Urchin, later acquired by Google, invented an amazing way of measuring campaign performance by using last non-direct click attribution and first-party cookies. The solution was perfect—for earlier times:
- People used mostly one device.
- Smartphones were rare.
- Advertisers avoided mobile apps and browsers because user experience was, at that time, horrible.
In most cases, the assumption that users converted on the same browser and the same device as their first site visit was fair.
Not long ago, it was common for marketers and web analysts to spend the bulk of their day staring at Excel spreadsheets, manually collecting and organizing ad spend data across dozens of sources.
You had to go to each advertising account and export statistics on advertising campaigns, such as ad impressions, clicks, and costs, then export data from the web analytics system, and, finally, combine all the data manually.
Not an optimal use of time.
Why create a custom attribution tool? Because with out-of-the-box tools, you’re limited by their functionality, data transformations, models, and heuristics.