Why you will need Marketing Attribution in the future

SMARTe Marketing AttributionDigital advertising has introduced new challenges and new opportunities in marketing attribution. Every touchpoint along a consumer’s path is measurable, allowing advertisers to identify the tactics that drive results, allocate budgets more effectively, and scale their best performing campaigns. However, not all attribution models provide the right incentives or measure the metrics. Attribution models assign credit to some or all of the touchpoints that contribute to a conversion—such as impressions, clicks, web searches, and website visits.

Here, we’ll outline some of the most common models used to measure display advertising and get to the bottom of how they may work for you.

First TouchGives full credit to the first click or view in the conversion path.

Prospecting and upper funnel influences are recognized, but they aren’t strongly connected to the conversion. The arbitrary nature of the time window in first touch attribution also makes it difficult to measure how much influence the touch had on a conversion that can take place weeks later.

Last TouchGives 100% credit to the last view or click before the conversion. 

While great at uncovering the action directly preceding a conversion, it does not credit prospecting efforts, which are often critical in driving incremental conversions. If you have multiple partners on a plan, they often fight over the last touch by serving more impressions, resulting in suboptimal budget allocations.

Linear Gives equal credit to all the touchpoints on the path to conversion—everyone gets a little love!

This approach recognises the value of upper funnel marketing efforts. The challenge is its complexity and the fact that it tends to reward high-volume, low-quality clicks or touches. Conversion paths with many touchpoints must allocate credit to each touch, even if they aren’t driving conversions.

MultitouchMore than one or all touchpoints in a conversion path get either an equal value or fractional weight.

A multi-touch approach can help move beyond the limitations of last touch, but it typically requires additional investment to manage data collection and analysis.

Time DecayGives very little credit to the first touch, instead increases the level of reward the closer the touch point is to the conversion.

While it makes sense intuitively to give more credit as you get closer to conversion, this approach still dramatically favors retargeting and drives suboptimal budget allocation.

What works best for your display campaigns?

Media channels, Display, Search, Affiliate, Social work together to drive sales and revenue, however, it is not best practice to arbitrarily assign a single attribution solution to work across all channels without considering the goal you’re working towards and the mechanics of the channels you are seeking to evaluate. In most cases, the conversion itself is the primary goal, closely followed by a desire to attract new customers. Understanding which tactic initially drove customers to your website will help you better evaluate the success of your prospecting investments.

Attribution is still a work in progress

Although attribution presents a challenge for advertisers, implementing the right strategy provides an opportunity to significantly improve the performance of your digital marketing campaigns. There are several approaches to choose from, and each has its benefits and challenges.

As more digital marketers utilize more channels in their strategy to reach prospects, it’s important to understand the growing relationship between those channels and what works best for your business.

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