Multi-Touch Attribution: Why We Shouldn’t Tunnel in on One Attribution Model

Jeff Knowles / December 12, 2019

As a marketer, you’re likely familiar with the term attribution, the ways in which we measure the results of a marketing effort. For example, if you’re in the business of selling tickets, then it would be beneficial to have the ability to attribute ticket sales to advertising campaigns. Attribution provides insight into how we measure data, how much revenue can be directly tied to advertising spending, and how we can optimize for better results.

There is great potential for tracking attribution in the digital landscape. Every page view is an exchange and offers a look into how users are interacting with your brand. It’s helpful to view aggregate data on your marketing platforms, but only some of this is done automatically on the platforms that we use most frequently.

Are your digital platforms measuring results across devices, and aggregating users’ data correctly? The answer is sometimes.

Many individuals in the digital advertising world use last-click attribution. It answers the question: “Did Client X last click on ad Y and complete action Z.” It might mean that you’re answering whether a client through a device (i.e. a phone), completed a clickthrough, and afterward completed a purchase. But perhaps, the user has a phone and a computer. If you’re separating one from the other, then how well do you really understand the user?

It’s important to recognize the power multi-touch attribution has on your advertising techniques. Most people quickly move through the internet, looking for information. During their initial interaction clicking through your ads, they often drop off your sign-up form. Tracking these individuals and serving them with repeated ads is key to increasing the likelihood you’ll see conversions in your advertising process, and that’s easier to do with a multi-touch attribution system in place.

With most of the clients we work with, we are helping them adopt complex multi-channel advertising strategies. These strategies often require cross-device and cross-channel attribution tracking.  Again, the idea is to collect as much data as possible about users’ journey through your digital sales funnel.

As you consider how to get the most value for your marketing dollars, remember that an investigation into the results from a multi-touch attribution perspective is an increasingly powerful tool for gaining insight on customer interactions with your advertising. That investigation should guide your advertising optimization, and will help ensure you’re not wasting resources on the wrong strategy.

If you have questions on how to develop an advertising game plan that appropriately accounts for multi-touch attribution, contact us. We love helping organizations figure out how they can win better and more often.

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