Multi-Point Marketing Attribution

Furthering the discussion on marketing attribution, let’s take a more in-depth look into a different group of attribution models called Multi-Touch Attribution Models.

Types of Multi-Touch Attribution Models

Companies and marketers who take advantage of three or more marketing channels will find the multi touch attribution models more appropriate. Typically, these companies have a bigger marketing budget. Consider automating these models with a customer relationship management (CRM) tool for the best results.

1. Linear Attribution Model

The linear attribution model assigns equal credit to all the interaction that occurs during a sales cycle. This includes everything from the first touch to conversion. In other words, all the touchpoints in this model have the same level of importance.

Advantage: Marketers don’t have to concern themselves with assigning conversion credits to specific touchpoints since every part of the sales funnel is considered equally important in the linear attribution model. It gives a full overview of the customer’s journey from lead to conversion.

Disadvantage: Setting up and implementation can be tricky and complex. Also, the model does not help marketers to fully optimize their channels since it is difficult to analyze exactly which touchpoint is more effective.

When to Use the Linear Attribution Model

This model is most suitable for marketers with a typically long sales cycle involving plenty of buyer interactions.

2. Position-Based Attribution Model

The position-based recognizes the importance of the middle point in addition to the vital roles of the first and last touchpoints. The model gives 20% credit to the middle touchpoint and credits 40% to both the first and last interaction points.

Advantage: This model emphasizes several points of interaction, allowing marketers to optimize those channels.

Disadvantage: The first or last points might not always be equally important, but this model doesn’t consider that.

When to Use the Position-Based Attribution Model

This model works best for campaigns designed to make consumers engage with content and convert almost immediately. It is not the best option for long sales cycles.

3. Time-Decay Attribution Model

As the name suggests, the time-decay model essentially ignores all interactions that occur at the early stage of a customer’s journey. With time, the initial touchpoints become less valuable and don’t receive any credit. Instead, the attribution goes to the points closer to where the actual conversion takes place.

Advantage: This model helps you identify and optimize channels that play significant roles in conversation.

Disadvantage: Time decay ignores some touchpoints that may have played vital roles in the conversion process.

When to Use the Time-Decay Attribution Model

This model is suitable for businesses with long sales cycles. It focuses mainly on the interactions at the later stages of the lead’s journey that triggered the conversion, allowing you to optimize lead generation.

4. Algorithm Attribution Model

The algorithm model offers the most complete and accurate way to determine a lead’s journey from the first touch to a successful conversion. The model can work manually or by automation, depending on the marketer’s tool.

Advantage: The model has a significantly higher success rate than others. It provides accurate data that allows for proper attribution of credits to the most important touchpoints instead of randomly assigning equal credit to all the points of interaction.

Disadvantage: The algorithm model is rather complex. It takes specialized knowledge and tools to perform the necessary calculations. Also, it can be an expensive option for smaller businesses.

When to Use the Algorithm Attribution Model

The algorithm attribution model is best suited for complicated sales processes. It is an excellent tool for a comprehensive overview of the different stages of a sales funnel.

Which Marketing Attribution Model Should You Use?

Choosing the best attribution model for your channel partners depends on a few factors, such as your budget, typical sales cycle, and the sophistication of your marketing campaigns. Multi-touch attribution models are best suited for businesses with complex marketing efforts that usually require nurturing leads through long sales cycles.

Keep in mind, though, that accurate attribution models are not usually easy to implement. Besides, complicated models are not necessarily the best options for every business. That notwithstanding, businesses that prioritize accuracy and have the budget will find the algorithm attribution model most accurate.

Attribution Challenges with Channel Partners

For all their benefits, marketing attribution models present some challenges that can get in the way of providing accurate data. Some of these include:

Correlation-Based Bias

This refers to when attribution models make it seem as if one event in the lead’s journey triggered another, when that may not have been the case.

In-market bias: Some consumers are in the market to buy specific products regardless of whether they see your ad, but the credit goes to the ad for converting the customer.

Digital Signal Bias

This refers to making optimizations based only on digital data while ignoring offline data. If your sales activities occur both online and offline, your optimization decision should factor in all data sources.

Cheap Inventory Bias

Sometimes, the conversion rate for low-cost media may have higher natural performance due to the target consumers and not necessarily because of the ads. This gives an incorrect view of media performance and can lead to wrong optimization decisions.

Finding the Right Attribution Provider

Marketers looking to make the best of their campaign efforts need to combine a few different models and compare data from each one to know which channels to optimize. To do this, businesses need to find a sophisticated analytics platform from a trusted provider. The provider’s tool or software should be able to incorporate speed, accuracy, cross-channel marketing insights, and connection to branding and performance.

Elevating your channel marketing so that your sales teams can close successfully is no easy task.

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