Do you know which of the marketing strategies or channels are bringing you the most customers?
That might sound like a simple question. But it is not.
At any given point in time, marketers are using different marketing channels and strategies to attract and convert the most customers. Since every customer goes through multiple touchpoints in the buyer’s journey, it can be difficult to figure out which marketing channel or strategy has the greatest impact on your company’s revenue generation.
This is where marketing attribution comes in.
In this article, you will learn what marketing attribution is and how to build an attribution model that is tailored to your business.
What is a Marketing Attribution Model?
Marketing attribution refers to the process by which companies figure out which of their marketing campaigns or channels are directly responsible for converting website visitors into customers.
Marketing attribution models help marketers evaluate each touch point in the sales funnel using a set of guidelines.
By building and implementing a marketing attribution model, you and your team can make more informed decisions about which channels and campaigns to focus on.
This way you can increase our ROI while reducing your marketing expenses. This is crucial as more than 50% of companies today still devote less than 10% of their total budget to their marketing campaigns and activities.
Marketing attribution models fall into two general categories: single-tier and multi-tier attribution models.
Single-touch attribution models
This single-touch marketing attribution model shows you which of your marketing channels attracted a potential customer to visit your website for the first time.
Companies often use this when planning to launch a marketing campaign that focuses on brand promotion.
Last touch write-up
As the name suggests, the “last-touch” or “last-click” marketing attribution model assigns all conversion credit to the last customer touchpoint before the purchase or opportunity creation.
Multi-touch attribution models
The disadvantage of using a single-tier marketing attribution model is that both the first-touch and last-touch attribution models only show a single interaction in the buyer’s journey. They don’t show if other marketing channels you use also influenced a prospect’s buying decision.
As a result, many marketers use one or more of the following multi-touch marketing attribution models.
Lead conversion touch attribution model
This is possibly the most commonly used attribution model as it shows which channels have the greatest impact on converting your website visitors into qualified leads.
The reason is simple: generating qualified leads is still the greatest challenge for companies in all industries. By identifying the channels and campaigns that bring in ready-to-buy leads, you can more easily convert them into customers.
Linear attribution model
This tiered marketing attribution model spreads the conversion credit evenly across all channels used in the buyer’s journey from start to finish.
The disadvantage of this multilevel attribution model is that the points are evenly distributed across all of the touch points, so you cannot identify the best performing channels.
Time decay attribution model
Similar to the linear attribution model, the time-decay attribution model shows how each marketing channel you use affects the eventual conversion of a visitor into a customer.
The difference between the two models is the way they distribute points.
Instead of giving the same points to every marketing channel, the value of the points awarded in the time-decay attribution model is based on how close each touchpoint is to the actual conversion. This means that channels used at the bottom of the sales funnel will score higher than channels used at the top of the funnel or at the beginning of the buyer’s journey.
U-shaped attribution model
This marketing attribution model gets its name from the way the points are distributed.
Here both the first and the last contact point of your sales funnel receive 40 points each, out of a total of 100 points or the total conversion value. The remaining 20 points are then distributed to the marketing channels used between the first and last touch.
This model works if you assume that all of your leads will complete the same journey, starting at the top of the funnel. As this study shows, 74% of B2B customers would have made half of the buyer’s journey before contacting you.
More importantly, not everyone who gets into your marketing funnel goes through the entire buyer’s journey. In fact, 79% of your leads never make a purchase.
Custom attribution model
Custom attribution models or algorithmic attribution models are rapidly gaining popularity among companies.
As the name suggests, this model is specifically tailored to your business based on your buyer personality, the buyer’s journey, and the dates of the marketing campaigns you have launched.
With this model, you have more control over how you credit each touchpoint based on how much your customers’ conversions are affected.
Selecting and building an effective marketing attribution model
1. Review all of your marketing efforts
By conducting a review of all of your marketing channels and campaigns, you can get a clearer picture of how many touchpoints are spread across your sales funnels. You and your team can also decide whether creating a custom attribution model is the best option for your business.
After all, building a marketing attribution model from scratch requires a significant amount of resources. So you want to make sure your investment is worth it.
Create a custom attribution model if you:
- Have a large marketing team / access to more resources
- Use multiple online and offline marketing channels
- Previously tried one or more standard marketing attribution models with no success
- You need to provide stakeholders with a fuller report on how each touchpoint affects your sales and ROI
2. Set clear goals
Once you have determined that a custom marketing attribution model is the best option for your business, you need to select the primary objective for creating one.
When you have a clear and specific goal, your marketing team can determine which records to analyze and use as a reference for building your attribution model.
Setting a clear goal will also help your team determine the metrics they’ll use as a benchmark to determine whether or not you need adjustments to help you meet the goals.
3. Assign your customer journey
Your customer journey serves as a roadmap for your entire attribution model as it allows you to identify the specific marketing channels that you are monitoring.
Use your customer journey map to categorize each touchpoint based on its impact on your customer’s purchasing decisions and distribute the points accordingly.
4. Integrate lead scoring
Lead scoring determines which of your leads are most likely to convert into customers.
This is critical because once you’ve identified your “hot” leads, you can identify common touchpoints that led to the conversion and incorporate them into your custom attribution model.
5. Invest in the right tools
Manually tracking and monitoring the data for each point of contact can be extremely tedious and time consuming. Not to mention, it will be prone to failure.
Investing in a unified CRM like Insightly makes it easy to track and automate your custom attribution model. Plus, along the way, you can collect data across multiple marketing channels as well as create dashboards and visual reports of all key performance metrics.
6. Customize your attribution report
If you want to create an attribution model for your company from scratch, you will also need to customize the sales reports in your CRM.
With Insightly’s advanced reporting capabilities, you can create a custom report based on the touchpoints you select and the specific values you set.
You can also choose when these reports are generated and automatically shared with your team. You can use these regular reports to monitor, assess, and adjust your custom attribution model and keep you and your team updated with your goals.
Implementing a standard or custom marketing attribution model takes a lot of time and effort. But it will be worth it in the long run.
For starters, a marketing attribution model will help you and your team identify and focus on the best performing channels rather than worrying about ROI every time you launch a new campaign.
Ultimately, you can use marketing attribution models to maximize your marketing budget, improve customer loyalty, and generate more revenue and scalability.
Of course, a marketing attribution model isn’t foolproof, especially if you’re using one you built from scratch. So test regularly, use data to adjust your attribution model, and keep track of your goals.