Understanding the Different Attribution Models in Marketing and Their Relevance

Online marketing is a pretty hard nut to crack these days. A typical consumer utilizes up to 10 channels solely for communication. It’s for this reason that now, more than ever, digital marketing business is divided into distinct parts. 

According to research, one of the major concerns by online marketers is the struggle to find the balance between the best return of investment and financing tools and technologies necessary to keep the business running. As the saying goes, you need to move with the times. In the age of technology, it definitely applies.

Marketing teams are also reevaluating their metrics to accommodate updates. About 41% of digital marketing companies use marketing attribution modeling to measure ROI accurately.

First, let’s begin by discussing the definition of marketing attribution.

Defining Marketing Attribution

Marketing attribution encompasses the process marketers utilize to check the value or ROI of the various channels that bridge the business to the consumers. It identifies the contribution of each of the platforms that clients use to connect and purchase your services or products.

When thinking of the final, it does not seem to be elaborate. But no one goes directly to your business website to buy something. Various channels and messages are responsible for leading customers to your site. It could be a Facebook advertisement, a daily newsletter, a random Snap ad – you name it! 

If we could easily trace your buyer’s complete journey from end to end, a digital marketer’s life would be easy. In fact, we probably would not even need one, then. Hey, everyone could do it if it’s possible. However, it isn’t. That’s why you’re here. It just isn’t feasible.

Enter marketing attribution. With many pivotal factors to dwell on, Operational marketing functions have become riddled with complexities. However, marketing attribution models exist to take charge of multi-channel selling.

Now, the question is — what are the common types of marketing attribution? 

The Most Common Marketing Attribution Models

Maybe you are looking for an intro to marketing or just want to go over some technical terms. This comprehensive guide will help you figure out the overall picture. 

Let’s talk more about these different attribution designs:

  • First-touch attribution
  • Last-touch attribution
  • Multi-source attribution
  • Weighted multi-source attribution.

Marketing attribution ranges from essential to advanced models. The latter has integrated algorithms and is more logical. However, it must be said that each attribution technique has pros and cons. It is the reason why marketing attribution models is a current topic of controversy in the marketing industry.

Defining Single Source Marketing Attribution

Single source attribution models align all credits to a single touchpoint, which could either be the first or the final touch.

The first-touch attribution designates the credit to the primary channel the customer utilized to carry out the transaction. It can be in the form or a downloaded resource. Its primary advantage is easy implementation. You simply tag the original source linked to the last conversion. With this marketing attribution model, you won’t receive any reports following the preliminary touch, which can alter the significance of other channels in your data.

Last-touch attribution makes it easier to pinpoint where to give credit since it is the final touchpoint before the deed is done. If you are wondering what is last-touch attribution, the most fitting examples are sales call or the last pitch deck. On the one hand, it can’t elucidate past interactions, including social media engagement, website views, and sales calls). It leads to valuable loss of insights relevant when assessing other marketing channels.

In reality, there are different marketing channels for customers to interact with that can seal the deal for your business, which is why most marketing experts deem single-source attribution old and no longer reliable.

Defining Multi-Source Marketing Attribution

Multi-touch attribution or MTA design offers credit to all the contributing channels that lead to the final sale. MTA fits the bill in representing the entire buyer’s journey. Therefore, it has attribution to different touchpoints, ranging from the total number of ads, the social posts, to email newsletters and webinars. Although MTA is impartial, it does not cover the real amount of work each channel has contributed. Moreover, it is difficult to perform. 

Six Types of MTA Models

  • The most basic MTA model is linear attribution. It awards each touchpoint the same significance and earnings credit.
  • Longer sale cycles have more volume and more complicated touchpoints. With the time decay model, only the most relevant touchpoints are given credit. Relevance is measured by currentness. 
  • The U-shaped MTA model offers most of the credit to two major touchpoints, which are the first touch and the lead creation. Forty percent of the credit is awarded to the first touch. Another 40% is offered to the lead creation. The rest is split into all the touchpoints in between.
  • W-Shaped follows the same concept as U-shaped MTA. But instead of two main points, it has three. So we have first touch and lead creation as the first two, and the third one being opportunity creation. Each of these points receives 30% of the credit. The rest is divided into the staying middle.
  • The full path marketing attribution model closes the W-shaped design. Credit goes to all critical points involved in the consumer’s journey. However, the staying middle receives lower recognition. Its most important advantage is giving the sales team’s follow up interactions the same value as the initial phase marketing activities.
  • Custom design allows the marketer to determine the allocation of attribution points to specific touchpoints. This is possibly, the most advanced model because it helps the team use their expertise, experience, and industry knowledge to pinpoint which parts of the customer’s journey receive more recognition.

Defining Weighted Multi-Source Attribution

These models make it possible for you to give credit to all interactions present in the sales cycle. Additionally, it allows you to pinpoint the touchpoints that contributed the bulk of the work. Technically, this strategy enables you to capture a more precise overview of your buyer’s journey. However, weighted attribution models are very challenging to execute.

With this model, you need to give a part of the consumer’s revenue credit to different touchpoints, which can only be defined by the different multi-touch attribution models your organization picks out.

Which is the Ideal Model?

Wouldn’t it be nice to have one clear-cut answer, but not even the most exceptional marketing team in the world can give a definitive response? Generally speaking, each design’s performance will hinge on the company’s needs. There are many tools you can choose from. Moreover, be prepared for several attempts before figuring out which marketing attribution yields the best results for your company.

It is critical to consider how each touchpoint can affect your business’ performance. It has an impact on your company’s finances. For instance, multi-channel attribution methods help you give value to all the proper channels. It will influence your bean counters to allocate more funds to these useful platforms that maximize your business’ earning potential.

Identifying the Roles of Attribution Models In Your Business

Campaigns and branding are multifactorial. The game becomes more difficult when you apply complicated designs. The integration of both multi-touch and weighted multi-touch attribution designs requires IT expertise. Moreover, the finance department would want to be involved when setting goals and discussing ROI.

CRM follows the same idea. Multi-touch attribution design also loops in your CRM stand by dissemination information straight into the sales machine. You could use the same tool to monitor and report the effectiveness of different sales and marketing campaigns. Otherwise, the data will be hidden away from the eyes of significant personnel. The consequence is you cannot use it to optimize future campaigns.

Fortunately, it is a good sign that marketing attributions are now a multi-touch model. It is an indication that businesses are factoring marketing touches that happened with present potential consumers, logged as contacts. These contacts are individuals who have not acquired any of your goods and services — yet. Knowing that they are assigned to a specific team, they are not considered new leads. Advanced models seemingly have an influence over finding ways to pursue sales. This is quite an upgrade. Traditionally, sales experts focus on what is being sourced and rarely have no insights on a possible consumer. The effort remains continuous for marketing experts to make sales professionals understand that marketing is more than just about lead generation. When partnered together, they can close offers more efficiently.

Starting Marketing Attribution: Where to Begin

Customers appreciate companies and brand-new channels that take advantage of progressive marketing technologies. Attribution, in turn, has increased in significance when it comes to finding your marketing organization’s focal points. We are all still waiting for the word to come out, in case somebody has identified the most successful marketing attribution model. In the meantime, you could tweak your approach according to your business needs. Again, it is vital to keep your data merged with the technology stack and CRM. Hopefully, you will see more lead conversion opportunities.

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