A Marketing Attribution Model is a framework that is meant to analyze the touchpoints or Marketing channels that should receive the credit for a conversion. By analyzing the Marketing Attribution Models at your disposal you can get a better understanding of the bigger picture when it comes to ROI (Return On Investment).
In this article, you will get a brief introduction to the concept of Marketing Attribution Models followed by the various types of Marketing Attribution Models available in the market.
Table of Contents
Introduction to Marketing Attribution Models
The end goal is to know where to spend more and where to stop spending on Marketing. Once a Marketer knows the role that each touchpoint played in conversion, they can come up with proper Marketing plans. A Marketing Attribution Model is a method for attributing conversions to Marketing channels. The use of Marketing Attribution Models helps Marketers to know the campaign that should gain credit for each conversion.
For example, is it your AdWords campaign, Instagram Ads, Facebook Ads, search engine optimization, or referral program? After knowing which strategy is working well, you can leverage it further for more conversions. On the other hand, it’s practically impossible to empower your Marketing strategy without a Marketing Attribution Model. You’re reading this because you are using different Marketing strategies. However, you don’t want your time and money to go to waste. That’s why you must have the best Marketing Attribution Models for your Marketing campaigns.
A Marketing Attribution Model is like a clock. If there is no nearby clock to tell you the time, then you will use the light outside to guess the time, but you won’t get it right. The same also happens in Marketing. Most Marketers spend too much of their time guessing and less time knowing. However, with Marketing Attribution Modeling, you can accurately give credit to the correct Marketing activities.
Marketers use different Marketing Attribution Models to get this information. They give Marketers insights into a customer’s interaction with their brand. Marketing Attribution helps businesses to customize their ad campaigns to meet customer needs and increase the ROI.
Understanding the Factors Determining the Best Marketing Attribution Models
Advanced Marketing Attribution programs need Marketing teams to normalize and aggregate consumer data across channels. This is done in order to ensure that each interaction is appropriately weighted. Advanced Analytics platforms would be required by the Marketing teams to achieve the level of Data Granularity required for effective Marketing Attribution.
When deciding on the best Marketing Attribution Models from the ones present in the market, you can keep in mind the following factors to guide you:
- Target Channel: If the focus of your Marketing campaign happens to be a single channel like SEO, you don’t need to utilize multi-touch Marketing Attribution. Instead, a “last-touch” Marketing Attribution Model would be the right choice from the best Marketing Attribution Models available; in order to steer growth.
- Sales Cycle Length: Based on the length of the Sales cycles, you would need Marketing Attribution Models that work throughout the length of the cycle. Due to the limited time span of the tracking cookie in a “first-touch” Marketing Attribution Model, a “time-delay” Marketing Attribution Model would be the right choice from the best Marketing Attribution Models. This makes more sense since it can account for the gradual increase in interest over the cycle.
- Number of Touchpoints: The sophistication of a Marketing Attribution Model is directly proportional to the number of touchpoints in the Sales cycle. A simple “last/first-touch” Marketing Attribution Model would be the right choice among the best Marketing Attribution Models.
- Primary Objectives: Your objectives will determine the right choice from the best Marketing Attribution Models available based on what you are trying to measure. If you wish to generate demand, the “first-touch” Marketing Attribution Model is the right pick from the best Marketing Attribution Models. When it comes to measuring conversions, you should go with a “last-touch” Model that works just as well as the “first-touch” Model here. When you need to keep track of the entire Marketing funnel, the “multi-touch” Marketing Attribution Model is the right pick from the best Marketing Attribution Models available.
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Best Marketing Attribution Models
Today, a buyer’s journey towards conversion involves many devices and touchpoints. The reason is that businesses are using a multi-channel approach towards promoting their brands in the market.
Each Analytics platform provides different types of Marketing Attribution Models. A company may be using Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube to promote the same brand. In such a case, Marketers should know the channels that a user interacted with before taking positive action. This can help Marketers to create more customized campaigns and businesses to improve their customer experiences. That’s what Marketing Attribution Models do.
The following is the list of the best Marketing Attribution Models that you can consider using for your Marketing campaigns:
- First-Touch Marketing Attribution Model
- Last-Touch Marketing Attribution Model
- Linear Multi-Touch Marketing Attribution Model
- U-Shaped Multi-Touch Marketing Attribution Model
- Time Decay Multi-Touch Marketing Attribution Model
- W-Shaped Multi-Touch Marketing Attribution Model
- Custom Multi-Touch Marketing Attribution Model
1. First-Touch Marketing Attribution Model
It gives all credit to the first point of contact between the customer and the Marketing campaign, regardless of whether the conversion was influenced by that campaign or not. Some Marketers use this Marketing Attribution Model to show the role of their top-of-the-funnel Marketing materials in creating the initial awareness, which eventually led to a sale.
For example, if you bought a PPC ad on paid search, that touchpoint will get all the credit, even if the user interacted with hundreds of other touchpoints. It means that your television ads, your company salespersons, and events will get no credit.
Although the first-touch Marketing Attribution helps Marketers know which touchpoints are important at the start of a customer’s journey, it doesn’t consider the middle and the end of the customer’s journey. This makes it only suitable for use in niche situations out of the possible best Marketing Attribution Models.
2. Last-Touch Marketing Attribution Model
In this type of Marketing Attribution Model, 100% of the conversion’s credit is given to the last ad campaign that the user interacted with, regardless of the number of interactions made by the user before conversion.
Imagine a consumer saw your brand advert on Facebook, clicked it, and viewed the product page on your website. The same consumer also saw your ad on television, but they still decided not to buy the product.
Then finally, the consumer saw your attractive billboard advertising your brand on their way home and finally decided to purchase the product. The billboard will get all the credit for the conversion. However, a look at the customer’s journey to conversion shows that it’s not only the billboard that is behind the conversion.
This type of Marketing Attribution Model is used more often than the first-touch Marketing Attribution Model. However, all other touches except the last touch are irrelevant for conversion when comparing the best Marketing Attribution Models.
3. Linear Multi-Touch Marketing Attribution Model
Out of the possible best Marketing Attribution Models, this type of Marketing Attribution Model gives equal credit to all the channels that the user came across in his path to conversion. For example, if the customer came across the ad on Facebook and Instagram, each will be given 50 percent Marketing Attribution credit.
However, consumers are not impacted equally by all touchpoints. Some touchpoints will play a bigger role in converting the consumer than others. Hence, although linear-Marketing Attribution is better than first-touch and last-touch Marketing Attribution Models out of all best Marketing Attribution Models, it has some shortcomings.
4. U-Shaped Multi-Touch Marketing Attribution Model
In this model, the highest weight is given to the beginning and the end of the path to conversion. The first and the last touch in the line of conversion are awarded 40% each. The remaining 20% is distributed evenly among the middle touchpoints.
This way, the Marketing team can know the touchpoint that started the customer journey and the one that led to the conversion.
5. Time Decay Multi-Touch Marketing Attribution Model
In this Marketing Attribution Model, more weight is given to the touchpoint that the consumer interacted with closer to the conversion. Its focus is on the touchpoints at the bottom of the customer’s journey to conversion, although the touchpoints at the middle and the top are also given credit.
The credit given to the touchpoints keeps on declining up the line until the first touchpoint, which is given the least amount of credit. This Marketing Attribution Model gives more value to the touchpoints that led to a conversion.
It can be the appropriate model for your business, but some businesses consider it short-sighted considering all the best Marketing Attribution Models in the market.
6. W-shaped Multi-Touch Marketing Attribution Model
This model gives the first touch, lead creation, and opportunity creation touchpoints 30 percent credit each. The remaining 10 percent of the credit is divided among other touchpoints. It’s a good choice when it’s easy to identify the stages that create opportunities.
However, it’s difficult to categorize the pieces of a customer’s journey.
7. Custom Multi-Touch Marketing Attribution Model
This is a Marketing Attribution Model created by an organization using its own rules. It is the best model for Marketers who want the best from several worlds. They can combine the benefits of all the best Marketing Attribution Models into one. In most cases, these models are created based on data.
However, it can be complex to create an advanced Marketing Attribution software that may be needed to customize the Marketing Attribution Model.
Here is a brief summary of the 7 Best Marketing Attribution Models explored so far.
Limitations of Marketing Attribution Models
In this blog so far, you have glanced at the features of the best Marketing Attribution Models along with their features. But even the best Marketing Attribution Models have a few limitations. The following are drawbacks of using Marketing Attribution Models to credit touchpoints during Marketing:
- Marketing Attribution Models don’t credit immeasurable factors that contribute to conversions. For example, word of mouth and offline Marketing.
- Marketing Attribution Models don’t consider the impact of organic behavior when crediting ad campaigns. For example, user acquisition campaigns that already have strong brand equity.
- It doesn’t give the true ROI (Return on Investment). Marketing Attribution Modeling divides up credit among different touchpoints on the way to conversion. However, that’s not how Marketing works in the real world.
In this article, you’ve learned about what Marketing Attribution Modeling is along with the best Marketing Attribution Models. This blog also explored the various types of Marketing Attribution Models present along with their limitations.
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