A Definition of Multi-Touch Attribution Model
Multi-touch attribution is a marketing tech function of an advanced attribution solution. This model proves the value of B2B marketing strategy in terms of metrics associated with opportunities and revenue. Some people find it easier to understand multi-touch attribution when it’s contrasted with single-touch attribution. Single-touch attribution gives revenue credit for a customer to a single touchpoint, which ascribes the full revenue amount to one channel regardless of how many touchpoints led to the conversion.
But, today’s world is not this cut-and-dried. Customers today reach companies through multiple touchpoints as technology advances, so to accurately assign revenue credit for a sale, a multi-touch attribution model divides credit to the channels, campaigns, keywords, and touchpoints that contributed to the sale. The goal of using a model that accounts for multiple touches is to know where to invest in the future to acquire new customers.
Types of Multi-Touch Attribution Models
There is not a single type of multi-touch attribution model; rather, it is a category that captures a variety of models. Simply put, these models credit revenue to more than one touchpoint and give a more accurate picture of the touchpoints that lead to a sale. Six of the more common types of attribution models include linear, time decay, U-shaped, W-shaped, full path, and custom. All of these weighted models give marketers and their companies a better idea of which of their strategies are succeeding with customers.
- Linear – Linear models give all interactions the same credit for a conversion. Each touchpoint gets equal credit rather than assigning weights.
- Time Decay – Time decay models are more accurate than linear models, as they give more credit to interactions that occur closer to the conversion. As a result, earlier touchpoints receive less weight.
- U-Shaped – A u-shaped model gives more weight to the first and last touch, generally 40% each, and then divides the remaining value of the conversion among the remaining touchpoints between them.
- W-Shaped – A w-shaped model is similar to a u-shaped model, but it ascribes 90% of the weight to the first, converting, and last touchpoints and distributes the remaining 10% to all other touchpoints.
- Full Path – A full path model takes the three touchpoints highlighted by the w-shaped model into consideration and adds the final touch that results in the conversion.
- Custom – Custom models are advanced but allow companies to set their own weights. By their very nature, custom models empower you to give varying degrees of credit to the touchpoints that supported the conversion; your company will have to go through a trial and error process to determine how to create these custom models.
Benefits of Multi-Touch Attribution Model
Marketing teams that utilize multi-touch attribution models gain a much clearer picture of the success of their campaigns. By recognizing which touchpoints lead to conversions, marketers can optimize and prove the ROI of their efforts. They also gain a complete view of the customer journey and see how all of the touchpoints impact buying decisions. Indeed, these models help marketers more effectively report and optimize campaigns. They also know where to make future campaign investments.
Using a multi-touch attribution model also helps marketers know which campaigns and channels to continue to use and which to abandon. Choosing the most appropriate model for your organization also makes it possible for you to see over time which touchpoints most consistently result in growing revenue, acquiring customers, and retaining customers.
Best Practices for Multi-Touch Attribution
Look at marketing attribution as an exercise in discovery. Proper attribution can help you identify the marketing campaigns, strategies, and touchpoints that produce the most revenue, providing valuable insights that can inform future campaign planning.
You should also aim to own your atrribution model; CRM and marketing automation solutions often come with built-in, inflexible attribution rules. Instead, look for business intelligence software that enables you to define your own rules and build a custom model that suits your needs.
It’s also a good idea to get a cross-department consensus on attribution rules. Enlist representatives from all departments to determine not only what should be measured, but how. To do this, you’ll need to know what metrics matter most for your business and how various attribution models would impact reporting. Make sure your metrics measure results – not channels. You should also evaluate existing historical data to inform the development of your attribution plan.
Further Reading on Multi-Touch Attribution Model and Marketing Technology
For further information on multi-touch attribution model and marketing technology, visit our blog. For your convenience, we have linked to three of our most recent multi-touch attribution model and marketing technology posts below: