The increasingly complex nature of the customer journey – which now spans multiple devices, channels and sessions – is becoming harder than ever to untangle. So, in order to be able to optimize marketing activities, marketers need to be able to identify which of their channels are working, and which are not.
This is where multi-touch attribution modeling comes in.
Attribution is the process of ‘accurately assigning value to each digital marketing touchpoint across the complete user journey, providing a greater understanding of what combination of events drove conversions’. In layman’s terms, this means it gives marketers a view of how many leads, conversions, and the ROI, of every marketing channel.
Clearly, this is a strong starting point to solving the general problem of marketers not having visibility on the outcomes of their marketing activities, but here are three specific reasons you need multi-touch attribution for marketing channel optimization
Analyze every step
Multi-touch attribution models ingest every step of a customer’s journey – and when we say every step, we mean every step. Almost any data source can be included in an attribution model. This means that marketers are gaining a granular view of how every marketing touchpoint contributes to a customers’ path to purchase, providing them with a deeper understanding of the specific steps customers take to convert. For instance, understand the interaction between an email newsletter, an affiliate site, or a keyword and how each of these channels worked together to lead to a conversion. With this complete view, decisions about marketing activities and marketing budget are grounded in the most complete data possible.
2. Assign value between channels
Once visibility of the entire customer journey is achieved, a multi-touch attribution model then assigns a value to each of these touchpoints. A unique value is calculated based on every stage in every customer journey, and on previous and future steps – meaning the value is as accurate as possible. With these insights, marketers can understand the real cost and ROI associated with each of their marketing touchpoints. From here, they can identify where marketing activity plays little to no role in driving conversions, see any inefficient and underused channels, to redistribute spend accordingly. For instance, if PPC channels social channels are being over-invested in marketers can reallocate spend to a channel that is proven to result in conversions, such as Facebook or another social platform.
3. Assign value within channels
With the average cost per click rising 65% over the past two years, marketers need to not only optimize within channels but also to be able to lower their costs within a channel too. For instance, knowing that paid search channels contribute to a customer conversions more than social channels helps marketers redistribute spend accordingly. Multi-touch attribution enables marketers to understand their marketing spend in the most granular detail– and therefore provides them with visibility on, which keywords and ads lead to conversions, and which are clicked on (costing them money) but bringing in no ROI. With these insights, marketers can save on PPC spend by redistributing their budget to drive conversions and increase ROI – something that is key for marketing channel optimization!
Sam Carter is CEO of Fospha, the data platform for marketers to understand and optimize the cost of acquisition and lifetime value.