Business Management

5 Common Questions Clients Will Ask About Attribution

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Why is marketing so confusing? Because no matter how much you know, there is always more to learn. It’s no wonder that your clients ask so many questions and I’m sure you’ve heard many that come up time and time again.

Marketing attribution helps you to justify the marketing budget spend and prove to your client how much value each marketing effort brings and the revenue it generates and it seems that more and more people want to know about attribution. To make things easier when talking about attribution with your clients we have put together the five most popular questions asked and given you the answers to each.

1)     What is attribution?

Once upon a time the path to purchasing was straight forward but, with so many new technological advances, the way customers interact with your brand has significantly changed.

Today, it’s rare that customers go straight to your website and make a purchase. A customer may discover your brand through multiple channels – websites, retail stores, email, social media and mobile. Some common touchpoints (interactions) include product search, landing pages, checkout pages, email/social media, instore, blogs or newsletters and review websites.

Attribution is the credit or value given to specific marketing touchpoints to identify the direct effect it’s had on revenue – in other words, giving credit to how the customer came to know about and subsequently buy your product or service. Attribution is the bridge between marketing data and sales data: marketers assess the value or return on investment (ROI) of the channels that drive customers to your brand.

2)     What is the difference between conversion tracking and attribution?

Perhaps it’s a misnomer but a conversion is how the user interacts only with your website. Your business would define what you would regard as an important conversion. This may include phone call clicks, email clicks, sign ups, downloading PDFs, submitting a contact form and completing a transaction. Therefore, tracking conversions is simply tracking specific actions that people do on your website.

Tracking attributions is more detailed and tracks how marketing directly affects revenue. It tracks every engagement from a customer, from the very first engagement (that ultimately lead to a purchase) to the last interaction before making purchase, and assigns appropriate revenue credit to the touchpoint that caused each engagement.

3)     Can attribution be used with offline interactions?

Yes and you would want to ensure you track both online and offline touchpoints to ensure no channel is under-valued. Marketers are turning to telephone, mobile and location data to bridge the gap between online and offline attribution. By utilising phone call tracking, you can determine which channels, campaigns and individual ads are generating phone call engagement and which marketing campaigns have been successful in driving conversions. This information is collated to provide data that can be used to create a comprehensive report on the ROI for each individual marketing campaign/channel.

Without call tracking, confusion could arise over the performance of your marketing campaigns (if offline interaction is not taken into consideration) and the steps necessary to improve them.

Here is a useful guide that can help you to understand better how call tracking can improve your clients’ campaigns

4)     What is social attribution?

Social media can be the first touch engagement point or the last touch point, as well as an influential part of the customer journey. Most marketers are only tracking traffic from social media and the click through rates, without determining the true value and revenue that this channel provides.

Social attribution can identify each engagement the customer has and measure which content/campaign is converting leads. You can look at social media attribution in three levels:

  • Channel attribution – the first stage in determining your social media ROI is to give credit where credit’s due. Gathering where each lead has come from enables you to attribute a definite number of leads to each social channel.
  • Campaign attribution – in addition to the first engagement point, campaign performance tracking helps identify the revenue each social campaign generates, as well as what drove the traffic and the content itself that converted the lead to a sale.
  • Engagement attribution – not every lead will click the link directly to your site, or the traffic go directly to the specific targeted landing page. It is a platform for consumers to engage with your brand and ultimately bring them one step closer to a sale. Social media engagement tracking at the lead level will help you further determine attribution.

5)     What are single touch and multi-touch attribution?

Single touch is the simplest method of determining attribution. It looks at tracking a single touch in the customer journey, which gives credit (the entire revenue) to that specific touchpoint.  The single touch will be dependent on the chosen engagement, whether that’s the first engagement or the last touch, that lead to the conversion. This could work well with companies which have a fairly short buying journey (very few touch points).

Multi-touch attribution is more complex as it takes into consideration multiple interactions that occur along the journey to conversion. It is able to give partial credit to each touchpoint, regardless of where the touches occur in the customer journey. This then allows companies to understand the revenue of each touchpoint and the impact their specific marketing campaigns have had to reach a conversion. With multi-touch attribution no touchpoints are overlooked, whether they occur at the start, the middle or the last engagement.

Written by Natalia Selby from Mediahawk