Tony Lang

On September 23 a movie about baseball’s front offices will be opening in theaters across the country, starring some fellow I’m often mistaken for (just kidding…it’s Clooney I’m always mistaken for…ok, so a young Steve Carrell), based on the book Moneyball by Michael Lewis. The book focuses on Oakland A’s general manager Billy Beane, who took a rigorous, statistically heavy analytics approach to signing players, an approach that often flew in the face of conventional wisdom.

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All of us prefer it when things go well, and when they do, we pay attention to why so we can recreate that success later. In the world of paid search marketing, that often boils down to attribution. Here’s an example of how this works.

Let’s say you are at a bar and you see an attractive person—for illustrative purposes only, let’s assume it’s a woman. You go out on a limb and ask the bartender to send over a $10 house brand cocktail (like a generic search term). She accepts the drink, you wave, she nods briefly, and that’s as far as it goes.

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