Being able to evaluate how each marketing channel contributes to growth is the key to success.
However, most marketers get it wrong – they use outdated or simply wrong marketing attribution.
This is why we have created the most comprehensive guide to Marketing Attribution and Attribution Modeling.
This expert-written guide will take you through everything there is to know about Marketing Attribution and Attribution Modeling.
So, whether you’re looking for some practical information that you can use today, want to get more insights about marketing attribution or are just curious about marketing, then you’ll love this guide.
Let’s get started…
- What is Marketing Attribution
- Customer Journey
- E-commerce Customer Journey
- B2B Customer Journey
- Omnichannel Customer Journey
- The Importance of Decision Making
- ZMOT (Zero Moment of Truth)
- Understanding Conversion Path
- Types of Attribution for Inbound Marketing
- Multi-Touch Attribution
- Types of Attribution Models
- Last Click
- There’s no Such Thing as a Direct Channel
- First Click
- Position Based
- Time Decay
- Example: Few Companies Doing it Wrong
- Marketing Channels
- Direct Is not a Real Channel
- What All CMO’s Need to Know
- Why is knowing, so Important? (Budgets etc.)
- Myths of Marketing Attribution (Don’t be Scared)
- Digital Integration
- Is Our Team Ready?
- Limitations at School
- Example: Two Companies Doing Marketing Attribution Right
- Attribution can be Challenging
- Offline – Online
- External Factors
What is Marketing Attribution
First of all, you need to understand what Marketing Attribution is and why it’s so powerful.
Marketing Attribution is all about getting to know and evaluate how each marketing channel contributes to growth.
Most marketers do that by using an analytics software to measure the revenue generated from various marketing efforts.
Tools like Google Analytics are a good choice for analytics software.
The main reason for the usage of such tools is that we all want to know if we’re spending our money wisely.
This, however, is where most marketers are wrong – it’s not enough just to know the last click.
Well, we believe it can be very dangerous to measure revenue.
It is because you have to consider all the aspects regarding tracking ad and marketing performances.
Just take a look at this infographic:
We define the customer journey as everything that happens before the act of purchasing.
It could involve everything between the first thought of desiring a product or service until the actual purchase.
As you can see the example on the picture, it all ends up with a conversion.
Take a look at the following Customer Journey leading to a purchase:
- Read an article in a magazine
- Read a blog post
- Friend liked the Facebook page
- Saw a display ad
- Clicked on an organic search result
- Clicked on an AdWords ad
- Makes the purchase
The customer is exposed to six different acquisition channels before the conversion.
A conversion is considered to be a result that has been reached.
Sometimes it’s a sale, other times it could be when remarketing works out.
No matter if the purpose of your website is to sell products, create brand awareness, get new subscribers to your newsletter etc., marketing attribution should concern you.
Do you need help with Marketing Attribution?
E-commerce Customer Journey
Let’s take a look at an example – Customer Journey for a medium book e-commerce journey.
The bold text in brackets represents the marketing channel that they are using.
Say hello to Katrina.
Katrina really wants to buy some books, but she has to work until late and by the time she is off, the shops are already closed.
This is why Katrina starts searching on Google (organic search), but she feels lost.
She doesn’t know which book she wants, just that she wants a photography book.
So, she decides to search some blogs about photography and see what they recommend (referral) .
Thankfully, this leads Katrina to a really good photographer who has even made a documentary.
Katrina decides to check him out on Facebook and Twitter (social) .
She then googles his name and visits his website where he writes about his story, books, documentary, and share photos.
Unfortunately, the website doesn’t sell books.
Katrina then googles the name of the book, clicks on some ads, and checks some online stores that sell the item (paid search) .
She gets to one that seems very interesting.
Anyhow, you decide to buy the book that you were looking for (direct) .
Katrina not only decides to buy the book (conversion) , but she also subscribes to their newsletter in order to receive news about new inspiring books in the future (conversion) .
This story makes one thing clear:
Every customer journey depends on your customers’ behavior:
- The type of shoppers
- Their motivation
- Their internal influences (esteem, self-actualization, culture, etc.)
- Their earlier online shopping experiences before
- Their rational and irrational thoughts and feelings
Your friend Michael loves cameras.
Michael just bought a second-hand vintage camera.
To fulfill the set he also wants to buy a camera strap.
He wants a modern one that is also made out of alternative materials.
But Michael also prefers to stay away from famous brands.
He searches in Google for weeks for the right camera straps with the keyword ‘camera strap‘ (organic search).
Lastly, he checks the tendencies on Instagram (social network).
This is where he finally discovers some camera straps made out of a climbing rope.
He heads to their website and reads some customer testimonials (referral).
There he subscribes with his email for special discounts and new products.
(Bonus: this will build a trusted relationship)
The next day he receives an email from the company stating they will have a special discount only for him.
Michael could use the offer just during that day.
He checks the discount and tries to compare prices with other shops.
Yet, it’s such a specific product that he cannot find it anywhere else.
So he happily clicks on the email and uses the discount (e-mail).
The conclusion here is that Michael, as a customer, demands a bit more than Katrina.
If you don’t understand them you could miss a sale.
B2B Customer Journey
Let’s look at an example where a medium business offers office equipment to other companies (Smart Office Materials or SOM for this example).
They have an issue because they don’t have control over their marketing expenditures.
In addition, their spendings in SEM are too high and the ROI for customer acquisition is getting lower.
As it turns out they really need help!
In order to overcome these challenges, they go to Google and search for online marketing agency (organic search).
They decide to research some of the companies and visit their websites to learn more.
There are just two companies that they can choose from.
The team reads some customer reviews in LinkedIn (social network), but do not make a decision.
A couple of days later while reading about SEO a display ad appears and they click on it.
SOM makes the decision to call the company and ask some questions.
As you can see, the display ad was crucial for the agency.
This is why having a good track of your channels will tell you where you should pay more attention and therefore adjust your expenses accordingly.
Omnichannel Customer Journey
Omnichannel has been defined as a multichannel approach to sales that seeks to provide the best experience to the customers.
They should interact together and support each other.
Bank of America is an excellent example of this.
Their mobile app and desktop app are very user-friendly and they offer a dynamic experience.It allows their customers to do lots of operations and keep a good
It allows their customers to do lots of operations while keeping them organized.
It doesn’t matter if it’s on a mobile, desktop or a web platform, you can do complex activities on all of them with ease.
Another Example of Omnichannel
It can be a fashion retailer with a strong brand awareness.
A fashion retailer can have an app for the phone, an e-commerce site, and a brick-and-mortar store.
In order for them to be joined in an omnichannel, all the channels have to be connected and provide an easy and satisfying customer experience.
So your fashionista friend Phillip really likes to check all the tendencies.
He follows blogs (referral) and his Instagram app (social).
He finds out about a brand that he likes so he downloads their mobile application (app).
He makes his profile and starts to check all their products daily – and as a rule, he quickly falls in love with a watch.
Phillip reads reviews online (referral) about the watch to find out what experiences others had.
After reading some posts on a few blogs, he decides to buy it.
He checks their e-commerce site (desktop) but he isn’t sure about buying it online.
He really wants to know opinions about the online customer service, the delivery, and their return policy.
A few days later, he heads to go visit a friend and passed by the physical store.
This is perfect for him because he can try the marvelous watch!
So he gets in and just moments later there’s a sales assistant helping him.
The assistant uses a tablet(app) with her so she immediately checks the watch he asked about and heads towards the section with him.
He asks for that watch but in brown instead of black.
The assistant, however, can’t locate it in the store currently but suggests that she can order it.
There is no doubt that Phillip wants the watch so he is very happy to hear that it can be delivered soon.
The sales assistant makes the order and completes the customer journey by collecting all needed information.
When Phillip arrives home that night, he checks his mobile app and tracks where his watch is until its arrival the next afternoon.
A customer journey can be long or very short but definitely not simple.
It involves giving the customer all they want in a very easy and accessible way.
Nowadays, it is only big companies with a strong brand awareness that can have an optimal functioning omnichannel.
Nonetheless, soon even the small company will be able to integrate all of their channels.
The Importance of Decision Making
It’s important to understand how your customers decide to buy your product or service.
Although there are other intangible factors, it is generally accepted that the decision maker (customer) has defined a fixed set of criteria before purchasing.
That is why it’s important to make an analysis of the decision criteria framework of your customers.
First of all, it depends on what kind of product or service you’re offering.
For example, the decision-making process is shorter when it comes to milk and butter than electronics and cars.
The decision-making process in any purchases includes
- Need recognition and problem awareness
- Information search
- Evaluation of alternatives
- Post-purchase evaluation
ZMOT (Zero Moment of Truth)
Google calls it Zero Moment of Truth.
It can be explained as that moment when you have a need to buy something and you haven’t been exposed to the product/service yet.
Internet connection and mobile devices are driving purchase decisions like never before.
When the customer is trying to make a decision, the person goes back and forward through several digital and non-digital channels.
Take a look at the following graph:
You might be thinking “Ok, I got the theory, but how exactly does this translate to a real-life practical example?”
Well, some ZMOT sources could include:
- Word of mouth
- Product reviews
- Coupon offers
- Social shopping
(Remember the customer journey).
If you connect the dots, you can see why it’s necessary to allocate these sources along the path of your customer’s journey.
It all helps you to optimize your marketing expenditures and widen the upper (prospecting) customer funnel.
What follows are the first actual touchpoints, also known as the Moments of Truth.
Moments of Truth
Dealing with the emotional needs of the customers over multiple touch points generates positive interactions which help to create brand loyalty.
- First Moment of Truth: When the customer experiences a product on a store shelf – also called a point of sale.
- Second Moment of Truth: This is when people take the product home and have their first experience with it. It can be either a good experience or a bad one, both of which they share.
- Third Moment of Truth: When the customer transforms into an ambassador and evangelist and recommends the product to others. This is where true brand loyalty is generated.
What can be understood from this example is that the consumers get stimulated from different types of influencers in many ways. This to some degree will influence their First Moment of Truth with a product or a service.
Do you need help with Marketing Attribution?
Understanding Conversion Path
Here you can find an understandable and easy explanation of theconversion path in the context of Google Analytics (Multichannel Attribution)
What exactly is Conversion Path?
These are the series of interactions with digital marketing channels that lead to conversions. They are recorded via cookies, stored on your computer, and accessed every time you interact with a particular channel.
Take a look at the following example of conversion path:
- Reads a blog post
- Sees a display ad
- Reads product reviews
- Sees a display ad
- Clicks on an organic search result
Take Daniella as an example.
Daniella loves to read blogs.
She reads a fashion blog post and right after that she sees a display ad about one of the shoes that she read about in the post.
Daniella also uses Twitter a lot.
Later that day her friend shares a review of the same pair of shoes which she decides to read.
The day after, she notices a display ad, but she is late for her bus and doesn’t have the time to buy the shoes at that moment because she was late for her bus.
One week later she remembers the shoes and decides to do a Google search.
This time she finds her way to the webshop through the search engine result page.
Something, however, influences her to wait until the next day, although she is about to buy them.
She remembers the brand and the website, so the next day she just types in the URL and visits the web page directly.
She finally she purchases the shoes.
This scenario is very close to real life.
Here you can observe and imagine the typical channels you customer might be going through before a purchase is made.
The channels we get from Google Analytics are Display, Social Network, Paid Search, Display, Organic Search and Direct.
We will describe all these channels in a moment.
Types of Attribution for Inbound Marketing
The types of attribution for inbound marketing depend on where your acquisition channels are going to be assigned in order to make conversions.
- Online – Offline
Let’s take a look at them.
Online – Offline
This type of attribution will determine the influence of the digital marketing channels on the offline marketing channels and the offline on digital marketing channels.
In this respect, it will be determined the impact of multiple devices such as smartphones, tablets, desktop and smart TVs to create conversions.
It also helps with determining how you should allocate the credit among the devices.
Multichannel Attribution is the most popular attribution model.
What multichannel attribution will do is it will take into consideration the influence of multiple digital marketing channels for each conversion.
Understanding the influence of each channel, its position in the customer journey, and which one create conversions is vital to the successful distribution of your money.
In this model, you can find all the types of attribution model such as last click, first click, time decay…
“theoretical knowledge isn’t always useful in practical.”
People just act and choose what fits best for them.
Customers go back and forth between the marketing channels and devices.
That’s a fact, and there is no point trying to change it.
And this will vary if the person wants to buy a car, a cup of tea or a computer – the variety of buying behavior is HUGE.
And as mentioned before, this will vary depending on whether the person wants to buy a car, a cup of tea or a computer – the variety of buying behavior is HUGE.
None of these models can capture all these movements.
That is why you need more data and knowledge for a reliable attribution model.
What we need to do is allocate credit to the touch points that preceded a conversion within a customer journey.
You might already know what a touchpoint is.
However, maybe you don’t know everything there is to know about touch points.
There are two kinds of touchpoints:
- Online touch points (online marketing channel)
- Offline touch points (offline marketing channel)
During the conversion path, there are several interactions or ‘touches.’
They span from the first click until the last click.
You already saw the above example of the conversion path of a friend that came across a display ad about branded shoes, and later decided to buy a pair.
So all of the channels (e.g. display or social network) that the customer was exposed to pri0or the purchase of the product or service are interactions.
Types of Interactions
- Interactions based on position: This includes interactions whether it is the first one, the middle one or the last interaction/touch.
- Interaction based on type: It depends on whether it is an impression interaction, click interactions or direct visit interactions.
- Interactions based on campaign or traffic source type: It depends on the keywords interactions, campaign, etc.
Types of Analysis
- Assisting interaction analysis: It analyses the interactions other than the last one.
- First interaction analysis: It analyses the first interaction.
With Google Analytics we can track almost all of the touchpoints, in regards to consumers.
Almost all of them.
(If the same customer uses two computers Google Analytics will report that two people were checking the website).
There is a margin of error.
“What if I saw an ad on TV, and afterward I went online to click the ad?”
Then Google Analytics will record that one person clicked on a paid search ad.
That means there’s no recognition of the offline touchpoint.
“But, what would happen if you see a Google Display Network ad sometimes and then you go to the website?”.
Well, in this case, the credit of the conversion goes to the search network ad.
In addition, the information reported is just from only one device and one browser by default.
To understand it better, consider the following example.
You click on an ad about branded shoes on your desktop PC, but don’t buy.
Later you use your iPhone to search the website via ‘Safari’ browser to buy the shoes.
Google Analytics, in this case, will give all the credit to the organic search made via your mobile device.
As you can see, Google Analytics has some limitations.
This is the reason why you cannot trust your attribution report 100%.
But there’s a way to have as few missing touch points in your conversion path as possible and to be able to see almost every aspect of it. The trick is to have data from different sources.
Types of Attribution Models
Several models can help you analyze where the touch points are across your marketing channels.
Attribution modeling comes down to the models used, the most popular of which are listed below here:
- Last Click
- First Click
- Position based
- Time Decay
Last Click is Dead Wrong
And why is that?
The last click model gives all the credit to the last channel the customer visited before the purchase.
This means that only one touch point is tracked.
With only one touch point tracked it’s nearly impossible to know how many times and where the customer interacted with your brand before purchasing.
And that makes it very difficult to allocate your marketing budget properly in the right channels.
Just take a look at the picture below:
(Google Analytics → Conversions → Multi-Channel Funnels → Top Conversion Paths).
As you can see, there are no conversions with only one interaction on the website.
(Jump to the examples right here.)
There’s No Such Thing as a Direct Channel
“What about number five with 2x Direct?”, you might be thinking.
Let us answer to this with a counter-question:
“Did you know about any brand when you were born?”
Therefore, the channel “Direct” isn’t trustworthy.
The reason why we don’t see other channels like Organic Search and Paid Search before the 2x Direct channel, is because of the lookback window.
At this point, the lookback window can only be set to 90 days prior to the conversion.
The takeaway here is that even if you target people down the conversion funnel, near the decision of purchase, it’s not realistic to think your campaign doesn’t need support from other channels to sell.
Under-estimating the contribution of other channels to the number of sales might mislead your investments.
First Click is Better, but Still Wrong
The fast click model gives credit to the first channel which the customer interacted.
If you’re starting to create awareness, it is very well done to put energy in the first channels, but that doesn’t mean you don’t have to value and have information on the rest of the channels.
You might want to focus on the early stages of the buying cycle.
However, what about the stages near the purchase?
Closing a deal is not an easy job, and you would need some support and pay attention to those moments.
Below you see a Model Comparison done inside Google Analytics of first click and last click:
(Make your own Model Comparison: Google Analytics → Conversion → Attribution → Model Comparison Tool).
The linear attribution model counts all the touch points equally and attributes all conversions, transactions, and goals equally.
Linear model, however, might not be the most realistic model.
Treating all the channels or interactions the same way is just impractical.
This model is a hybrid of the last click and first click models. It also gives credit to the rest of the channels.
It’s not unusual that most companies use the position based attribution model which attributing the first, last and the touch points in the middle differently.
We at Spinnaker Nordic prefer a model where we can add all the present information we’ve got from the customers and divide the channels into different value pods.
Normally, the first and last interactions have 40% of credit and the ones in the middle have 20%.
So the channels that create awareness and later the ones that help convert into sales have more importance than the ones which encourage the customer.
Time decay divides the value and number of goals/conversions back to all the different touch points.
In the end, the values are given to last click and first click.
Last click gets most credit and first click gets the least credit.
This model uses an algorithm to calculate which channel is more profitable.
Its focus for those buying cycles that have short consideration phases.
And time is an important factor.
The model has a default half-life of 7 days, but you can customize it.
It means that the channel that catches a conversion before those days will receive one-half the credit of a channel on that day of conversion.
And so, the more time passes, the less credit a channel receives, adding up to a maximum period of 30 days conversion.
Yes, there is a possibility of error.
There is the danger of losing some information about the first interactions if they are essential.
However, this model is more accurate than the others.
Do you need help with Marketing Attribution?
Few Companies Doing it Wrong With Last Click
(Using the default report from Google Analytics, last click).
Imagine your fashion-obsessed friend Mike that has all the clothes, shoes, and accessories he needs.
Regardless, he continues searching for new styles.
So every day he checks the tendencies on his Instagram app, and today he notices a nice jacket.
It’s an alternative brand, so there’s lack of brand awareness.
Here’s the tipping point:
If he buys the jacket, the company provides 100 meals for families in that country.
Because of the charity, Mike forgets his need to investigate the brand, the jacket and so on..
He heads to Google and through organic search buys the jacket through the company’s webshop.
In this case, Instagram was the channel directing Mike.
However, the company gets told that the sale came from the direct channel.
Mike uses Google Search and Google Shopping when looking for a new jacket.
He visits different online stores with different brands, but can’t decide.
Mike goes back to browsing Instagram.
Soon, a remarketing display ad banner from the webshop he checked pops up.
He decides that instead of clicking the ad he can go to the webshop and make a purchase.
However, the webshop sees all this customer journey just as a Direct sale, which offsets the attribution modeling.
As you can see, if you choose the last click attribution model for your marketing attribution report, you might receive data that could affect your campaign negatively.
Example With Theme Parks
(Source: Customer journey choosing a theme park)
A mother is planning her family vacation.
She checks for theme parks on social media, and she finds PARK A that seems very exciting.
She then goes to Google and checks for theme parks nearby.
She sees PARK B and starts researching more about it.
Because she still thinks about PARK A, she decided to compare both of them.
The family cannot decide right away – both parks fulfill their requirements.
The next day, while browsing online, the mother sees a display ad from PARK A.
The offer is a free entrance for a child younger than ten years old.
She tells her husband, and once he is home, he uses the home PC to make a purchase through the website.
If PARK A uses the last click report, they will attribute that sale as coming from the Direct channel.
That is also an excellent example of how companies get to think their brand awareness is skyrocketing!
Well, that might be the case but not the reason for the sale.
That means “Last Click” can damage your sales if you start allocating credit to the wrong channels after getting a bad report.
A marketing channel is defined as a set of practices or activities necessary for the transfer of the ownership of goods from the point ofa production to the point of consumption.
The Role of Acquisition Channels
The role of acquisition channels depends on which industry the company belongs to, the size of the targeted market.
Examples of acquisition channels:
- Organic Search
- Paid Search
- Social Network
The customer interaction almost always varies from one to another industry.
There’s, of course, a big difference between companies like Red Bull and the Danish florist, Interflora.
The customer journey is also different.
Besides, some acquisition channels can assist conversions or be the last interactions to the purchase.
Therefore, you need to use them wisely.
Every Channel has a Different Impact on Customers.
If the channel is used at the beginning of the purchase path, it is used to create awareness.
If it’s in the middle, it creates desire and will make the interest grow.
The channel is used to help close the deal when it is at the end of the path.
One of the most important things to track is where your visitors came from – which website they visited before.
We’re talking about the traffic source.
Examples of channel labels:
- Organic Search
- Paid Search
- Social Network
- Custom made etc.
Google treats them as either Default Channel Labels or Custom Channel Labels.
These channel labels are divided into two groups:
- Default Channel Labels
- Custom Channel Labels
Default Channel Labels (all of them):
Custom Channel Labels are labels defined and designed by a user/company.
Direct is not a Real Channel (No one is Born Knowing Your Brand)
This channel is a bit tricky.
This channel is tricky because it’s not reliable.
And that is why you must be aware of how you value the data you get from Google Analytics.
Sometimes in the reports, you’ll get the impression that Direct is very important.
When does a Direct session occur?
Google Analytics tracks the number of people who typed an URL (your domain) into the browser or used a bookmark to directly access your site.
So out of nowhere customers know your company name?
It would be great, yes!
Nobody is Born Knowing Your Brand
This is true even for companies with a high brand recognition (brand awareness).
Look at an example.
Kids in Denmark are almost born knowing what LEGO is, but of course, that is not true at all.
Their parents gave it to them.
Children grow up with LEGO.
However, they still need to advertise the company and their toys.
In the case of LEGO, the decision maker is the parent, but usually, the initiator and the influencer are the kids.
It’s almost impossible to have Direct channel as the best channel.
What about Facebook?
Are you thinking “Facebook is a famous brand, there’s no need for marketing.”
Facebook is a “young” company, and for them, word-of-mouth gives them value.
It is also a platform that targeted the young generation, which in terms lead to the maturity of the audience.
It was followed by the adoption of the platform by the older generation.
However, none of it stops Facebook from advertising, especially in markets not yet conquered.
Direct can be a lot of Things
Every time Google Analytics can’t determine another referrer, the traffic is considered as a direct session.
Meaning that Google also tracks as a direct channel, if you clicked a link in an untracked email or offline document.
A shortened URL
- Sometimes in the process of redirecting the URL from a URL shortener to your site, the source gets lost and it’s seen as a direct visit.
Mobile social media apps
- Clicking a link from Facebook, Twitter or Reddit (don’t pass at all) generally don’t pass referrer information.
- If you click a secure link to go to a non secure link (http://none.com), the analytics for http://none.com will show the session as direct.
- Accessing a site from organic search sometimes can be reported as direct due to browser issues.
- Whatsapp or Facebook don’t pass referrer information.
But honestly, these are not direct channels. Our report can be fake unless we know how to fix it.
What can you do about it?
It can be tedious but you can include tracking parameters or tag URLs used for specific campaigns to make your reports more reliable.
What All CMO’s Need to Know
- Can you really see all your marketing touch points?
- Is your data very complex?
- Do you use more than two marketing channels?
- How is the organisation of your data?
- Is it easy to understand?
All of this may be overwhelming – but that’s why there have been made solutions for all of them.
Nowadays you can find different services to help you with attribution.
As we have said before, Google Analytics is a great tool with many marketing attribution models.
Use them wisely. Reading this text you will have a great idea of how to improve your reports.
Be aware, that the last click is a standard model in all reports but not in attribution models.
The effectivity of your ads and free channels will provide a competitive advantage over competitors.
Your marketing budget will improve. You will know where to invest in improving sales.
Why is Knowing, so Important? (Budgets etc.)
Online Marketing is all about tracking.
Attribution modeling requires a deep understanding of your customer’s business plan, their industry and target market.
Fortunately, we live in an era where we can have all the information we need.
You can establish a holistic measurement plan with KPIs.
You get the data, then analyse and attribute.
The more you add marketing channels to your strategy and your budget increases you need models that really help.
We believe that with attribution there is a great visibility into marketing impact within a short-term.
In addition, the attribution models are improving thanks to the importance that it has. Making easy the understanding and the great gathering of information for our reports.
Myths of Marketing Attribution (Don’t be Scared)
Attribution can help you allocate credit in online and offline channels and as an example; competitors.
Digital marketing moves fast and so do marketing attribution. The models become better and more accurate.
It doesn’t matter what kind of customer behaviours your customers have, you’ll always need to understand their conversion path – their customer journey, in order to know how they interact and consequently act.
As we said befor, some models are better than others. But nowadays, thanks to algorithms there are more accurate results.
Maybe you still have some doubts about Google and how they get their informations – some of them are from cookies – but at some point you’ll have to believe that the customer saw your Display Ad or you site in the search engine result.
Technology is improving and systems are getting more and more accurate.
30% of CMO think they have a lack of tools to drive digital integration.
Complexity gives the difference regarding data.
It’s important to know if your digital marketing is simple or complex and if it’s complicated to import and interpret.
Maybe you want to implement more robust attribution features.
But we encourage you to create a strong data integration system in order to carry out any meaningful analysis.
Without an appropriate data integration, there will be gaps in your marketing campaigns.
Upgrading your data integration technologies is a good idea if you want a reliable report.
All the data that you can get from the analysis should be combined with your CRM (Customer Relationship Management) data will produce SCV (Single Customer View) data.
Having a more detailed view you’ll be in a position to invest in more efficient marketing budgets.
Is our Team Ready?
You need an educated internal team. Your team needs to understand the importance of marketing attribution. Maybe they need training for them.
A third-party provider.
Or you can hire new people in the team. Data-focused people with a focus on attribution.
All your team should develop a good attitude and have a good communication between the departments to reach the goal.
And then there will be a new team. For example, PR, product marketing and content & editorial.
From now on you will be measuring your advertising ROI. Your efforts will have an impact on your decisions and you will have the power to know where to invest and answer why you chose that.
No more guessing.
Do you need help with Marketing Attribution?
Limitations at School
Unfortunately, not all the schools are giving a great importance to digital marketing. Even though, for example, there are created more e-commerce sites every day for the last years.
However, this is changing. Slowly but surely. Companies demand people with knowledge and universities have to provide.
Digital marketing has such a wide range of models, theories and its need is booming.
Hopefully, marketing attribution will take more than two weeks at some universities.
Two Companies Doing Marketing Attribution Right
The following cases have been made out from a Q&A.
Who is Saxo?
Saxo is Denmark’s first and largest online bookstore with millions of titles. For more than 50 years, we have worked towards bringing authors and readers closer together. On this journey, we have been granted awards for “Best e-commerce” and “Most popular Danish e-commerce”.
How Saxo use attribution modeling:
At Saxo, we focus on online performance marketing, which accounts for 95% of our marketing spend. When analysing, optimising and measuring the different traffic sources, we only have one truth and that is our custom attribution model.
How Saxo started using attribution modeling:
Two years ago, we started looking at attribution modeling. In cooperation with external partners, we started out by analysing historical traffic paths and created our first version of a custom attribution model. Today we are at our 12th version of the model, continually optimising and tweaking it.
Which economic impacts does attribution modeling give Saxo:
We have been able to cut our SEM spend by more than 50% and still grow revenue from that channel. The savings have been invested in display remarketing which value is properly attributed now. As a result, we have grown our revenue from SEM and display with 200%, with the same spend.
WDH – William Demant Holding
Who is William Demant Holding?
The William Demant Group of international companies develops, manufactures and sells innovative solutions with the aim to make a life-changing difference to millions of people worldwide. We are present in more than 30 countries and are global market leaders within hearing healthcare.
How William Demant Holding use attribution modeling:
In the group, it is very important that we use our marketing spend wisely to ensure a positive ROI on all campaigns and activities especially our paid traffic. The average wait time is eight years between the time they get aware of their hearing loss until a hearing device is fitted which is why it is so important for us.
How William Demant Holding started using attribution modeling:
Together with our marketing agencies, our business analyst and the rest of the teams, we got started to work with attribution modeling. It was an eye-opener immediately after looking at our traffic. Our agency helped us with our first attribution model, and everything is in house.
Which economic impacts does attribution modeling give William Demant Holding?
The reason why we got started with attribution modeling was because our costs were really increasing a lot, after working with it, it has reduced our costs with around 50%, which means we are able to get a much better return for a lower price.
Attribution can be Challenging
The whole idea with attribution is to finally prepare a good budget and allocate it within the profitable channels.
Attribution will prove the value of your marketing by connecting it to revenue.
It’s an investment, not an expense.
Thanks to the Attribution Modeling it’s much easier to calculate the Return On Investment (ROI).
We can easily attribute credit to each online and offline touch point in a customer’s purchase journey.
In order to do so. We need lots of data and it needs to be well organised. It can be easy to get data but no to allocate it on every touch point.
However, there is some data that is more untrackable. For example, offline marketing.
And of course, it is impossible to avoid complexity as it is increasing as we add more channels in our marketing.
Even though attribution is not an easy job. You don’t want to be the one who is not using it.
Offline – Online
Determining the impact of offline marketing on digital marketing is a challenge that must be mentioned. And you need to take it into account if you really want to have a good report.
You never know if your future customer saw first your tv ad and because of that decided to click on your paid search.
That is why attribution model shouldn’t be the only factor in deciding marketing spend and strategy.
Attribution has some limitations trying to allocate the effect of external factors.
It is not just important the customer journey when a company touches the customer to its end (the purchase) but a customer’s decisions are also set by experiences outside the journey.
In terms of time, when our customer heard about us, and in terms of with whom the customer was interacting with.
Also, promotions or the economy can be external factors. They might influence a lot in the decision making of your customer.
Let’s wrap it up!
Your product has a place in the market and you have thought about the marketing mix. Then you need marketing attribution.
Money can go easily in the wrong places. And suddenly, you are lost and don’t know where your money goes.
Measuring the impact on growth is decisive and to do so you need to track data to optimise it.
Now that we know how we can get reliable information. You will be able to improve your customer marketing and sales.
Establish a plan to manage your marketing spend so you can reach, impact, provoke and drive your customers where they can engage to buy your product or service.
Hopefully the attribution picture is a bit more clear than it was before you started reading. In digital marketing everything is evolving and challenging.
So the game continues every day.