Rudy Grahn, EVP – Measurement Center of Excellence

Rudy Grahn knows: Attribution is the connective tissue that is missing in almost every organization.

A passionate idealist who has the future of attribution square in his sights, tune in to hear Rudy’s insights on how and why attribution came about, what the biggest adoption barriers are and what the future may hold.

About Rudy:

As he enters his third decade in interactive advertising, Rudy Grahn recently joined Publicis as Executive Vice-President of Data Sciences.

Most recently, Rudy was Vice-President of Data Strategy for Marketshare Partners — a Neustar Solution — for managing multi-touch attribution, marketing-mix modeling and audience intelligence with clients including Wells Fargo, PwC and Williams Sonoma.

Prior to that, Rudy founded and managed the analytics practice for Zenith-OptiMedia for clients including T-Mobile, Liberty Mutual, and Toyota.

Rudy also served as Director of modeling for one of the first attribution companies, ClearSailing — an eBay company — and was a Senior Analyst for Jupiter.

Key takeaways:

[1:35] I introduce today’s guest, Rudy Grahn, and ask him about how he made his way from talk radio to copywriting, to getting hooked on measurement and becoming one of the bigwigs in the attribution business!

[9:55] Rudy speaks to the shifting power dynamics towards the consumer and the shedding of social assumptions: demographics and psychographics are predictive, but historical behavior does it better, all without the social baggage.

[13:12] There really is no giving people the ads they really want: they don’t want ads… That is part of why Rudy was so interested in measurement and attribution — let’s do less frequency and more impact!

[15:32] How does advertising work? Rudy thinks it’s still fundamentally a black box; he speaks to the enormous paradigm shift we’ve seen so far and ponders what the future may hold.

[17:48] I ask Rudy if he has any insight on why a lot of people are reticent in adopting attribution.

[22:03] Rudy talks about the importance of consumer-brand dialog and how attribution opens up a wider set of possibilities than ‘last click’ ever did.

[24:12] Is attribution more of a finance tool? Rudy breaks down the question and reframes the idea that attribution is math, it’s not creative.

[29:05] Rudy shares his surprise at the fact that offline still has no standards for measuring for creative impact. He also touches on the rule of thumb surrounding ‘first exposure’ and its tactical implications.

[32:11] There are precious few models that even try to account for every dollar spent, MMM and MTA are it. I posit that for public companies, MTA should be mandatory in terms of having a complete accounting of all marketing expenditures.

[34:40] I ask Rudy’s take on the validity of a CAO — Chief Attribution Officer. He can’t find any reason why this shouldn’t be, but he puts his finger on — and we discuss — why the adoption of attribution is often so arduous.

[41:13] Rudy chances thoughts on the future of attribution, its potential, and pitfalls.

[45:33] Rudy shares one thing he knows that no one else knows. I thank him for coming on the podcast and sharing so much of his experience.

Be sure to tune in for the next episode and thanks for listening!

Connect with our guest:

Rudy Grahn on LinkedIn