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.