Understanding Attribution and How it Works


Understanding Attribution and How it Works 

The FieldTest Team · August 23rd 2019

Marketing attribution can be a daunting puzzle for most internet advertisers. It’s no surprise, as the growing number of marketing channels and devices continue to create more layers of complexity for CMOs and their ad strategies. With hundreds of thousands in spend per channel, and pixels tracking click and view-through conversions across all platforms, marketers are struggling to accurately measure attribution.

If your understanding of attribution feels muddy, you are certainly not alone. Many CMOs and marketers don’t know the value of their channels and their connection to customer purchases. This basically means they can’t effectively manage their ad spend and optimize revenue for their marketing efforts.

We’re here to make things a bit easier on you. We’ll break down attribution into digestible nuggets, showing you how we handle it, all so you can better manage your marketing campaigns and stop pulling your hair out in confusion and frustration.

What is Marketing Attribution?

Marketing attribution is a way you evaluate the marketing touchpoints a consumer encounters on their path to purchase. With marketing attribution you can get a better understanding of your channels and messaging, allowing you a way to determine which tactics are having the greatest impact on customer conversions.

With the help of attribution models like multi-touch, single-touch, lift studies, and time decay, marketers can gain insights into how, where, and when users interact with brand messages and ads. Put simply, attribution models show you which platform is the most effective in driving customers to your website, providing you more optimized campaign management and improved ROI.

Low Barrier to Entry

Even if you haven’t thought about attribution, you’ve probably got some basic mechanics in place to get the wheels in motion – especially if you’re using Google Analytics and tracking data correctly within social channels like Facebook, Twitter, and Linkedin.

Just the data in these tools alone can help you understand where each channel falls in the customer’s purchase journey. Do the Google clicks lead to conversions? For direct response, do Facebook mobile ads work better than Instagram ads? 

Best of all, you can set up basic attribution models (first-click, last-click, etc.) using just this data alone. 

So now you’re off and running. Let’s talk costs.

Maximum Results, Minimum Spending

With all the channels, devices, and data to track, attribution can seem crazy expensive. But guess what, it’s actually not. With the free data you’ve analyzed in the section above, you can set up funnel touchpoints across all your channels. It’s easy, cheap, and super effective in understanding how users interact with your brand.

So What is a Marketing Attribution Model?

In short, attribution models give value to your marketing campaigns with statistical analysis at the user level. They are typically categorized into two categories: single-touch and multi-touch. 

1.   Single-Touch Attribution Models

Single-touch models attribute conversion to a singular touchpoint, which is often the first or last one engaged with by the user. One example of single-touch is the last click model, which attributes a conversion to the last traffic source the consumer clicked on before converting.

While single-touch is simple and easy to understand, it doesn’t give a big enough picture to the customer journey and all the touchpoints along the way to conversion.

2.   Multi-Touch Attribution Models

Multi-touch models analyze all the touchpoints along the customer’s journey to conversion and purchase. Along with being more accurate, multi-touch allows you to assign value to different channels. 

While multi-touch can seem complex, it often results in more messaging and targeting accuracy, as it utilizes important datasets from all your channels. 

Benefits of Attribution

Attribution models can be tough to get right, especially when they involve complex datasets for both online and offline campaigns. But when models are used effectively, they can offer a range of benefits to your marketing team and your brand campaign.

Optimized Ad Spend

Attribution models provide vital insights about your customer journey, allowing you to better allocate your ad spend to platforms getting the most interactions.

Higher ROI

When attribution is utilized correctly, you can reach the right audience, at the right time, with the perfect messaging. This leads to more conversions and increased ROI.

Enhanced Personalization 

Marketing teams can use the attribution insights to better understand the preferences of individual customers. This allows marketers to create effective messaging and targeting that connects with individuals though the entire customer journey.

Better Product Development

Attribution helps marketers understand the needs and desires of their customers, which can be referenced when creating updates to the product being advertised.

Optimized Creative Direction

Attribution models can help marketers evaluate their messaging and visuals, providing better insight into how and when they should communicate with customers.

Why Attribution is Important

If you’re a marketer or advertiser, ROI from all your platforms is probably the most important metric. If it’s not, it should be. Thanks to attribution models, you can gain more insights across all your platforms, which means you can stop wasting money in places where your customers aren’t interacting and converting. 

Here at FieldTest, attribution is paramount to our client success. With our platform you can easily and efficiently gain clear insights into all your customer touchpoints. Our platform has helped a number of DTC, B2B, and B2C clients manage attribution across social, SEO, PR, sponsored content, and paid media. Take our platform for a test drive and start making attribution you new best friend.

Get in touch to find out how FieldTest can boost your ROI and put you in control of your advertising spend!

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Garrett Griebel