Here’s a quick primer on Multichannel Marketing Attribution
If you’re leading marketing for a product or service that primarily uses online channels for advertising, chances are you’ve tried to pinpoint which channel leads to conversions (e.g. signup or purchase).
This is the basis of Multichannel marketing attribution — given that a potential customer has many touch points across many channels before they convert, how do you attribute conversions to the right channel.
Let’s break this concept down a bit more.
What are some typical marketing channels?
Any medium where a potential customer interacts with your brand can be a marketing channel. Examples include social media ads, word of mouth referral from a friend, review videos on Youtube, or passing by your company’s billboard on the freeway.
It’s hard (and sometimes impossible) to measure engagement that happens in the physical world (e.g. billboard view). Because of this, when discussing multichannel attribution, people tend to refer to digital channels which are easier to track and measure.
Why is attribution important?
Knowing which channels lead to conversions can help guide where to spend energy and resources. There’s no point in investing heavy on social media ads when in fact it’s Reddit posts from community members that lead to a prospect turning into a customer.
Channel attribution can also help you understand what customer journeys (i.e. combinations of channels) lead to conversions. For example, it might be helpful to know that customers who go on the “website page -> social media ad -> marketing email” journey have a higher chance of converting than those who go on different paths.
Why is it hard?
There are many reasons why this type of analysis is hard to implement. Some of the nuances are:
Anonymous data is hard to connect to a person (e.g. incognito web browsing)
Biases in the data can lead to the wrong channel getting attribution
It’s difficult to get the right, clean data to solve this problem
If every marketing team could wave a magic wand, I’d bet they would use it to solve multichannel attribution. As difficult as it may be, I believe that multichannel marketing attribution is a valuable tool to have to understand your product and its customers.