% in paid search to as much as 80% in channels like online video.  While cookie level data tracking has lower rates of data loss, it’s ongoing viability is in question after Google recently announced the discontinued sharing of Google User IDs that this approach relies upon beginning in Q1 2020.

DoE can both fill the gaps created by the so-called “walled garden” media channels as well as validate and inform media channels suffering from pixel related data loss.  As the market continues to evolve, and legislation to address privacy concerns like GDPR proliferates, MTA measurement unsupported by DoE will likely become obsolete.


Madan Bharadwaj - Cofounder & CTO

Expert in advertising measurement, attribution and analytics


Multi-touch attribution is more challenging today due to limited tracking options, identity and cross-device resolution hurdles, data leakage and the massive amount of time it takes to implement.


What is cross-platform attribution (or cross-channel attribution) and why is it difficult?

The goal of cross-platform attribution in marketing is to gain clarity on the interplay and contribution of influence that each channel/tactic/campaign has on driving conversions over and above baseline sales.

It’s a task that has proved to be very difficult for many reasons including but not limited to:

  • Walled gardens are typically inaccessible to third-party tracking of impressions
  • Identity resolution across media platforms is quite low
  • Cross-device tracking is difficult and match rates are extremely low
  • Instrumenting a tracking infrastructure by a third party measurement provider has proved to be fraught with breakage and data leakage
  • It is extremely time consuming to implement without the help of a partner

Video: Landing a source of truth cross-channel media reporting dashboard



What are some cross-channel attribution tools?

MTA – collects individual, or user-level data, for trackable addressable media and conversion events in order to determine the impact of each media event to the desired conversion at the customer level. By summing the impact of each addressable media touchpoint on each customers’ likelihood to convert, MTA quantifies the total media channel lift provided by addressable media. MTA does not account for the impact of non-addressable media, and furthermore much addressable media is either non-trackable or lost due to the innumerable challenges of tracking data at the user level.

Incrementality Measurement – Incrementality in marketing refers to the incremental benefit produced per unit of input stimulation. Incrementality is the lift in desired outcome (awareness, web visits, conversion, subscriptions, revenue, profitability) provided by marketing activity.

Incrementality in marketing is especially needed for channels where ad impressions such as display, Facebook, social, or even TV are hard to measure. To measure incrementality, the audience is broken out into test groups (exposed to the ads) and a control group (suppressed from seeing the ads).

MMM – MMM is a top down (aggregate marketing data) and very artistic statistical exercise where one or more models (e.g. econometric, multi-linear regression) are leveraged to extract key information and insights by deriving information from multiple sources of marketing, economic, weather and financial data. MMM is also a high-touch consultative approach that is very manual with little to no automated data inputs, whereas MTA and Incrementality, when deployed properly, is a very automated approach leveraging preconfigured connectors that extract the required marketing data, across many channels, on regular cadence. (It’s important to note that MTA can take 6 months or more to deploy, whereas Incrementality can be up and running with reporting in 4-6 weeks.) See this article for more on why always-on automated experimentation is the future of marketing measurement.


Trevor Testwuide - CEO

Expert in business strategy and marketing measurement.


Multi-touch attribution is more challenging today due to limited tracking options, identity and cross-device resolution hurdles, data leakage and the massive amount of time it takes to implement.