Pimp Your Analytics – Multi- Attribution Marketing Explained

An image of a three stage funnel chart.

SEO – the name says it all. The industry itself is often encapsulated in confusing acronyms and archaic jargon, leaving us drenched by a downpour of SEMs, PPCs, 301s and .XMLs. The further you delve into this forest of wild terms, the more you realize that you’ve taken the red pill and emerged on the other side. Once you’ve moved beyond Follow-links and Redirects, you may find yourself leaping into Analytics and Funnels, and that’s where this article comes in. This far down the rabbit hole we begin to see how much control we can wield over the reams of information that dance at the tips of our fingers. Enter the fabled world of Multi-Channel Attribution….

What is Multi-Channel Attribution?

Traditional analysis of customer conversion rates (measuring how many customers complete a specific goal such as purchasing an item or registering for a service) has focused on the ‘last point of contact’, meaning that as a marketer your only choice was to attribute the entire credit for a conversion to a single channel i.e SEM paid advertisement. However, we know that in reality this isn’t always the case – there are likely to be many different factors and ‘points of contact’ that the customer encountered before completing that goal. It’s important, and highly valuable for us to know what these other ‘touch points’ were along the way, and Multi-Channel Attribution is just the trick to give us that extra, critical information.

How Does it Work?

There are actually a few different types of Multi-Channel Attribution, ranging from the traditional ‘last click’ method through to a variety of multi-point models. Here is an overview of the most common types, and I encourage you to research each of them further as each one harbours complexities that warrant a deeper look:

  • Last Click – With the traditional ‘last click’ method, all of the credit is given to the last point of attribution. This has been the one most widely used, mainly due to technological limitations. With advances in tracking and analytics technology, there really is no excuse to be stuck with this method.
  • First Click – The exact opposite of ‘last click’, first click is equally opaque as it does not provide a clear picture of real-world behaviour. Some companies use it to find the point where there customers are coming into first contact with the company, but without additional attribution this is limited in value.
  • Linear – Linear attribution divides credit equally between all points of interaction. At the very least this gives you an overview of the path that customers have taken on their way to a goal completion.
  • Time Decay – Time decay attribution assigns more credit to interactions that occur closer in time to goal completion, which gives you a greater idea of the various factors at play just before customers complete a goal
  • Customized – When companies and marketers understand the systems of attribution well enough, they can begin to create their own models. This is the pinnacle of Multi-Channel Attribution, as you can create a unique system that complements your company’s unique individual characteristics.

Why Should I Use It?

The benefits to Multi-Channel Attribution are numerous:

    • Not only do you gain a greater understanding of your customer’s behaviour when engaging with your brand across multiple-channels, you will also be able to optimize these channels based upon this behaviour.
    • You may notice that while budgeting is spread fairly evenly across different marketing departments, there could be a case to increase the budget for one sector i.e. SEO and reduce it for another i.e. SEM.
    • It may prompt you to increase your social media presence, or decrease activity on Twitter and place additional emphasis on Facebook, for example. Maybe your company newsletter is sticking in people’s minds and prompting them to make a purchase a few days later…
    • It can save you time, money and effort – and if that doesn’t excite you, nothing will!

Get Started Now!

Every analytics program worth its salt will give you the ability to track touch points across multiple-channels. If the software that you’re using doesn’t offer it, you may want to seriously consider switching providers. As a final word, it should be noted that a lot of companies have either not yet begun using Multi-Channel Attribution, or have only started to use it recently. This means that you and your company can start now and be miles ahead of the competition – paving the way for increased market share, revenues and hopefully, profit!

I hope that this article has given you some insight into the exciting world of Multi-Channel Attribution and inspires you to find out more about this new wave of analytics! Do you have experience with Multi-Channel Attribution? Do you plan to make the switch? Let us know your thoughts in the comments, we’d love to hear from you!

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