By adaptive - June 24th, 2014

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Traditional last-click attribution is fast being replaced with multi-touch attribution, as social media changes the sales relationship

Until the inception of social media, the sales funnel was linear in that marketers and sales teams were able to clearly track how a conversion occurred, usually via a single sales channel. Today how corporations and their sales teams manage their marketing is multifaceted, so it makes sense that the last touch metric must also evolve, as consumers increasingly move to multi-touch sales channels.

Says Marie Myles, Director of Consulting, Experian Marketing Services: “‘Multi-touch’ attribution is measuring the effectiveness of your media spend by modelling data and desired outcome in terms of sales or response and then optimising the channels accordingly to deliver improved performance and feeds into the customer engagement strategy.”

So what are the five questions you should ask when implementing ‘multi-touch’ attribution?

  1. Do I need a ‘multi-touch’ attribution model?
  2. What channels are you measuring and should this include offline?
  3. Do you have the tracking in place to measure all touch points?
  4. Do you need real time attribution or can modelling retrospectively suffice?
  5. Are the skills available for analysis of the data and implementation of the model?

In their report Bizible state: “In order to build a custom attribution model, you need to have a detailed understanding of your most common conversion paths. For large companies, there may also be disagreements on weighting based on the channel the employee owns. Not only does this exercise make your marketing more efficient, but data around your conversion paths can also sequester arguments on how much credit each channels should receive.”

Marketing teams within corporations have been evolving their approach to conversion attribution for some time. Social media has clearly had a major impact on conversion rates, but more importantly, has delivered a dynamic touch point that is powerful when integrated with other established attribution models. Here, search continues to lead with first touch attribution, but social is quickly catching email, display and referral touch points.

Percentage won by middle touch when search was first touch

Bizible conclude: “There’s no perfect one­size fits all multi­touch attribution model, so take the time to deeply understand which will be best for your company. Also, always remember that multi­touch attribution isn’t a ‘set it and forget it’ action. It’s important to keep monitoring your model and adjusting, especially as your business and marketing changes.”

As consumers are now omnichannel shoppers so the attribution models sales teams are using must also take these multiple touch points into consideration when analysing conversion paths. What is clear is that the sales funnel is now multifaceted and requires sales teams to become open to new attribution models.

Social media of course has heralded this change, and will continue to do so. Corporations and their sales teams that can understand this impact and develop a close appreciation of multi-touch attribution in a world dominated by social media will be the businesses that become leaders in their market sectors.

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