Attribution Modelling - The Key to Digital Marketing Success?

Posted by Netmatters
20th July 2015

What is Attribution Modelling?

Attribution modelling is intricate and sophisticated, and it really does require you to have a deep understanding of the business you are doing it for. You need to have a lot of vision to be able to understand this, as well as having advanced knowledge on how different digital channels work both together and individually with your business model to create sales and convert visitors into consumers. If you do not have such a deep knowledge on the way that the business works then it is not recommended that you jump in and create an attribution model, as when it is used incorrectly then it is not at all effective, and is simply wasting time.

When attribution modelling is talked about most people instantly jump on the Google bandwagon, but attribution modelling actually goes far beyond Google’s own analytics. Google’s analytics is the method most people use for attribution modelling, so that is what is going to be focused on in this article.

Attribution modelling in its most basic form is calculating the value of each touch point a customer goes through before actually making a conversion. It’s very helpful if you want to fully understand the thought process of a customer, and more importantly it allows you to identify which aspect most of your conversions actually come from. This allows you to justify and validate which of your digital marketing channels are actually worth the investment you are putting into them and which ones aren’t. You do not have an attribution model if you are only looking and analysing one attribute at a time. If you have an effective attribution model, and you are investing your budget wisely then you are guarenteed to have a higher average visitor value.

Why should I action Attribution Modelling?

Attribution modelling shows you what works and what doesn't. It allows you to see a huge wave of data that is all extremely relevant to the actual conversion rates of your site, for example which key words are driving the most sales, should I continue with paid advertisements if I am not gaining any conversions through it, and how should I allocate my marketing budget to get the most sales as well as customer retention.

Attribution modelling allows you to see all of the routes that a customer goes down before they convert, and what this gives you is the ability to judge where they actually heard about you from. Analysing this data will give you a good idea of where the majority of sales are actually coming from, and this is widely beneficial to all companies. If you pay half of your marketing budget on paid advertisements and the discover that only 10% of your actual conversions come from this, and that most of your conversions are actually coming from social media for example then you have instantly identified how inefficiently you are spending your budget on an ineffective touch point, and from this you can identify a touch point that holds more of the actual converted rate and spend more on that route.

Why would the conversion paths of my customers be different?

Your customers are people, all individual and unique. The chances are that all of the conversions you receive daily have a different path to conversion, and there are many reasons for this. Those who have used your products or services before, or those who have heard about your company in the past are probably the easiest to identify with their paths probably looking something like an organic search then direct through to your brand, or direct straight to your site to conversion. Those who have not discovered your brand before, and find it through an organic search or advertisement will have an entirely different path based purely off of the fact that they have not had any experience with your brand.

Businesses always have two main goals, and these are to acquire new customers and then retain their current ones. With attribution modelling you can see how effective your brand is at doing both, due to the likelihood that your existing customers will not go through multiple points of landing before going direct, and new customers will. Ideally you want as little touching points as possible, as the less of these you have the easier it becomes to actually identify where your conversions are coming from and it makes your model a lot simpler to improve to its most efficient point.

Attribution modelling can be complicated, and the best way to learn about it would be to experience it yourself. There are a lot of different tools that will allow you to analyse this data, and many of them are free. Attribution modelling really is a great way to maximise what you are getting out of your marketing budget, and if you are not doing it then you are just missing out on a way to make your brand more customer orientated, it allows you to become the most advertised in the places that show more conversion, which generally means the traffic that clicks through to your site will actually be interested in your services.

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