Simply put, b2b attribution determines which marketing touchpoints have the most impact on converting leads and increasing ROI. One of its goals is to help business owners make better marketing decisions and realize success by maximizing their marketing expenditures. Generally, attribution is categorized into two models: single-touch attribution and multi-touch attribution.
When talking about touchpoints, they can be any interaction that is made at any point in the customer journey. Following a link, a display ad, downloading products, or a sale qualify as touchpoints.
In single-touch attribution models, 100% of the conversion credit is assigned to only one marketing touchpoint. This is a popular model because it is easy to implement. A few types of this model include Last Touch, Last Click, First Touch, and First Click attributions.
While a single-touch attribution is so straightforward, multi-touch attribution models take it a notch further by giving credit to multiple touchpoints and digging deeper into the details. It allows marketers to get an in-depth insight into the customers’ experiences. So aside from identifying which channels and strategies are working, they also get to improve many aspects of their marketing and product development.
This post will help you understand the different multi-touch attribution models, their pros and cons, and tips to determine which multi-touch attribution fits your business best.
What is Multi-Touch Attribution
The competition in the online business industry is steadily increasing. Now is the perfect time to start tracking all interactions involved in the customer journey because they contribute to the conversion.
The marketing and sales team regards multi-touch attribution as the process of assigning fractional credits to the different touchpoints that lead to conversion. It is not limited to a single dimension but covers plenty of dimensions, like channels, content, and device parameters in reporting attributes.
It is also used to clarify the chronology and type of interactions that happen before and influence conversions. Ultimately, it helps optimize the conversion paths because marketers thoroughly understand the prospect’s journey. You need to be scientific in your approach to have relevant data analysis that would lead you to your goals. Multi-touch attribution is the only way to transform your marketing strategies and help you translate your efforts into ROI.
Types of Multi-Touch Attribution Models
If you are a marketer who wants to drive up conversions and increase ROI while doing it wisely, then you are probably looking into using b2b attribution software for your marketing. Analyzing campaign performance is the only way to gain the upper hand in the ever-changing marketing environment.
But dabbling into b2b marketing attribution is only easy when you do a single-touch attribution model. Multi-touch attribution models are a little bit complex, and it would help you a lot to know about their different types:
1. Linear Multi-Touch Attribution Model
Every touchpoint is given equal weight in driving conversions in this model. This means the revenue is credited to all touchpoints the customer went through. It does not matter how many stages or touch points there are from point A to B. For example, you are selling a bag and have put up social media posts promoting the bag, had influencers mention it on their pages, and sent out promotional emails. Once a potential customer buys the bag, each marketing effort is given equal credit for making the sale.
This attribution type considers every touchpoint necessary in the buyer’s journey. It is excellent to credit all touchpoints in the conversion path evenly; this would encourage you to optimize the whole customer journey instead of focusing only on a single touchpoint. However, it can be challenging to determine which strategy is helping you convert. This will limit your opportunity to improve if there are flaws in your strategy that you missed out on.
2. U-Shaped Multi-Touch Attribution Model
This model is also called the Position-Based Attribution, where the focus is on two main touchpoints: the touchpoint where prospects interacted with the brand first and the touchpoint where they became qualified leads. 40% of the credit is given to each of these touchpoints, and the remaining 20% is doled out to those touchpoints in the middle.
The advantage of using this model is that you can optimize touchpoints that are considered two of the most critical stages of the customer journey. However, one of the drawbacks is that you can mistakenly put too much credit on a low-value interaction. Just because a promotional email, for example, is the first touchpoint, does it mean that it has much to do with the conversion? What if the customer glanced at the email and was uninterested but more convinced upon seeing social media ads? There is a high chance that the more critical touchpoints are left out just because of their positions in the sales funnel.
3. Time-Decay Multi-Touch Attribution Model
With this model, the touchpoints nearest to the conversion point are given more weight. It doesn’t count if the customer was convinced to buy your product but waited for a while to actually buy it and only closed the sale when you sent a cart abandonment email. The email would receive the most credit even if it were not what made the customer want to buy your product.
This attribution model works, but a long sales cycle can make the earlier and more crucial touchpoints look useless in the customer journey. This might pose a problem if you will be tempted to design better strategies at the end of the cycle rather than putting an effort to impress customers during the first interactions.
4. W-Shaped Multi-Touch Attribution Model
This model gives three touchpoints the most credit. The first touchpoint, the touchpoint where a prospect becomes a lead, and the last touchpoint before a sale are all given 30% of the credit. The remaining 10% is evenly distributed to other touchpoints the customer has gone through.
The best thing about this model is that it will allow you to pinpoint which touchpoints convert leads and determine other touchpoints that engage customers more. It gives you the chance to improve those touchpoints to encourage prospects to become leads and leads to become customers.
5. Full-Path Multi-Touch Attribution Model
Also referred to as the Z-Shaped Attribution, a full-path multi-touch attribution model looks into four touchpoints and considers them the most crucial in the customer journey. The four points include the first touchpoint or the first interaction, lead generation touchpoint when prospects become qualified leads, opportunity touchpoint or when leads become sales-ready, and customer touchpoint or the final touchpoint before becoming a customer. Each of these touchpoints is given 22.5%, and the remaining 10% is credited to the rest of the touchpoints. This granular approach provides a more thorough insight into the customer journey.
6. Custom Multi-Touch Attribution Model
It is easy to guess what you should expect from a custom multi-touch attribution model. It is within your power to assign the weight of the credit across all touchpoints. You decide which stages of the customer journey are more crucial than others.
This type is probably the most helpful than the other attribution models. You can fine-tune the attribution strategy according to the business that you do. For instance, you need to be more granular in your approach but don’t like the placement of credits on a full-path model.
As you can see, a multi-touch attribution model offers a clearer view of the customer journey. It is not as easy to set up as a single-touch attribution model, but it reveals the value of all your efforts in the marketing strategy.
Benefits Of Multi-Touch Attribution
The explosion of available marketing channels plus the changing customer journey is what makes b2b attribution such a challenge. This is why multi-touch attribution is key to reaching the right audience at the right time and with the right message. It is a more diligent approach than a single-touch attribution model, where you can miss a lot of essential data from different touchpoints.
But what makes having a multi-touch attribution necessary? Here are its top benefits:
- It makes the customer journey a lot clearer. Today’s marketing environment is so complex that prospects must go through up to 56 touchpoints before finally becoming customers. You get a holistic view of the sales cycle by attributing to many touchpoints. This helps lessen the possibilities of wasted opportunities because you identify the channels that work and tweak those that are not helping you much.
- Connect marketing spend to ROI. Marketing is expensive and will be a waste of investment if you are not smart in your approach. Multi-touch attribution models guide you in identifying which campaigns you should prioritize your spending on and which ones to abandon. This is very important for startups who need to appropriately allocate resources to stay afloat.
- Improve the customer journey. Although the ultimate goal of attribution is to determine the best marketing strategies to maximize ROI, it wouldn’t hurt to use it to improve the whole customer journey. With multi-touch attribution, you can collect a lot of information about the user experience. It will reveal the flaws in your marketing strategy that may cause leads to discontinuing on the path to becoming customers. After all, there’s nothing more effective in marketing than making customers happy and content with their journey.
How To Choose a Multi-Touch Attribution for Your Business?
Because the customer journey is becoming more complex by the day, starting with marketing attribution is not the easiest. While the actual multi-touch attribution can be confusing at first, there are a lot of tools that can help you out. In reality, the most challenging part of attribution is choosing which multi-touch model will be perfect for your business.
Since different multi-touch attribution models put credit weight on different touchpoints, it is best to remember that your needs are the ultimate criteria when choosing one model for your business.
Linear attribution, for example, is effective if you have no idea how different touchpoints affect your audience. You are sure that the prospects spend an extended amount of time considering your product, so you spend time influencing the prospects by making all touchpoints work together. This will not be ideal if you do not have the time to tend to each touchpoint and relate to the others. If your team is determined to emphasize the first and last touchpoints, then the U-shaped attribution can work for your company.
This means that to choose a model that fits your brand, you have to devote time to research and evaluate the current marketing campaigns you are doing. This will ensure that you have a model that will cater to your specific needs.
Implementing Multi-Touch Marketing Attribution
The first step in implementing marketing attribution is knowing whether you are ready for it or not. You are prepared to begin this journey if you have multiple channels and strategies for your ads. It is also essential to consider attribution when you want to be aware of how your marketing efforts fare and whether there is a need to change them or not. Attribution is also crucial if you want to implement SEO best practices. It is the solution you need if you are frustrated with tracking and analyzing your marketing manually. Finally, you are ready to attribute if you are keen on improving the customer journey.
There are two options to get multi-touch attribution off the ground. First, you can do all the work and set up the resources to collect the necessary data. Another and much more intelligent way is to have a marketing attribution software that will automate all the processes for you.
Typically, not all attribution software shares the same features. It would help if you saw to it that the one you have has all the tools to give you raw data relevant to your business and marketing needs.
It can be overwhelming to start at first, but with the help of modern tools and advanced software, multi-touch attribution is highly doable and generous with its benefits. Start small by focusing on the most crucial touchpoints, then work your way up. What is most important is that you take each attribution step as an opportunity for you to learn and improve your methods.
The B2B digital footprint is continuously growing and finding methods that help companies evaluate their marketing efforts is only fitting. Marketing attribution is a process that will aid in this goal. It offers the opportunity to optimize campaigns and get insight into the different interactions in the customer journey.
There is no shortage of attribution models to choose from in understanding customer behavior, especially when it comes to multi-touch attribution models. However, there is no perfect model for marketing attribution. As much as you like to use a single method in deriving comprehensive and accurate attribution data, the only way to meet your needs is to create a model that will be most beneficial to the actual marketing strategies that you do.
The process behind multi-touch attribution models is powerful because it helps you identify all factors that make customers want your brand. It allows you to design marketing strategies that are highly influential in your purchasing decisions based on the data that attribution provides.