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Refine Labs Study Confirms Measurement Gap in Software-Based Attribution & Releases Hybrid Attribution Framework

Posted by Chris Walker on April 7, 2023

A Refine Labs data study concluded there was a 90% measurement gap in what software-based attribution is claiming versus what first-party customer-led data is showing. Specifically, “dark social” channels and programs. 

The study, conducted over twelve months, involved 620 declared-intent conversions, software-based and self-reported attribution data, and $21.5MM in closed won annual recurring revenue. 

The results demonstrated the measurement gap the agency calls The Attribution Mirage – the term used to define the current state of revenue attribution that is over-reliant on software-based tracking methods and fails to properly measure demand creation programs.


Dark social channels and programs, including social media, podcasts, word of mouth, and communities, are drastically under-reported or entirely missed by software-based attribution. 


For example, in the collected data set, Podcast was attributed to 53% of revenue ($11.4MM closed won revenue) via self-reported attribution, but 0% was attributed to the Podcast by software-based attribution. 


You can access the full data study published in The Vault, a research & content library. 


As a direct result of the learnings of this study, Refine Labs has created a Hybrid Attribution Framework, recommended to B2B revenue teams to more effectively measure the impact of demand creation programs, especially within dark social. The Hybrid Attribution Framework accurately attributes the impact of multiple marketing channels on a business's revenue, providing valuable insights into the effectiveness of programs that are creating and capturing demand. 


Refine Labs has implemented this framework with dozens of their service customers in The Lab and customers report it has been a huge unlock in showing executives the business value of a demand creation strategy. 

"This is a significant milestone for modernizing demand gen and we plan to continue challenging the status quo to help revenue leaders make informed business decisions for their go-to-market strategy," said Chris Walker, CEO & Founder of Refine Labs.


Learn more about how Hybrid Attribution can change your business and how to implement it.

Refine Labs is a revenue R&D laboratory that helps high-growth B2B companies unlock sustainable growth by innovating their revenue engine as they innovate their product. With revenue R&D - we prove out new revenue programs, scale the programs that work, then train your team on how to operate them at scale - creating a predictable pipeline of revenue innovation that drives compounding gains.

Learn more about revenue R&D at www.refinelabs.com. Connect with us on LinkedIn, TikTok. Listen to our Podcasts - Revenue Vitals, Stacking Growth.


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