Planning, launching and managing campaigns are part of the day-to-day marketing managers. As leaders of their media investments, one of the most complex issues is to determine which channels create the best ROI and thus drive growth upwards. Indeed, a conversion, today, involves different partners. Each of them plays a role, more or less determining, and deserves to be rewarded.
For this, there are attribution models. Groups of rules that determine how the value of sales and conversions are assigned to the points of contact between the consumer and the brand. But in the world of web analytics, very little things are more difficult than finding the right attribution model for your own business.
From Last Click to MTA
Attribution models are many: linear, first click, time decay, etc. Yet there is one that stands out. The one favored by advertisers is the last click. A common repository in advertising, this model, easy to understand and implement, represented the logical choice in a world where, historically, web analytics limited our knowledge of the customer journey to the environment of the advertiser’s site. And this knowledge was usually the last touchpoint before the conversion. Today, in a context where premium cross-channel and tools allow us to analyze the data of all the marketing channels, this model seems “slightly” obsolete.
Think about it. If Messi scores, is it only due to his merit? Did he put the ball all over the field? Okay, maybe he’s the only player in the world who can actually do it … but nobody else really helped him? How many players participated in the action?
Emailing campaigns, social networks, SEO, SEM … In the same way that Messi should not be the only one to be rewarded for his work (even if it’s the scorer), the conversions are not due to the work of only one channel / partner.
At this time, a large amount of data generated by a consumer’s interactions can be collected and measured. Convenient to make an informed choice in terms of attribution. We understand now that this attribution must today be multiple. Welcome to the Multi-Touch Attribution (MTA).
Now that this multiplicity is recorded, we can proceed to the second step: the choice of the weight to assign to each of the channels involved in the conversion. At this stage of the story, several factors will have to be taken into account:
- The behavior of your users / clients (online and offline)
- Your sector of activity
- The position of your business in this sector
- The complexity of your Customer Journey
From the analysis of these data, it will be possible to set your digital strategy according to your marketing objectives (acquisition, conversion or loyalty), and therefore define a customized and adapted attribution model.
So, how do you know how much weight to assign to each partner? By looking at the data that is available!
By examining the conversion history, it is possible to establish a first weighting. Thanks to the conversions already registered, you will be able to determine and prioritize the channels that occur most often in conversion paths, those that initiate sales, and so on.
Once the choice of a specific weighting has been made, it will be necessary to go through the essential step of the test & learn. In the same way that the tastes of users change, their journey before conversion evolves. It is therefore necessary to be ready to review and (re) adapt to your attribution model, at both operational and strategic level.
To go (even) further
Beyond the distribution of the investments value on the whole customer journey, some marketing departments decide to integrate intermediate conversion objectives at the heart of their MTA model.
How does it works?
Imagine. You are part of the marketing team of an online banking player and you are preparing the media strategy to promote the launch of a new saving account.
First of all, you could define what your intermediate conversion goals are (traffic acquisition, downloading the information booklet, uploading documents to open an account, etc.).
Then you could go for a data-driven MTA model, which will compile all of the customer journey information and calculate a “contribution to the conversion effort” of each partner, for each objective.
Finally, you could even filter the population on which your data-driven MTA model applies. For example, you could focus on the journeys of your “new client” and compare the performance of your partners to an “existing client” target.
Or have your model work on complementary product categories, such as bank cards. The possibilities are endless, but always aim to answer specific business issues.
In short, choosing the right attribution model will allow you to measure the real performance of your investments and thus reallocate your future budgets more efficiently. The limitations of last-click control are more than ever considered as a real obstacle to the growth of a company. And the Multi-Touch Attribution could be one of the keys to your future success.