Attribution modeling – a definition
The way your website receives traffic has evolved over time, so did evolve the behavior of users, reason why you need to look at attribution modeling. The customer journeys have more and more touchpoint to the different digital platforms – from search engines, social media, direct, display advertising and third party websites. It is not rare that there will be about 10 visits to your website before you get your visitors to fill out a form or complete a transaction. If you invest money in digital advertising for example on a paid search, social paid, programmatic advertising, display advertising, buying e-mail lists, creating content or doing content partnerships, you will mostly use a simple model to optimise your campaigns; which is known as the last click attribution model. This attribution model gives all the credit of an action to the last visit source, making you invest more money into that advertising channel whilst not taking into consideration the source of the 9 previous visits which contributed to the conversion. But what is an attribution model ? here is a definition by google
Why use attribution models
Using attribution models to balance your marketing investment in different channels will save you a lot of money and massively reduce your cost per lead / cost per acquisition / cost per sales. As an example, you would evaluate programmatic or display advertising as being an expensive acquisition channel. But if you look at your conversion paths, you will most certainly see that display advertising helps to convert visitors into buyers, therefore adapting your investments on that platform and helping to create retargeting or look-a-like campaigns to maximise that channel. To define your attribution model for your business, you will have to view the different standard models (first click, last click, time decay, etc.) to see which one fits best to your business and adapt it to maximise its efficiency.
The tools ?
• Google Analytics, its free and has been in the market for a long time
• Facebook attribution, its free and feeds in data from other sources (but not Linkedin)
• Bizible, newly owned by Marketo, an adobe company, it is a very complete solution
• Windsor.ai, a new company based in Switzerland
• Datorama, a Salesforce company
• Kochava, a mobile focused solution
• Amazon attribution, for people who use the Amazon platform
There are many more tools and choosing the right one for your company will depend on the traffic volume, your media investments and mix and your costs per lead / cost per acquisition.
Alternatively, if you implement a marketing automation solution, this solution will also give you a view into Attribution of your leads generated or transactions generated.
What are the outcome ?
• Better understanding of the customer journeys
• Reducing your cost of traffic but even more your cost of acquisition (count with at least 15% savings, up to 70%)
• Creating transparency towards acquisition channels
• Adapting your paid media model for lead generation and for every other step in your funnels
• Understanding the contribution of the different teams to the results (including PR, SEO, Social organic, etc).
• Focusing your team priorities on the channels that matter
How to get started?
• Put a tracking system in place
• Start accumulating data
• Find the correlation with the predefined models and the segment of your audience / your products
• Add paid media cost data to understand not only the volume of visits, but also the costs related
• Start building your own model
• Test & optimize