We’re living in a digital marketing golden age as the widespread adoption of the internet has allowed businesses to expand touchpoints into new territory. Even so, the mountain of data, as a result, makes it hard to know which touchpoint led to a sale.
Luckily, there is an answer in the form of marketing attribution, where businesses attempt to isolate the exact moment a potential customer becomes a paying patron. Although practical, marketing attribution is not perfect.
Despite its imperfections, marketing attribution is an invaluable tool for your organization that helps determine ad spend budgets and measures successful campaigns. Explore everything you need to know about marketing attribution and learn how a partner like HYROS can help unlock significant ROI for your efforts.
What Is Marketing Attribution?
The marketing attribution process is a form of data science that seeks to understand the impact of marketing efforts. Whether you primarily sell through an e-commerce platform or use a multi-channel approach with online and offline channels, marketing attribution can tell you which marketing mix produces adequate lead generation and conversion results.
Marketing attribution models help marketers assign credit to the various touchpoints a customer encounters before making a purchase decision. These touchpoints can be anything from search engine optimization (SEO) blogs to social media ads, but they don’t always have equal weight in a customer’s decision.
A marketing tactic’s varying degree of impact means marketers utilize different models, like custom attribution, last and first-click-attribution models, and position-based attribution, to obtain an accurate view of which interaction leads to a desired action.
The Benefits of Marketing Attribution
The amount of data we collect for our businesses is already staggering, but not putting it to good use should be a crime. Marketing attribution data can tell you how effective marketing campaigns are, which channels produce the best results, and which creative catches your customer’s eye.
Here are some benefits of reporting on marketing attribution:
- Improved decision-making – Marketing attribution gives insight into which channels drive results, attract the largest audience, and generate the biggest conversion rates. You can make more informed critical decisions based on attribution data, allowing you to continue to meet or exceed business goals.
- Enhanced customer experience – Forbes reported that over 66% of consumers demand companies comprehend their unique needs. Attribution data can tell you which marketing activities resonate most with your customers, allowing you to customize their experience, leading to improved brand awareness and loyalty.
- Marketing spend optimization – Ad campaigns and marketing strategies continue to balloon budgets, but understanding how to put that budget to best use will improve your marketing ROI. Attribution can help you see which marketing activities produce the most bang for your buck.
- Informed sales cycle and product changes – Invest in an attribution tool with technology like machine learning or artificial intelligence, like HYROS, and identify hidden trends that can help guide you to sales cycle and product design changes. Marketing attribution data gives you a business case for why changes are necessary.
Everything from customer interactions to bottom-line P&L numbers can benefit from marketing attribution. Marketing teams can better use financial capital, while business leaders can dive deeply into strategy.
The Various Types of Marketing Attribution Models
Marketing channels bear different weight in customer interactions with your company. For example, a billboard might draw brand awareness, but a coupon is the primary driver for a customer making a purchasing decision.
Various types of attribution models give credit to different marketing touchpoints throughout the buyer’s journey. While each method has its upsides, there are also some disadvantages to consider before diving head-first into a specific strategy.
Here’s a brief look at some familiar attribution models:
- First-touch attribution – Sometimes called first-click attribution, it is an attribution model that gives credit to the first touchpoint a customer interacts with. These touchpoints include Facebook ads, Google ads, or sponsored social media posts.
- Last-touch attribution – Also referred to as last-click attribution, this model gives full credit to the last touchpoint a customer interacts with, such as a product landing page where a customer finally makes a purchase.
- Multi-touch attribution – This channel combines all marketing touchpoints by measuring and assigning a value to each interaction in the customer journey. Marketers use U-shaped attribution and W-shaped attribution models, with the bulk of the credit distributed in a U- or W-shaped pattern.
- Multi-channel attribution – Unlike multi-touch attribution models, multi-channel attribution looks at all possible marketing channels, such as organic search and emails. Marketers use linear attribution models and time decay attribution models, each providing their own benefits.
Each model comes with its advantages and drawbacks. For example, a first-touch attribution model ignores any subsequent interactions a customer has with your business. Furthermore, models that credit last interactions ignore the potential awareness provided by initial advertising methods, such as a billboard.
Getting Started With Marketing Attribution
While several tools are available, like Google Analytics, which helps with digital marketing channels, cross-channel enterprises need something more robust. But one might ask where to get started with attribution, which models are ideal, and what the cost could look like.
Before you jump head-first into marketing attribution, you’ll want to make some considerations first. These considerations should include:
- Clear business goals – Specific and time-oriented goals will help you decide which attribution model will suit your needs and how to allocate ad spend. Your business goals will also establish which metrics are most crucial for making decisions and what tools to invest in.
- Outlining data collection and integration methods – Setting business goals is the first step, but the method of achieving those goals is equally important. The next step is to outline the data collection process and how tools will integrate with your current systems. Establish if you will use your existing CRM or if an integrated tool is ideal.
- Invest in technology and tools – Most CRMs do okay with data collection and organization. However, adding a partner like HYROS can bring new technology to the table, such as AI and machine learning. These tools help uncover hidden trends and can help attribute offline sales for a more accurate view of marketing efforts.
Likewise, technologies offered by providers like HYROS can help eliminate human error and miscalculations due to misattributed data. Plus, you can introduce automation into workflows that save time, effort, and money during marketing activities.
Seamlessly Track Marketing Attribution With HYROS
Marketing attribution is an invaluable tool for marketing teams and executive decision-makers because it tells where in the buyer’s journey a customer decided to make a purchase or take a desired action. It highlights which marketing channels are most effective at lead generation and can help dial in creative for maximum impact.
Although it can be overwhelming to comb through mountains of data to pinpoint which touchpoint made the difference, with various models that assign a weighted value to different positions in the sales cycle, you can obtain more transparent insight into which avenues perform the best.
Of course, having an advanced tool will make this job even easier and provide greater accuracy along the way. Businesses are turning to HYROS because of our advanced technology, like AI and machine learning, which gives a thorough method of attributing online and offline sales to various marketing efforts. Apply today to see if HYROS would fit your organization well!