Sales Lift Measurement & Attribution: One is Not the Same as the Other

By Carl Spaulding, EVP of Strategy, NCS

Whether it’s last-click or multi-touchattribution is confused with ROI by many in the advertising industry.

Sales Lift Measurement. Attribution. They’re the same thing, right? In the advertising world, both tell you how your campaigns are performing…right?

Kind of.

This topic is complicated. And it’s nuanced. While “attribution” is often used as an umbrella term to describe all advertising effectiveness measurement, it’s actually just one of many approaches. One of many different types of sales measurement available to advertisers today.

According to the IAB: Attribution is the process of identifying a set of user actions (“events”) across screens and touch points that contribute in some manner to a desired outcome, and then assigning value to each of these events.

But the way the word is being used today – as a general term, interchangeable with “ROI measurement” – doesn’t accurately describe many different types of sales measurement. Especially incremental sales measurement. The terms (and solutions) are getting mixed up because the differences are overlooked.

Here are some simple facts to help illustrate the difference between incremental sales lift measurement and attribution.

While these distinctions may seem nuanced, it’s important we get this right. To make advertising more effective across the industry, we need to be speaking the same language and educating our clients using the same information.

To learn more about how NCS approaches sales measurement, check out this case study.

Download Case Study