As an online marketer, you know that attribution is key to understanding how well your marketing campaigns perform. So why is it so important?

Attribution is a lead scoring system that determines credit for a sale, conversion, or other engagement targets to each marketing activity. There are many ways to attribute sales and conversions, each with advantages and disadvantages. The most popular attribution models are first-touch, last-touch, and linear attribution.

Knowing which attribution model works best for your business can help you decide where to allocate your marketing budget. And using the suitable attribution model can help you measure the true impact of your marketing efforts.

Please read our article on marketing attribution to learn more about the benefits, models, and best practices of this essential process.

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What is attribution marketing?

Attribution Marketing

Attribution marketing is assigning value to each touchpoint in the customer journey to understand better how each touchpoint contributes to conversions and other key metrics. By understanding the value of each touchpoint, marketers can optimize their campaigns for maximum ROI.

There are many different attribution models, but last-click and first-click attribution are the most common. Last-click attribution assigns 100% of the value of a conversion to the last touchpoint that the customer interacted with before converting.

On the other hand, first-click attribution gives 100% of the value of a conversion to the first touchpoint with which the customer interacted.

Multi-Touch attribution

Multi-touch attribution is an attribution model that assigns value to each touchpoint in the customer journey rather than just the last touchpoint. This allows marketers to understand better how each touchpoint contributes to conversions and other key metrics.

Multi-Channel attribution

Multi-channel attribution is an attribution model that considers interactions across multiple channels rather than just one channel. Multi-channel attribution lets marketers understand how each channel contributes to conversions and other key metrics.

Both last-click and first-click attribution are valid models, but they only give a partial view of the customer journey. Multi-touch and multi-channel attribution provide a more holistic view of the customer journey and, as such, are becoming more popular among marketers.

What are some benefits of attribution marketing?

The benefits of attribution marketing include increased conversions, knowing your top channels based on ROI, and understanding customer journeys. Businesses can significantly improve overall performance by allocating funds toward channels that generate the most conversions. Also, understanding which touchpoints lead to conversions can help companies to fine-tune their marketing strategy for even better results.

Understanding customer journeys gives businesses invaluable insights into how potential customers interact with their brands. And this will help create more targeted and effective marketing campaigns. Overall, attribution marketing provides businesses with a wealth of benefits that can lead to increased conversions and a better understanding of their customer base.

What are some challenges of attribution marketing?

While attribution marketing provides many benefits, businesses also face some challenges. One challenge is that attribution models can be complex and difficult to understand.

Implementing these models can make it challenging to implement an attribution strategy effectively.

Attribution models can continuously change, so companies must prepare to adapt their strategy regularly.

Attribution data can be difficult to collect and interpret, making it challenging to get accurate insights. Despite these challenges, attribution marketing can be a valuable tool for businesses looking to increase conversions and better understand their customers.

What are some best practices for attribution marketing?

Some best practices for attribution marketing include the following:

Educate stakeholders

Stakeholders at a meeting
Stakeholders at a meeting

Educate your team on attribution models and marketing attribution. Everyone involved in the attribution process must understand how attribution works. Education will help to ensure that the attribution strategy is effective and accurate.

Choose an attribution model

Choose the suitable attribution model: There are many different models, so it’s essential to choose the one that best suits your business needs. Consider factors such as the type of business, customer journey, and available data when choosing an attribution model.

Test, test, test: Be sure to test different attribution models before settling on one. Testing will help ensure you’re using the best model for your business.

Define your KPIs, Activities & Criteria

Define your key performance indicators (KPIs) before you start attribution. KPIs will help to ensure that you can measure your attribution strategy’s success.

Below is a list of metrics, activities, and criteria that should be part of your playbook:

  • Revenue – Return on Ad Spend (ROAS)
  • Revenue – Customer Lifetime Value (CLV or LTV)
  • Revenue – Cusomter Retention
  • Revenue – Average Revenue per Account (ARPA)
  • Revenue – Average Revenue per Account (ARPA) per Channel
  • Cost – Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC)
  • Cost – Cost per Lead (CPL)
  • Marketing Activity – Number of Blog Posts
  • Marketing Activity – Number of Articles
  • Marketing Activity – Number of Social Media Posts
  • Marketing Activity – Sponsored Events
  • Marketing Activity – Number of Email Campaigns
  • Marketing Metric – Views, Clicks, Likes, Shares, etc
  • Marketing Metric – Conversion Rate
  • Marketing Metric – Bounce Rate
  • Marketing Metric – Time spent on page
  • Marketing Metric – Number of Sessions
  • Marketing Metric – Pages per Session
  • Attribution Criteria – Touchpoint
  • Attribution Criteria – Look-back window

Choose a tracking platform

Google Analytics demographic details by Country
Google Analytics demographic details by Country

An attribution tracking platform is a tool that helps businesses measure the effectiveness of their Marketing campaigns. It can track clicks, conversions, and other data points to help companies to understand what marketing efforts are driving traffic and sales.

An attribution software platform allows marketers and website owners to track the success of their online marketing campaigns by providing data on how users interact with their website, their social media channels, and all other online properties.

This data can include information on which marketing campaigns drove the most traffic to the website, what pages on the website were visited most often, conversions, ad spending, and other vital metrics.

An attribution tracking platform can help businesses optimize their marketing campaigns by identifying the most effective channels.

Many different attribution tracking platforms are available, each with features and capabilities. The most popular options include Google Analytics, Adobe Analytics, and HubSpot.

When choosing an attribution tracking platform, it’s essential to consider your business’s specific needs. For example, if you’re looking for detailed data and analytics, you’ll want to choose a platform that offers robust reporting capabilities. On the other hand, if you’re looking for a platform that’s easy to use and doesn’t require a lot of setups, you’ll want to choose one with a simple interface.

Many tracking platforms are available, so choosing one that best suits your needs is essential. There are several critical factors in evaluating attribution platforms.

How to evaluate Marketing Attribution Software

  • Integrations – the more, the better
  • Security – secure place for all your user data
  • Device Support – all or mobile-only vs desktop, TV, tablet, etc.
  • Pricing – license or recurring. Is the ROI high to continue using the platform?
  • User experience – is the UX/UI good for long-term use?
  • Ease of use – is it easy to implement, monitor, and adjust?
  • Offline data – how easy is it to track offline channels
  • Fraudulent Attribution Detection – last-click attributions can be manipulated

No matter your needs, there’s a suitable tracking platform that’s right for you. Choosing the best platform for your business can ensure you get the most out of your marketing campaigns.

Map out the Buyer’s Journey

Buyer's Journey in the Marketing Funnel - ToFu, MoFu, and BoFu
Buyer’s Journey in the Marketing Funnel – ToFu, MoFu, and BoFu

At its most basic, there are three stages in the buyer’s journey:

  • Top of Funnel – ToFu
  • Middle of Funnel – MoFu
  • Bottom of Funnel – BoFu

Top of Funnel – ToFu

The first stage (awareness) is when a person hears about your product or service for the first time. At this point, they might not even know they need what you’re selling. Your marketing efforts should focus on getting your product or service in front of as many people as possible. You can do this by advertising online and offline, reaching out to potential customers through email and social media, and hosting events and webinars.

Middle of Funnel – MoFu

The second stage (consideration) is when a person is interested in what you’re selling but hasn’t yet decided to buy. At this point, they might be doing research on your product or service to learn more about and comparing you to your competitors. Your marketing efforts at this stage should focus on providing helpful information that will help them decide whether to buy from you. These efforts include blog posts, articles, case studies, infographics, and other relevant content for your target audience.

Bottom of Funnel – BoFu

The third stage (decision) is when a person has decided to buy from you. At this point, they might be ready to purchase but haven’t yet done so. Your marketing efforts at this stage should focus on closing the sale.

Start Collecting Data on Conversions & Campaigns

Collect data from all channels, including offline channels. This data must be collected and stored in a central location to be accessed and analyzed.

Analyze & Monitor results regularly

Analyze the data to identify patterns and trends. This analysis will help you to understand how different channels interact with each other and how they contribute to conversions.

Monitor the results of your attribution strategy regularly. Monitoring will help you to identify any issues and make necessary adjustments.

Adapt & Adjust

Based on the data, adjust your attribution strategy as needed. Adjustments may include changing the attribution model or adjusting the weightings of different channels.

By following these best practices, businesses can ensure that they are effectively using attribution marketing to increase conversions and gain valuable insights into their customers.

What are some Attribution Marketing Channels?

There are many different attribution marketing channels, so choosing the ones that best suit your business needs is essential. Consider factors such as the type of brand you are building, customer journey, and available data when choosing attribution marketing channels. Some common Attribution Marketing channels include:

4 images on a Website
4 images on a Website

Website traffic

This includes all visitors to your website, regardless of how they got there. Collect this data through web analytics tools such as Google Analytics.

Billboard paid advertising for an iPhoneX
Billboard paid advertising for an iPhoneX

Paid advertising

This includes all forms of paid advertising, such as search engine marketing (SEM), display advertising, and social media advertising.

Vehicle Traffic as a metaphor for organic traffic
Vehicle Traffic as a metaphor for organic traffic

Organic traffic

This includes all visitors who find your website through organic search results, such as through Google or Bing.

Arrows pointing to one side as a metaphor for referral traffic
Arrows pointing to one side as a metaphor for referral traffic

Referral traffic

This includes all visitors who come to your website from another site, such as from a blog post or social media share.

Social Media icons on a mobile phone
Social Media icons on a mobile phone

Social Media Channels

This includes Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIN, Youtube, Pinterest, and others.

Constant Contact Dashboard - email marketing
Constant Contact Dashboard – email marketing

Email marketing: Email marketing includes all email campaigns you send to your subscribers. Collect this data through email marketing platforms such as GetResponse and Constant Contact.

What is an Attribution Model?

An attribution model is a set of rules assigning credit for sales, conversions, and other engagement targets to touchpoints in the customer journey. In other words, attribution models explain the “whys” behind your analytics data.

There are many different attribution models, but the most common ones are last-click, first-click, and linear.

For instance, the Last Interaction model in Analytics assigns 100% credit to the last touchpoints (i.e., clicks) that occur right before sales or conversions.

What are some standard Attribution Models?

Attribution models grouped into Single-touch and Multi-touch types
Attribution models grouped into Single-touch and Multi-touch types

There are many different attribution models, so choosing the one that best suits your business needs is essential. Consider factors such as the type of business, customer journey, and available data when choosing an attribution model. Some standard Attribution Models include:

First-touch

First-touch model attributes all conversion credit to the customer interaction’s first marketing channel.

Last-touch

Last-touch model attributes all conversion credit to the customer interaction’s last marketing channel.

Last Non-Direct Touch Attribution

Last Non-Direct touch model attributes credit to the last touchpoint that preceded a direct conversion, such as an organic search click or social media post.

Single-touch vs. Multi-touch Attribution Models

Single-touch attribution models credit a conversion or sale to a single touchpoint, while multi-touch attribution models credit conversions or sales to multiple touchpoints.

There are pros and cons to both types of attribution models. Single-touch attribution models are simpler to set up and can be easier to understand. On the other hand, multi-touch attribution models can provide a more accurate picture of the customer journey and how different touchpoints work together to influence conversions.

Linear

The Linear model attributes equal conversion credit to all marketing channels tied to customer interactions.

Time-decay

The Time-decay model attributes more conversion credit to marketing channels that the customer interacted with closer to the conversion time.

Position-based

This Position-based model attributes 40% of conversion credit to the first and last marketing channels for customer interaction. And 20% of conversion credit to the other marketing channels for customer interaction.

Algorithmic or Data-Driven Attribution

This model uses data and algorithms to determine how conversion credit should be attributed. This type of attribution can be more accurate than other models but can also be more complex to set up.

What are some everyday use cases for Attribution Models?

There are many different use cases for attribution models. Here are a few examples:

  1. Assigning credit to marketing channels
  2. Understanding the customer journey
  3. Optimizing marketing campaigns
  4. Measuring marketing ROI
  5. Identifying which touchpoints are most important.

How do I choose an Attribution Model?

There is no one-size-fits-all answer when it comes to selecting an attribution model. The best approach is to experiment with different models and see which produces the most accurate results for your business.

It’s also important to remember that you can change your attribution model. It is ok to change your attribution model as your business needs evolve.

What are some common Attribution Model mistakes?

There are a few common mistakes that businesses make when it comes to attribution models:

  1. Not testing different models
  2. Not revisiting attribution models regularly
  3. Over-reliance on a single model
  4. Not considering all touchpoints
  5. Not aligning attribution models with business goals

If you want to avoid these mistakes, you must experiment with different attribution models and revisit your choice of a model regularly. It’s also crucial to consider all of the touchpoints in the customer journey, not just the ones that occur right before a conversion. And make sure that your attribution model aligns with your business goals.

Define some of the key Attribution Metrics

Key Metrics sheet
Key Metrics sheet

There are many different attribution metrics, so choosing the ones that best suit your business needs is essential. Consider factors such as the type of business, customer journey, and available data when choosing attribution metrics. Some standard Attribution Metrics include:

Conversion rate

Conversion Rate measures the percentage of visitors who take the desired action, such as making a purchase or signing up for a newsletter.

Cost per conversion

Cost per conversion measures the amount of money you spend on marketing for each conversion you achieve.

Revenue per conversion

Revenue per conversion measures the amount of money you make from each conversion.

Return on investment (ROI)

Return on investment measures the profitability of your marketing campaigns by calculating the ratio of revenue to cost.

Customer Lifetime Value (LTV)

Customer Lifetime value measures the total value a customer brings to your business throughout their relationship with you.

How do you measure Marketing Attribution?

Time measurement clock
Time measurement clock

There are a few different ways to measure marketing attribution.

One common practice is to look at the last touch point, which is the point at which a customer converts or makes a purchase.

Another way to measure marketing attribution is to look at the first touch point, which is the point at which a customer first comes into contact with your brand.

There are other attribution methods, such as looking at the number of touch points or the path a customer takes to conversion.

Ultimately, the best way to measure marketing attribution is to experiment and see what works best for your business. There is no one-size-fits-all approach to attribution, so finding what works best for you is essential.

How can we get started with Marketing Attribution?

There are a few key things you need to do to get started with marketing attribution:

  1. You need to understand your customer journey and what touchpoints they have with your brand.
  2. It would be best to determine which marketing channels are most effective at each customer journey stage.
  3. You need to set up tracking to measure your marketing campaign’s performance.

With a clear understanding of the customer journey and which marketing channels are most effective at each stage, you can start to attribute value to each touchpoint. Understanding the customer’s journey will help optimize your marketing campaigns for maximum impact.

Tracking is essential to marketing attribution. Without it, you won’t be able to measure the performance of your campaigns or attribute value to each touchpoint. Several tracking solutions are available, so you’ll need to choose one that best fits your needs.

Once you have all the pieces in place, you can start to see the impact your marketing campaigns have on your business.

What are some Marketing Attribution software tools?

Google Analytics Audience Overview as an Attribution Tracking Platform
Google Analytics Audience Overview as an Attribution Tracking Platform

Some popular attribution software platforms include:

Google Analytics: Google Analytics is a free platform that owners can use to track their website traffic. It provides data on page views, unique visitors, bounce rate, and conversions. It doesn’t offer as much data as some paid platforms; it’s a good option for those on a budget.

KISSmetrics: KISSmetrics is a paid platform for SAA and e-commerce companies that starts at USD $299/month. It provides data on website traffic, conversions, and which marketing campaigns drive the most sales. It also has integrations with platforms like Salesforce, so you can see how your marketing efforts impact your sales pipeline.

Mixpanel: Mixpanel is a paid platform that starts at USD $25/month with a free plan. It provides data on website traffic, conversions, and which marketing campaigns drive the most sales. Mixpanel also has unique features, like the ability to A/B test different versions of your website and track user engagement over time.

Triple Whale: Triple Whale is a Shopify analytics platform that helps businesses track the performance of all their tools and channels in one centralized dashboard. Using Facebook Pixel data and other tracking methods, Triple Whale provides detailed insights into how well campaigns are performing and which ones are driving the most conversions. This information helps businesses make informed decisions about where to allocate their advertising budget for maximum ROI.

Supermetrics: Supermetrics is a tool that helps to move marketing data from various platforms into a data warehouse to automate data extraction, reporting, and visualization. Starter plans are priced from USD $39/mo to USD $99/mo. Supermetrics allows for a more efficient analysis of marketing performance. This platform is easy to use and can integrate with various platforms. It is a valuable tool for anyone looking to improve their marketing performance.

So which attribution software platform is right for you? It depends on your needs. If you are on a budget, Google Analytics is a good option. Kissmetrics or Mixpanel might be a better fit if you need more data and integrations. If you need to aggregate data from many sources, Supermetrics is a good platform. For e-commerce brands on Shopify, Triple Whale offers a robust dashboard for all your attribution metrics. And if you need unique features like A/B testing, then Mixpanel is worth considering.

Read our 9 Best Marketing Attribution Software for 2022 for detailed reviews of marketing attribution software,

Summary

It’s hard to know which marketing channels drive traffic and conversions.

Without proper attribution, it’s impossible to determine which marketing channels are working and which ones need to be tweaked or abandoned altogether.

Attribution marketing is the solution. This robust methodology helps you track your customer’s journey to a conversion, so you can see which marketing channels are generating results. With this data, you can focus your efforts on the channels that deliver ROI and scale back on those that aren’t.

The best way to find the correct attribution software platform for your business needs is to evaluate your options against a set of key criteria.

The most important factors to consider are integrations, security, device support, pricing, user experience, ease of use, offline data, fraudulent attribution detection, and the ability to map out the buyer’s journey.

Once you’ve evaluated your options against these criteria, you should be able to choose the platform that’s right for you.

Once you have a strategy, Attribution marketing can provide many benefits:

Once you have a strategy, Attribution marketing can provide many benefits:

  • Gain a complete understanding of your customer’s journey
  • Pinpoint which marketing channels are delivering results
  • Adjust your marketing efforts for maximum ROI
  • Stop wasting time and money on ineffective campaigns
  • Understand how customers interact with your brand across different channels
  • Optimize your marketing strategy to get the most out of your budget

With attribution marketing, you can finally understand your customer’s journey from start to finish. This data is essential for making informed decisions about your marketing strategy. You can pinpoint which channels drive results with attribution marketing and adjust your efforts accordingly. This way, you can focus your time and money on the campaigns delivering ROI.

FAQ – Frequently Asked Questions

What does attribution mean?

Attribution is giving credit or blame to a person or thing for something that has been done or said. When you attribute something, you are saying that the person or thing is responsible for it.

For example, if you say, “The sun is shining,” you are attributing the shining to the sun.

If you say, “John is a good boy,” you are attributing the goodness to John.

In art, attribution is the process of identifying the creator of a work of art. Often, works of art are unsigned, or the signature is illegible, so attribution looks at stylistic similarities to other works or historical records.

Attribution in marketing is giving value to every interaction in the customer journey. Attribution helps marketers understand which channels are most effective at driving conversions and sales.

What are some standard features of attribution software platforms?

Some standard features of attribution software platforms include data collection, analysis, reporting, integrations, and A/B testing.

Data collection is the process of gathering data about user activity. This data is used to analyze interactions with your website or app and identify areas for improvement.

Data analysis is the process of turning raw data into useful information. One can use this to track the success of your marketing campaigns, understand user behavior, and identify trends.

Reporting allows you to create customized reports about your data. This can help you see how your campaigns perform, understand user behavior, and identify any problems.

Integrations allow you to connect your attribution software with other tools, such as your website analytics platform or email marketing tool. Integrations make it easier to track the performance of your campaigns and get a complete picture of your marketing activity.

A/B testing allows you to test different versions of your website or app to see which performs better. Attribution software can help you track the results of these tests and make informed decisions about which version to choose.

What are some attribution software platforms?

There are several: TripleWhale, Cometly., Supermetrics, and PixelMe.

Why is attribution marketing important?

Attribution marketing is essential because it allows businesses to see which marketing channels are most effective in driving conversions. By understanding which channels are most effective, companies can allocate their resources more efficiently and achieve better results.

How to use different attribution models?

Different attribution models are available to businesses, including first-touch, last-touch, and linear. Each has advantages and disadvantages, so it’s critical to pick the one that best suits your company’s requirements.

A business might use the first touch attribution model to see which channels are most effective in driving initial conversions. This model assigns credit to the first marketing channel that a customer interacted with before converting. This model will emphasize top-of-funnel strategies like awareness campaigns. This model is great for new companies that need to increase brand awareness, have short sales cycles, have high conversion rates, and usually have a small marketing budget.

A business might use the last-touch attribution model to see which channels are most effective in driving final conversions. This model assigns credit to the last marketing channel a customer interacted with before converting. This model is great for brands with high brand awareness but low conversion rates, companies with long sales cycles, and small marketing budgets.

What is the difference between Attribution and Conversion Tracking?

Attribution and conversion tracking are two different but related concepts. Attribution is assigning credit to touchpoints in the customer journey, while conversion tracking is tracking sales or conversions that occur on your website.

Conversion tracking is necessary for attribution, but it’s essential to understand the difference between the two concepts. Attribution is about understanding how different touchpoints work together to influence conversions during the customer journey.

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