By Dylan Petersson
28 Dec 2018
Multi-touch attribution is one of those marketing buzzwords that we all know we need to know. You want to walk into your monthly networking breakfast and say “Oh, multi-touch attribution, of course we’re doing that”. But, do you really understand it? And do you really know why it’s worth your time? MarketingLand defines the term well:
“Multi-touch attribution is a way to allocate credit towards marketing touch points that preceded a conversion within a customer journey.”
Beautifully vague, right? There are plenty of ways to go about it, but plenty of reason to make it a priority. Here’s reasons at the top of our list:
“Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don’t know which half.”
Everyone in the advertising world has heard this John Wanamaker quote – but how many can actually figure out an answer? Multi-touch attribution helps you put a finger on what’s working, and just as important, what isn’t. Identify where you’re wasting your time, and start channeling those hours towards more productive tactics. After all, who among us isn’t searching for a few extra minutes for lunch (or happy hour)?
Yes, you have your pages and forms that are generating actual conversions – but what about all of the things you’re doing to bring people there? Think of your marketing tactics as a soccer team, and conversions as the goal. How many goals are scored without an assist? Not every player is making flashy moves and finding the upper corner, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t contributing in important ways.
This goes hand in hand with the idea of giving credit where it’s due. In today’s internet-driven world, marketers and need to keep in mind that all customers and prospects have tons of info at their fingertips; they’re doing their research on your product well before they interact directly with a sales rep, let alone buy. With that in mind, remember that your website visitors are coming for a number of reasons, at all stages of the buying journey. Your goals for this wide cross section of visitors need to be customized—you need to have micro-conversions in place. Multi-touch attribution models can help you track these micro-conversions, and understand how they contribute to standard (or macro) conversions. Even better, you’ll learn a ton about your prospects, how they behave, and what they really want in the process.
Take a minute and think about all of the analytics platforms at your fingertips. Chances are you have a Google Analytics account, various social media accounts all with their own in-platform analytics, analytics attached to your email automation provider, paid advertising analytics, SEO numbers, some flavor-of-the-month free thing that was going to give you unprecedented marketing insights—you get my point. Marketers are far from short on data. The key is putting it to use. Multi-touch attribution provides a framework to help take that data and actually make it meaningful.
Sure, you know that that cool new optimization tool or increased budget for a content writer will be worth it for the overall success of your marketing efforts – but does your boss?
By putting a dollar value on the different tactics you’re pursuing with a multi-touch model, you can make the case to your superiors for the things you want to try and expand. Your manager or VP may not ever really understand the marketing jargon that makes all these things you know so obvious, but they’re never going to argue with concrete ROI.
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