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Attribution – how do I know which channel is driving the revenue?

Relying exclusively on data derived from cookies and last-click may be very misleading for a business since that information is not completely accurate and precise. The customer journey is much more complicated, and therefore, calls for more technologically-advanced solutions.

What is more, 45% of digital touchpoints are missed by traditional measurement tools, making a lot of small businesses and start-ups using outdated forms of customer analysis more vulnerable and incompetent of following the customer’s journey.


What is marketing attribution?

Marketing attribution plays a very important role in the current business environment. Nowadays, successful companies are omnichannel-oriented, meaning they publish content throughout many different channels, in order to drive better relationships with an audience.

Consequently, a single customer is most likely to be present in various channels as well (emails, social media sites, online events, etc.), and your goal is to estimate which of those means would be the most effective to target while building a relationship with a potential buyer.

Marketing Attribution focuses on detecting which channels and messages have the greatest impact on the decision to convert or take the desired next step in the marketing process.


Types of marketing attributions

  • First-touch attribution:
    It is the first touchpoint a user makes (first advertisement they encounter). This type is the easiest to implement and lacks any confusion.
  • Last-touch attribution:
    Contrary to the first-touch attribution, this is the last touchpoint a user makes (the last advertisement they encounter).
  • Multi-touch attribution:
    assigns a share of the credit to more than one touchpoint, therefore it is considered to be a more accurate model that takes into account all factors a customer takes before making a final purchase.

As you can see, the multi-touch attribution provides marketers with more detailed information about the customer journey, and therefore, is most commonly chosen as the main model to follow by successful companies.

However, the multi-touch attribution might have a very diverse character:

  • Linear:
    Emphasis every interaction equally, giving each touchpoint the same amount of credit for gaining the customer’s conversion.

Example: Organic search attracts a user to your website- your website’s call of action makes a user subscribe to your page email list- display ad encourages a user to visit your website- a Facebook ad drives traffic to the website again, and finally converting the user into a regular customer.

  • U-Shaped:
    Gives credit to two key touchpoints (40% goes to the first one, 40% to the lead one, while the remaining 20% is divided into remaining touchpoints in between).
  • W-Shaped:
    Have a lot of similarities with the U-Shaped one, however, the difference emerges due to the extra touchpoint which the W-shaped model contains (the opportunity stage).

    As a result, the first and lead touchpoint, as well as the opportunity stage share respectively 30% of the credit, while the remaining points receive 10% only.

  • Time Decay:
    Weights each touchpoint differently, meaning that the last touchpoint gets most of the credit (closest to the actual conversion), while the first one receives the least.
  • U-Shaped:
    Gives credit to two key touchpoints (40% goes to the first one, 40% to the lead one, while the remaining 20% is divided into remaining touchpoints in between).
  • W-Shaped:
    Have a lot of similarities with the U-Shaped one, however, the difference emerges due to the extra touchpoint which the W-shaped model contains (the opportunity stage).

    As a result, the first and lead touchpoint, as well as the opportunity stage share respectively 30% of the credit, while the remaining points receive 10% only.

  • Time Decay:
    Weights each touchpoint differently, meaning that the last touchpoint gets most of the credit (closest to the actual conversion), while the first one receives the least.

Which attribution model is the best for my company?

There is no right answer, since it depends specifically on your business characteristics. First of all, you need to know your customers’ insights and understand exactly how their customer journey looks like.

As mentioned above, traditional methods of finding data about the customer journey are most often fail, and consequently, companies require more advanced solutions.

One of the most affordable and precise methods existing on the market is Customer Data Platform. The software scans all data about the individual customers in real-time, presenting marketers with detailed insights about each user’s customer journey.

Without data gathered by the CDP, a company is not able to determine precisely which attribution model to choose, and afterward assemble all information needed to evaluate your offline and online campaigns.

Moreover, understanding a customer journey is one of the most important tasks of every business; without it, the company is much more likely to fail clients’ expectations.

The environment is very competitive. In addition, most of the well-established large enterprises had already successfully implemented attribution models within their business activities. Staying behind that opportunity as a small company or a start-up might cause very damaging effects on the firm’s health.


Why marketing attribution is important?

  • Precise view on the entire purchasing process:
    Attribution gives you a unique possibility to track every step your customer takes before deciding upon buying a certain product/service from your offer. It is also a perfect way to increase ROI: reaching the right customer with a right message at the right time.
  • Improved personalization:
    You are able to communicate with your clients at a more personal level thanks to the knowledge about their individual customer journey. In other words, you know what your customer wants at each level of a purchase-making decision making, and as a result, you are able to target an individual accordingly.
  • Improved revenue:
    Attribution makes it easier for you to calculate precisely how much money needs to be spent on various campaigns (where to invest an extra sum and where to abstain, in order to generate profits for the company).
  • Improved products/services
    You are able to design a perfect product or service, fitting in-depth customers’ needs, thanks to having a precise understanding of an audience’s demands.
  • Confident decision-making:
    You do not need to be worried about making a wrong decision which would put the entire sales process to an end, as long as you use the data presented by the CDP within your attribution model accurately.
  • Better channels understanding:
    It is nothing unique that a company operates within various channels in order to enhance a relationship with its customers.

    However, the key point is to understand each channel’s pros and cons, as well as the way they can effectively cooperate together. The attribution model helps companies track engagement on each channel.

All of those attribution benefits would not be possible to achieve without having precise data delivered thanks to the Customer Data Platform implementation!


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