The easiest way to describe it is as the process of giving the right value to the marketing touchpoints that a prospect went through before becoming a lead or customer. Every marketing effort—a channel, network, keyword, piece of content, etc.—serves a different purpose and needs to be evaluated correctly to be understood.
More and more platforms are adding powerful attribution reporting so you can better understand where your customers came from. This helps you understand the content, marketing strategies, conversion paths, frequency patterns, and other things that lead to a sale and a conversion. But at first, such reports might seem confusing or overwhelming. That’s why we’re going to give you a tour for beginners.
This post is for people who are still learning about how to give credit in marketing.
What is an Attribution Report?
Using pre-built models, marketing attribution reports put together all the relevant interactions from your buyers’ journey so you can be sure which channels and content are helping you reach your marketing goals. Multi-touch attribution keeps track of and assigns a value to every interaction a contact has before a key point in their journey.
Multi-touch attribution reports are helpful because they let marketers figure out which marketing and sales activities led to a conversion in your flywheel. With this information, you can decide where to spend your time and money in a smarter way.
This way of reporting can be used, for example, by marketers to see how a blog post or social media strategy affected sales or by salespeople to figure out what kinds of sales interactions bring in the most money.
Two kinds of multi-touch attribution are supported by experts. The first is contact create attribution, which keeps track of what contacts did in your CRM before they were made. And the second is the revenue attribution analysis, which looks at how people got to be clients.
Getting a handle on leads
This type of marketing attribution shows how marketers can affect the number of leads in a particular campaign. Even though leads are not sales, they are still important because they show how marketing content or techniques are attracting prospects or new audiences, which could lead to sales or other big financial gains.
How to Give Credit in B2B Marketing
This is another example of a marketing attribution that is important for business-to-business transactions. In this sector, businesses sell goods or services to other businesses or to experts in the field. B2B attribution could be about bigger purchases from businesses, memberships, or leads, while B2C attribution could be about smaller transactions.
Which Attribution Report Is Best?
The best way to get started is to think about the goal you want to measure against. Do you want to know how your sales and marketing efforts turned into leads, or do you want to know how much money they brought in?
These examples show one way to think about when each kind of attribution report should be used. Contact creation attribution takes into account all interactions up until the contact (or lead) was created in your CRM. This report is very helpful for web marketers and content marketers because it tells them for sure whether blog posts, landing pages, social media posts, or ads are more likely to bring in new leads.
This contact creation attribution report table shows how much each referral URL added to the number of contacts. That does mean that, depending on the model, a person’s journey can only be a small part of their journey if they interact with a URL.
In revenue attribution, each interaction a contact has with your business before becoming a client is taken into account. From each interaction, the amount of money you made from the deal is subtracted from the report. This graph from the revenue attribution report shows how much each source of income adds to your net income.
What purpose does attribution modeling serve in the organization?
Even though it’s called “marketing attribution,” it has become a company-wide task because of how branding, campaigns, and customer experience are handled today. This is especially true when using more complicated models. It may be necessary to take part in the deployment of multi-touch and weighted multi-touch attribution models, and finance teams will want to be involved in the program’s goal-setting and return on investment (ROI).
The same integrated way of thinking is used in CRM. For multi-touch attribution solutions that work with your business’s CRM, sending attribution information right into the sales engine can be helpful. Sales and marketing can use the same application to track, monitor, and report on how their campaigns are doing and how they are planned. Without it, the information you collect won’t be shared with the rest of the company and will be much harder to use to improve future campaigns.
The change to multi-touch marketing attribution models, on the other hand, means that companies are now evaluating marketing touchpoints that happen with current contacts. Even though a sales team has already been assigned to these contacts, they are still considered prospects because they haven’t bought anything yet.
This means that the company is paying more attention to how marketing affects a prospect than to “sourcing” (finding a new opportunity for sales to pursue). The problem is that, traditionally, sales teams only want to hear about what is sourced, not how marketing affects prospects they are already pursuing.
Marketing can have the most impact on the business by doing more than just generating leads. It can have the most impact by working strategically with sales to close deals faster than before. This is something that marketing works hard to get sales to agree with.
How does Google Analytics make an Attribution Report?
You can also run Attribution Models with Google Analytics. You’ll notice that the report uses different language, so let’s go over what it all means.
- Last Interaction: In this model, the user’s last page or source is the only thing that can be blamed for the conversion.
- Last Non-Direct Click: The last non-direct click model gives credit to the user’s second-to-last page or source before they make a purchase.
- Last AdWords Click: In the last AdWords click model, the conversion is credited to the most recent time someone clicked on your website from an AdWords ad.
- Initial Interaction: In this model, all of the credit for the conversion goes to the first source.
- Linear: In a linear model, each credit is given to a source or page that was viewed along the path to conversion.
- Time Decay: This method gives more weight to sites or sources that have recently been looked at and less weight to those that have been looked at in the past.
- Position-based: This method gives 40% of the credit for the conversion to the first and last interactions and 20% to the interactions in the middle.
What are the issues with marketing attribution?
Most marketers don’t think they will ever be able to make the perfect attribution model that will help them make all of their decisions.
Here are five problems that make it impossible to finish data models or end a project:
Managing Through Multiple Channels
This is a common problem for business marketers who have digital assets spread across multiple websites, platforms, and teams. Once a visitor moves from a campaign microsite to the main domain, your online actions might not be correctly recorded without proper analytics tagging and system settings configuration. But the customer couldn’t be tracked when they went from your website to your real location to finish the deal.
Small Sample Sizes and Making Decisions
Marketers who use attribution data might not have enough data for future campaign correlations on websites that don’t get as many visitors. So, people make wrong assumptions and can’t repeat what worked in the past.
Not following through with tracking
If your attribution models are based on offline actions, you may need to import data by hand or keep accurate records of sales activity. I’ve been in charge of hundreds of CRM deployments, and I can say that there is always at least one person who doesn’t log activities like phone calls, meetings, and emails. Because of this, attribution models get messed up.
Every analytics platform has at least five attribution models you can use to make your campaigns better. More models, more issues.
If the person making the attribution reports doesn’t know the pros and cons of each model, they might not set them up or organize them in a way that helps your business reach its goals.
Every year, privacy laws like the GDPR, CCPA, and others make it harder to understand analytics data. Because it’s not possible to track every touchpoint, attribution modeling doesn’t work well for businesses that rely on users on their site to opt in to tracking.
Even though using marketing attribution models well can take a lot of time and money, the benefits are much greater than the challenges. Using advanced attribution models and technologies can help you get the most out of your marketing budget and figure out which touchpoints are most effective for your business.
Also, you will learn important things about how to use the right message and reach your full potential. In the long run, this leads to a higher return on investment from marketing.