A Complete Guide to Multi-Channel Attribution for Marketers
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By: Sagar Sharma

A Complete Guide to Multi-channel Attribution for Marketers

For the growth and development of any business, the organization must provide the best products and services to its customers. The organization needs to use a proper channel for the marketing of their business to attract more customers to their products and services. Marketing creates a proper base for launching and advertising the products and services thus enhancing the sale. It also allows interacting with the customers.

What is Multi-Channel Attribution?

The organization needs to track the marketing tactics used for the sale of its products. An organization relies on several channels for the marketing of its products. Multi-channel attribution is a type of process used by the organization for tracking the various marketing channels for the sales of the product.

The marketing members use a set of rules that allow them to allocate appropriate values for each of these marketing channels based on their contribution to the sales cycle. These help the marketers in generating high-quality leads for managing the budget in areas of potential revenues.

The Importance of multi-channel attribution

These multi-channel attributes play a very important role and help in evaluating the effectiveness of the marketing. The different beneficial gains of this multi-channel marketing include:

Expanded reach

This helps to reach out to a larger and potential audience. Using this multi-channel marketing technique, there are increased chances of interacting with customers to convert them into potential customers

Enhanced engagement

Using multiple channels allows having communication without any interruption. Increased modes of communication keep the customers engaged.

Reach out to the customers

The customers do not have to wait for their favorite brands to communicate with them. Having increased channels allows them in noticing brand awareness and attract customers.

Multi-channel Attribution Model Types

The multi-channel attribution allows the organization to create a set of rules based on the buyer experience and the sales funnel. It helps to efficiently manage the different marketing and sales channels to gain revenue. There are different types of multi-channel attributions to select from. These include:

1. Linear Attribution

It is one of the most common types of attribution. Mostly the seller who likes to have a clear picture over their customer prefers this. This attribution assigns equal credit to the different channels engaged by the customer before making the purchase. Using linear attribution, the targeted advertising gets equal attribution for the sale of the product.

Example: If the customer visited the product website through different sources like Instagram, email for or even through YouTube, etc, then each of these channels will get paid for the advertising of the product. All the channels involved in the customer’s product journey will get paid.

2. First-Order Attribution

For this type of attribution, the entire credit is given to the first channel that encourages the customer in purchasing for this sale as well for all future sales. For first and the subsequent purchases, the attribution that helped in connecting the customer, gets paid for the same.

Example: If the customer at first visits the product website through Instagram but does not make a purchase. Later if he visits the website through YouTube and then makes the purchase. In this case, as the customer visited the website for the first time through the link via Instagram, it will be paid for the purchase as it was the first to encourage the customer for the product purchase.

3. First-Click Attribution

This attribution gives all the credit for the sales to the channel that helps customers to connect to the product. This does not concern how the customer purchased the product. The first click on the advertisement done by the attribution gets paid for the sales.

Example: If the customer has come across the product website through multiple channels say 3 different channels Instagram, YouTube, and Facebook respectively, the first one that prompted the customer to visit the product site to view the product will get the credit. As in this case, Instagram will get the credit for the purchase.

4. Last-Click Attribution

As the name of this attribution suggests, then click on the type of attribution that the customer clicked just before purchasing the product and get the credit for the sale of the product.

Example: If the customer comes to the product website through multiple channels like Instagram, YouTube, and Facebook respectively; the last channels used by the customer to reach the product website before making the product purchase will get paid for the sale of the product. As in this case, Facebook gets the benefit.

5. Position-Based Attribution

This attribution is similar to the linear attribution model and it assigns the credit to all the channels that are included in the customer’s entire journey for the product. It gives proportional credit to all the attributes based on the touchpoint falls. The first and the last touchpoints get 40 % of attribution while the others get the 20 %.

Example: If the customer has come across the product website through multiple channels, say 5 different channels, then the first and the last channel will get 40% attribution each, while the remaining 20% will be distributed amongst the remaining 3 channels.

6. Time-Decay Attribution

This attribution is similar to the position-based model. It gives credit to all the channels that are involved in the customer’s journey for the product purchase. More attribution is provided to the channels that are close to the point of purchase. If there are 2-3 different channels responsible for getting the customer to the product website, the channels that encouraged the purchase, get the maximum credit.

Example: If the customer has come across the product website through multiple channels like Instagram, YouTube, and the campaign email. If they click on the email to make the purchase, then under this attribution, 50% credit is given to the email followed by Instagram and YouTube.

7. Algorithmic Attribution

The most commonly used method for attribution is algorithmic attribution. This is gaining popularity and is more feasible for eCommerce retailers. It uses advanced technology to track sales metrics. It analyses all the touchpoints to determine the channel that is more predictive for sales. This attribution is useful for businesses that use many channels and campaigns for marketing and have a complex customer journey.

8. Custom Attribution

One of the above-mentioned attributions doesn’t need to be best for the business. The seller can design their attribution model that will be specific for their sales cycle. It can be a combination of 2-3 attributions based on their requirement.

The Challenges of Multi-Channel Attribution

Marketing attribution is very important for the sales of the products and services. Proper strategy and tools should be incorporated while selecting the multi-channel attributions. The different challenges to the multi-channel attribution include:

Online-to-offline attribution

Most consumers still prefer the traditional forms of communication. They prefer face-to-face and telephonic conversation before taking the final purchasing decisions. Marketers lack the tools and facilities to connect to the customers via online and offline touchpoints. Online attributions help in tracking all the details and proper documentation. It becomes impossible to import the data and correlate the offline data with the website usage.

The 90-day window for attribution

Google Analytics supports and has a look-back window of 90-days. This causes an issue for businesses that have a long and complicated sales cycle. It only considers the channels reflecting in this 90-day window for assigning the credits to the channels for the sales of the product.

Lack of data conversion

Google Analytics allows tracking the conversions for observing the marketing activities. tracking the conversion goals helps in understanding the website performance but does not consider the growth.

Getting started with multi-channel attribution

The seller at first needs to decide the type of multi-channel attribution that is best suited for their product. Once the attribution is set, then they have to follow some steps for preparing the data and the business. The step-to-step guide to set up the multi-channel attribution includes:

Step 1: Defining the questions

The seller has to think rationally and then define the questions that will help in gathering the required details. They should think about the customer journey, sales funnel, and other details regarding the channels for sales and marketing. There are different questions for the different business types. These questions will help to define methods to increase their sales and revenues. Some examples of the potential questions that the seller needs to define include:

  • What revenue share comes from different channels in the omnichannel strategy?
  • When should the customer be encouraged to purchase the buyer journey? which channels suit best for encouraging the customer?
  • How many offline customers are influenced by online campaigns?

Step 2: Finding relevant data

Once the set of potential questions are ready, the next step is to answer these by collecting the relevant data. This data can be achieved using different sources, platforms, and tools. The relevant data can be collected from various advertisement platforms like Google Ags, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, mobile analytics system, email marketing platform, call tracking, CRMs, etc.

Step 3: Choosing a multi-channel attribution model

Once the potential questions are defined and the relevant data is compiled, the next step is the selection of the best suitable multi-channel attribution model. The seller can select the best suitable model from the available models. If none of the models is a good fit, then based on the sales cycles the model can be custom designed for the best fit.

Step 4: Tracking results

The next step includes collecting the data from the selected multi-channel model. It becomes easy to track the pattern and observe the performance and check the working of the approach or strategy selected. The multi-channel attributes generate a lot of data and that needs to be organized properly and analyzed to make it useful.

Step 5: Acting on the results and iterate

The data obtained from the multi-channel attribution should be turned into revenue-boosting value. It is important to analyze the data to obtain the results and iterate in improving the sales and revenue.

How PIM System Becomes Essential for Business Using Multi-Channel Attribution?

Product Information Management (PIM) helps in collecting, managing, and enriching the data essential for the development of the product catalog for its sales and distributions through the eCommerce channel. Not every business needs to always have a PIM, but at a certain stage, PIM will be helpful for the business. For multi-channel marketing, the product will have a bigger catalog with a larger database and extensive details. For the management of all these details, PIM will help inadequately organize all these details.

1. Exchanging product information In Formats and Structures

The data required for the PIM should be relevant and consistent with the whole process. The organization contains various departments and it is essential to compile all the data efficiently. Using the PIM system, different departments within the organization come together to collate accurate data.

2. Challenges over the diversity of Product Information Standards

The organization has diverse products and that leads to the collection of diverse product information. Collection of the data from various sources leads to the collection of data in different formats. While exchanging the data with the suppliers, partners, and customers, their format and data structure may be completely different. PIM will help in sorting the diverse data and compiling it through data mapping. This will help to sort the data in the required format.

3. Method of Exchanging Information

The exchange of information can be done using different techniques like using text, voice data, visitor ID, visitor comment data, barcode system, etc. For sharing the different data, the PIM system comes in handy in managing all types of data from a different source. PIM holds the product-related details in the standard format and can be easily shared or exchanged in a consistent data format.

Bottom Line

By considering the types of multi-channels attributes for the marketing, an organization can select the best possible type for the marketing of their product. The organization should also consider the different challenges they have to overcome to get their product in the market in the best possible manner and increase their sales.

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