This week Facebook finally launched Facebook Attribution after the tool had been in public beta for over a year.

The new solution aggregates measurement across all your Facebook ecosystem ad campaigns: on Facebook itself, on Facebook's hottest "new" ad platform, Instagram, on Messenger, and across Audience Network, Facebook's infrastructure for extending your ad campaigns off of Facebook properties.

Facebook is pitching its attribution tool as a way to give marketers "a more holistic view of the customer journey."

That's true.

At least as far as the Facebook platform is integrated into the fabric of our digital lives.

But it is actually a way to give marketers a more holistic view of their ad performance across all of the big blue social network. And as such, it's completely necessary, at least for marketers who only market inside the Facebook ecosystem. Switching from dashboard to dashboard for various Facebook properties is no-one's idea of fun, and slicing up the customer journey into Facebook, Instagram, and Messenger-sized slices does not help marketers know what's working across a customer's entire purchase journey.

Of course, Facebook Attribution isn't for everyone.

For marketers who use a variety of ad platforms, such as Google, Amazon, Apple Search Ads, Pinterest, and Snapchat -- not to mention any of the dozens of other high-quality ad partners that exist -- you're still going to need a universal attribution solution that works across your entire marketing ecosystem.

Top-performing marketers, of course, tend to use a wide variety of platforms and ad partners.

According to MarketingLand, Facebook will soon have competition. Rumor has it that retailer-uber-alles Amazon is testing an attribution solution, and Google will soon release one (it's currently still in beta. 

This is not all good news for marketers.

Marketers already have options to understand the value of their campaigns across ad partners. (Full disclosure: I work for one of them, Singular.) What they don't need is to have to check Facebook's attribution system, Google's attribution system, Amazon's attribution system, and some undetermined other number of attribution systems in order to try to laboriously build an inconsistent and semi-complete understanding of their entire marketing and advertising efforts.

That said, each system will have its own benefits.

One of Facebook's is good cross-platform data on customers' journey from mobile app to web to desktop as they search, connect, and eventually buy.

"To gain a better understanding of your audience's digital journey, you can use cross-device reporting to learn the device your customers engaged with your ads on as well as where they converted," Facebook said in the announcement.

The new tool is available immediately in Business Manager in the Facebook Ads administration interface.

Published on: Oct 24, 2018