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What Is Marketing Attribution: Definition, Strategies, Examples

Marketing Attribution

    The marketing ecosystem may evolve quickly, but its core remains the same. That is, to ensure customer satisfaction across the purchasing journey. This is precisely what the objective of marketing attribution is.

    Consumers face multiple marketing channels to find specific products and services. While this may seem a little daunting, the situation is far more complex for marketers. Preparing campaigns and ensuring a positive response is hard enough. The challenge is amplified as marketers determine which campaigns work and those that do not. Marketing attribution is one of the methods to have a bird’s eye view of marketing performance.

    This post will introduce you to marketing attribution, how it is done, and other salient information that will help you see how well your marketing efforts are paying off.

    Core Definition of Marketing Attribution

    The most straightforward answer to the question, what is marketing attribution? is that it is a process of crediting the source and outcome of marketing strategies concerning ROI conversions. As simple as its definition, a b2b marketing attribution can be complex. It can be done across many customer touchpoints in multiple campaigns. You need to go through massive data, which you will need correct attribution. Although there is b2b attribution software to gather and analyze data, you still have to understand how it works. You need to figure out which attribution model to use to get the analyses you need.

    You see, b2b attribution can be challenging since there are many things about it that you must know. But to master what is marketing attribution, the first thing you need to understand deeper is the different attribution models. 

    Types of Marketing Attribution Models

    Generally, there are two marketing attribution models: single-source attribution and multi-source attribution. Let’s dive in to understand each type better.

    → Single-source Marketing Attribution

    There are two types of attribution in this model:

    1.  First-touch attribution - This model credits the first platform the consumer interacted with in his buying journey. Take a social media post, for example. If a customer makes a purchase, that social media post is credited a hundred percent for the conversion. It does not matter if the customer went through more touchpoints or purchased weeks after seeing the post.

    2.  Last-touch attribution- As for this model, the last touchpoint that the customer interacted with will count as the most significant thus, 100% of the conversion credit goes to it. When a customer browses through the social media ads, reads a promotional email, and then proceeds to browse through the website before purchasing, the website gets all the credit for the sale.

    → Multi-source Marketing Attribution

    The same attribution logic is applied to multiple-source marketing attribution. The difference is that it credits all touchpoints the customer went through before a purchase. These are six types of multiple-source attribution models that you must know:

    1.  Linear - As its name suggests, the linear model credits all touchpoints equally. Although it is great to have for short buying cycles, it can be challenging to identify the intrinsic values of each touchpoint if there are lots of them. For example, you have multiple campaigns running at the same time. Some can influence the leads to buy, and others may be boring.

    2.  Time-decay- A time-decay attribution model gives more extensive credit to the most recent touchpoints for lengthy sales cycles with multiple touchpoints. This assumes that earlier touchpoints are not as impactful as the last touchpoint.

    3.  U-Shaped- In this model, two touchpoints are considered the most significant, the first and lead generation touchpoints. They get 40% each of the credits, and the remaining 20% is divided among all other touchpoints. What this model highlights is the value of lead generation to the ROI

    4.  W-Shaped- This model works similarly to the U-shaped model, but a third touchpoint is also considered the most significant. Instead of counting just the first and lead creation touchpoints, the opportunity creation is also added to the mix. So the credits are split with 30% each of the three touch-points then the remaining 10% is credited to the remaining touchpoints.

    5.  Full-path- It is like the W-shaped model but includes the final closing touchpoint. This means that 22.5% credit is given to the first, lead generation, opportunity creation, and final close touchpoints. The remaining 10% is distributed to the touchpoints in between.

    6.  Custom - If you find the other attribution models complex and do not give you the data you need for crediting conversions, you may want to consider creating a customized attribution model. In this approach, you have the freedom to track and measure the impact of touchpoints that you think are the most significant in the customer journey. Although it is more time-consuming to develop, the custom model will give you an accurate view of the impact of the different touchpoints

    Marketing Attribution Benefits

    1. Better Marketing Evaluation. Instead of merely tracking marketing performance in terms of ROI, it is possible to evaluate the performance of each touchpoint and its direct impact on sales. This is essential if you are keen on understanding the potency of the entire marketing and weed out areas that do not perform much.

    2. Cost Reduction. The goal of marketing attribution is to identify which strategies generate sales. Those that do not help with the ROI can be dismissed, significantly reducing the marketing costs. Discarding poorly performing campaigns allows you to either conserve or reallocate resources.

    3. Marketing Optimization, As marketing attribution lets you evaluate the performance of your marketing campaigns, it also allows you to see why some strategies succeed while others fail. You will have the chance to revamp the faulty touchpoints or further enhance those working great to maintain their potencies.

    4. Maximizes ROI. Among the objectives of attribution is to maximize the returns on investment in marketing. While reducing costs is already an excellent way to realize this goal, another way is to innovate the parts that have helped peak the impact on sales.

    Marketing does wonders for the business, but it is also essential that you know what works and what does not. It helps that there is marketing attribution as a way to see how each marketing component works. It has plenty of benefits that will not only help you see your marketing performance in a clearer light. In a way, attribution also opens up new opportunities to promptly innovate even better ideas to achieve your business goals.

    Starting a Marketing Attribution Journey

    The best way to start with attribution is to set your objectives. Make them specific by stating the exact goals why you want to attribute. Is it to rake in more revenue, optimize your marketing, or both? These objectives will also guide you in choosing the process or models to use for your attribution.

    It is also strongly advised to understand how the different models work. No attribution model will work in all types of business. Identifying which fits your marketing structure best will give you the best attribution reports that will let you align the process to your objectives. Try to pick out a suitable attribution model by studying the customer journey. See which model fits well with the length of your sales cycle, customer preferences, and other related factors. Attribution is only effective when you do it accurately.

    At this point, you might wonder how you can gather, measure, and analyze all data that goes through during the attribution process. Naturally, you will need the help of reliable b2b attribution software to sort it all out. Other than an attribution program, you can also check out several tracking solutions for your marketing activities across different platforms and mediums. Some of these solutions include:

    1.  JavaScript Tracking - a snippet of code is added to your website. It will track all user actions on the website. It will help since all other marketing activities direct the leads toward the website.

    2.  UTMs/Cookies - Urchin traffic monitors and cookies track clicks and marketing performance. Take note, however, that some countries regulate the use of cookies in tracking user movements on the website.

    3.  MarTech APIs - These are tools or applications used to automate collecting and analyzing marketing data.

    Generally, marketers rely on metrics to measure leads, conversions, and revenue. These solutions will help you through the huge task of correlating and interpreting marketing data. By adding it as a supplement to a suitable marketing attribution model, you will have the best chances of using marketing attribution to your advantage.

    Your turn…

    In today’s competitive marketing landscape, knowing what is marketing attribution is not only essential but a smart move for every marketer. Knowing which campaigns perform well is crucial to getting the most out of your marketing budget.

    Some marketing attribution models may be complex, but the challenge substantially pays off. The insightful and meaningful data you get from marketing attribution will be your ultimate tool for determining which strategies benefit your ROI.

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