Which marketing attribution model is right for your business?

The Drum 12 Jun 2019 12:10
By George Karapalidis -12 June 2019 13:10pm

The marketing sector can be a complicated place as new marketing tools and techniques are launched, almost on a weekly basis. Powered by The Drum Network, this regular column invites The Drum Network's members to demystify the marketing trade and offer expert insight and opinion on what is happening in the marketing industry today that can help your business tomorrow.

Vertical Leap simplify various marketing attribution models so marketers which would be most suitable for their business.

Your marketing data tells a completely different picture depending on which angle you examine it from. Your latest content marketing initiative may look bleak if you look at it in the vacuum: it may not bring direct sales. But if you move one step ahead or back, you might notice that it has actually contributed indirectly to conversions. Customers came to your blog from organic search and later converted via email.

Attribution Models: Quick Definition

The six standard attribution models

First Interaction attribution (also "first click) does the opposite to the previous model: it gives 100% of the credit to the first interaction. This model is a good way to measure demand generation and pit several acquisition channels against one another to determine the best one. But the model is short-sighted when it comes to omnichannel digital marketing campaigns and of little use to businesses with long sales cycles.

Position based attribution assigns 40% of the credit to first and last touchpoints and splits the remaining allocation between the other encounters a customer had with your brand. This way you can do more CRO for the two main channels, as well as gain visibility into the interim touchpoints. But the emphasis on the first/last channel may not realistically represent your business cycles. For instance, a prospect could have landed to your website via a random social media link, but later reactivated with a personalised email offer or a webinar. Without those nudges, she wouldn’t be “sold”.

Custom attribution modelling. Each of these five models can be upgraded with additional rules to match your business needs. Also, you can benchmark them against one another using the Google Model Comparison Tool. By reconciling analytics data you can distil additional insights and improve visibility into customer journeys to some extent. But you cannot completely change the credit allocations suggested by different types of models.

Instead of using the standard models, your company can opt to develop a data-driven attribution model.

You can obtain real-time insights into how different channels are performing, what creative assets play the most important roles and which campaigns are bringing in steady ROI. Such models can be further enhanced with predictive analytics. In this case, algorithms will be able to estimate the performance of certain campaigns; pinpoint where optimisation should be applied and suggest when to double up or pipe down spending on a certain campaign.

George Karapalidis is a data scientist at Vertical Leap.

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