Multi-touch attribution for data-driven marketers

Calling all marketers! Do you struggle to figure out which marketing channels work for you? Find out how multi-channel attribution can help!

Go to the profile of Leah Eyler
Oct 25, 2018
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Multi-touch attribution determines the value of each customer touchpoint in the buying process. Almost all the data we could ever need to deeply understand the influences that drive a customer to purchase are now available, but most marketers aren’t harnessing this data to truly capitalise on the opportunities it can offer.

For example, imagine you’re selling sneakers online. You’ve set up sponsored ads and an Instagram account. One of your customers spots one of these ads on Facebook, which prompts them to visit your website. They’re not in the mood to make a purchase right then, but they like your gallery, so they follow you on Instagram. Two days later, you post an image of one of your newest products; the customer sees this, visits your website and buys a pair.

Your current marketing attribution tool may inform you that the sale came via Instagram. What it doesn’t tell you is the part that the sponsored ads played in the process. Multiply this example with more touchpoints and customers, and all of a sudden, you’re having trouble knowing which of your marketing channels are the most effective. This makes it tricky to decide where to allocate your budget. 

Why is multi-touch attribution important?

Technological change has greatly increased the ways in which customers find out about a company’s products or services, and their journeys are rarely a linear progression from one point in the sales funnel to another.

Marketers who don’t have the insight afforded by multi-channel attribution can find that:

  • Traditional models don’t reflect the complexity of modern customer journeys
  • First-click or last-click models only cover limited touchpoints
  • Linear models don’t assign weight to different channels
  • Off-the-shelf models don’t take all available data into account – giving you a skewed view of each channel’s effectiveness

When marketers can’t attribute value to marketing channels accurately, they’re not getting a clear overview of the return on investment (ROI) for each marketing channel. This means that budgets can’t be allocated optimally.

This is where data-driven multi-touch attribution comes in…

Here are the steps you can take to have a holistic view on your channel performance and customer’s journey: 

1. Set up a Customer Data Platform (CDP)

Customer Data Platform integrates all of your customer data – from both online and offline channels – into a single customer view. Feeding this data into your attribution model gives you a complete view of how your customers are progressing through their journeys.

2. Use data-driven multi-channel attribution Using a custom, data-driven multi-touch attribution allows you to apply personalised rules that are tailored to your business’s goals and strategies. This provides you with flexibility to test different combinations of channels in your customer journey, as well as re-allocate your marketing budget to the most performant channels. If you don’t have in-house resources to help you do this, it’s crucial that you find experts who can, as the insights that you’ll gain will be invaluable.

3. Give your marketing channels the space to evolve

As your business grows your model has to evolve alongside it, and simple attribution models often do not allow for this flexibility. A data-driven approach also enables predictive modelling, allowing your business to experiment quickly, without negative real-world impact on your earnings.

As the digital world evolves and becomes more complex, so will customer journeys. This gives marketers new opportunities to reach customers, and more room for growth. To take advantage of this, though, you need to be able to dive into the finer details of how well your marketing channels are working for you. Personalized data-driven attribution models help you to achieve this level of insight, so that you can refine your marketing activities to help your business grow intelligently.

Go to the profile of Leah Eyler

Leah Eyler

Head of US Growth, Fospha

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