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Where to start with Marketing Attribution?

Where to start with Marketing Attribution?

“Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don’t know which half.” John Wanamaker

While ever there’s been businesses money spent on marketing, people have been asking if that money has been well spent. Attribution tries to understand the prospective customer’s journey to see what marketing/sales touch-points they’ve interacted with, and what has converted them. In this way businesses can optimise their time and effort on the areas which are most effective.

The problem is that customer journeys have become fuzzier, with multiple visits, channels and interactions, many of which cannot be tracked. So how can brands refine these journeys? How can they understand which elements of their investment are working?

Start Simple

Tracking prospective customers at an individual level is a time-consuming and expensive pursuit, and with today’s privacy concerns may be a thing of the past. Until recently organisations used cookies to track your activity on other websites, but there has long been concerns about the way brands capture and use this data. With third-party cookies being phased out, many are rushing to find an alternative. But do they need to?

While understanding every single element of your customer journey is definitely useful, how much will it ultimately influence your decisions? What is it telling you that you probably can’t guess right now? Different elements in the marketing mix are aimed at different stages of the journey. You probably already know that a landing page is converting more than a blog.

Start simple with your attribution by applying a last-touch model. This gives full attribution credit to the last touchpoint the consumer interacted with before making a purchase, without accounting for prior engagements. The reasons you should start with this:

  • It’s easy to apply to a range of sources and channels, meaning it can be adopted universally.
  • It allows you to focus on the bottom of your pipeline and improve that overall conversion rate, meaning your decisions will have the most immediate impact.
  • If you have some reference for the start of your customer journey, then you can try and shorten your acquisition time.

Gated Content / Membership

Traditionally the way in which brands have managed to get a better understanding is through the creation of gated content or memberships. They get you to sign up for content and once they have your email, there is some way in which to track your activity on their site. The physical equivalent would be a loyalty card or membership scheme.

This gives them greater understanding at an individual basis as to what people are interested in and user journeys on their site but also presents a series of challenges:

You only have the tracking from point of sign up. That means that brands prioritise sign up and assume a relationship whereby people interested in the content must be interested in their services, which is not always the case. Most often you are attracting people to the top of your sales funnel, and so at this point it may be worth applying a first-touch model to see which campaigns and subjects are attracting people in and by comparing with last-touch, you get a sense of timescales involved.

People often make correlation biases whereby they assume that one event caused another (or didn’t) for example if someone visited the contact page but didn’t get in touch, you might assume the page needs to be optimised, but it could just be they are looking to see how many branches you have etc

A lot of companies have trouble applying segmentation to this level of data and while they can easily target prospects who have a higher rate of engagement, they still have to look at web visits and decode what that person is interested in.

At this level of maturity we would recommend:

Most businesses should still focus on last-click attribution due to its ease.

Marketing need to lead any referral in terms of recommendations to the sales teams. We have found that marketing people are often better places to look through search history etc and determine where someone may be interested to pass onto sales.

If you have a long lead time and multiple touch-points (this often applies to B2B) then you might consider multiple-touchpoint attribution. Here you are weighting each touchpoint on the journey equally.

So you might know that for example:

80 people downloaded an ebook and 8 of them went on to send an enquiry. A 10% conversion.

100 people signed up to a webinar and 5 of them went on to send an enquiry. A 5% conversion.

It might be that some people who enquired both downloaded an ebook and signed up to your webinar but by evaluating your attribution this way, you create a fair yard stick in which to evaluate your touch-points.

By mapping out enquiries with a simple tickbox as to which touch-points they’ve interacted with, you can also understand; How many interactions it takes on average to convert a customer & Which touch-points most frequently lead to conversions.

Key Question

If you have attribution problems, the question is whether the juice is worth the squeeze. The right data enables a comprehensive overview of marketing performance to easily identify effective channels/messaging and allocate budgets more efficiently, but getting there has a time and cost associated with it. In a lot of cases it falls under a ‘nice to know’ and not ‘need to know”. Unless you are prepared to make major changes to the way you attract and convert customers, it may not be worth the pain.

How 173tech Can Help

Time is limited. Everyday marketers have to choose where to spend their time, energy and budget. That often means choosing between different platforms and channels and comparing like-for-like is quite difficult. By joining up your data sources you can uncover Conversion rates, CAC, LTV and ROI across channels, campaigns and adsets. To find out how, get in touch today!

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