All About Attribution Modelling
In an increasingly fragmented digital landscape, marketers rely on data to measure the success of their marketing efforts and evaluate their return on investment. Enter attribution modelling.
What is Attribution Modelling?
Attribution modelling is the process of assigning credit to the various touchpoints leading to conversion (be it a video view, brochure download, lead generation tool, or sale) thereby determining the value of each individual marketing effort to your overall strategy.
Marketers can use this data to understand how prospects engage with their business throughout the buyer journey, identify and track trends in the path to conversion, and ensure time and money is being devoted to the most effective marketing activities.
There are several frameworks for attribution modelling including single and multi-touch attribution models and each is favoured differently by the various analytics platforms like Google Ads. So which attribution model is right for you and how do you get started?
Popular Frameworks for Attribution Modelling:
First Touch Attribution Model, or First Click Attribution, assigns 100 percent of credit to the very first interaction a customer has with your business. This model places emphasis on the top of the sales funnel, highlighting the marketing efforts that are initially attracting prospects to your brand. However, first touch attribution ignores the importance of repeat exposure and offers marketers little insight into which touchpoints are driving the final conversion.
Last Touch Attribution Model, or Last Click Attribution, assigns 100 percent of credit to the marketing effort that drove the final conversion or sale. Focused on the bottom of the sales funnel, this model is widely used as the default method of attribution because it is easily implemented. While an important metric for conversion tracking, last touch attribution can oversimplify the buyer journey, which involves multiple important touchpoints.
Linear Attribution Model splits credit evenly between every marketing interaction a customer has with your business. This model offers a more balanced overview of your marketing strategy than single-touch models. However, not all marketing efforts are created equal. Linear attribution fails to highlight the most and least effective touchpoints and limits a marketers ability to optimise particular efforts.
Time Decay Attribution Model takes into account when an interaction occurred, splitting credit between all touchpoints with the most credit assigned to interactions closest to the final conversion. The further from the final touchpoint, the less credit a marketing effort receives. This model allows marketers to optimise efforts that directly lead to conversion but minimises the importance of top-of-funnel techniques.
U-Shaped Attribution Model, also known as Position Based Attribution, assigns 40 per cent of credit to the first touch, 40 per cent to the last, and distributes the remaining 20 per cent evenly between all other customer interactions. A comprehensive model that acknowledges all touchpoints, U-Shaped Attribution allows marketers to optimise efforts at both ends of the sales funnel but can undervalue mid-funnel lead nurturing efforts.
W-Shaped Attribution Model assigns 30 percent of credit to the initial customer interaction, 30 per cent to the lead creation, the moment a prospect becomes a viable lead, and 30 per cent to the last interaction before conversion. The remaining 10 per cent is distributed evenly between the other touchpoints. This model focuses on what are arguably the three most important goals for marketers: awareness, leads, and sales.
Every attribution model has its advantages and limitations. There is no one size fits all and ultimately picking the right model will be completely dependent on your existing marketing efforts and goals. You may want to use multiple models in tandem or customise your own attribution model.
Getting Started with Conversion Tracking and Attribution Modelling
Basic conversion tracking involves identifying your website conversion events, such as a form-fill or PDF download, and tying them to ‘goals’ in Google Analytics. The goals can be tracked through UTMs, snippets of code appended to URLs that track the performance of specific content and campaigns. UTMs track the traffic to your website through source (e.g. Instagram), medium (e.g. sponsored post), and campaign (e.g. EOFYsale).
For comprehensive attribution modelling that tracks conversions and measures ROI, you’ll need a SaaS CRM solution like Hubspot. Hubspot aligns your sales and marketing efforts in a centralised system to track customer interactions at each buyer stage, right through the funnel. Using a CRM simplifies processes of attribution, removing the need to engage web developers and master multiple tracking tools.
In an increasingly fragmented digital landscape with marketers investing in more channels and mediums than ever, it is imperative to evaluate the impact of each customer interaction in driving conversions and sales. With attribution modelling, you’ll have the confidence and concrete data to identify the return on investment of your digital marketing channels and campaigns and pivot your overall strategy accordingly.
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