Getting Started with Attribution: Let’s Make Data Less Messy and More Insightful 

What is marketing attribution

With the growing number of marketing channels, your audience engages with multiple touchpoints before they make their final decision. Although this improves the scope of conversion for the marketers, it also comes with a problem of its own, attribution.   

With multiple engagement points and complex buyer journeys, it is becoming increasingly difficult for marketers to attribute. A good marketer is defined by their ability to understand which channels are getting traction and are successful in conversions. These insights will enable them to predict the impact of increased or decreased spend on these channels to execute a good marketing strategy.   

What is Marketing Attribution?  

According to Hubspot,  

“Marketing attribution is a reporting strategy that allows marketers and sales teams to see the impact that marketers made on a specific goal, usually a purchase or sale. ”  

For example, if marketers want to see how a blog post or social media strategy impacted sales, they might use marketing attribution techniques.  

Through this article, let’s go through the definite steps required to start practicing Attribution in your organization.   

Five pointers to get started with Attribution  

Define KPIs  

It would be best if you first established specific KPIs that are uniform across the whole organization to evaluate your attributions effectively. Everyone must have a common knowledge of the expected business objectives and what constitutes success in each domain.  

Establish your data sources  

Gather all your accessible data sources next to know where your data is coming from. Do you need to fill in any gaps in your current data? For example, have you successfully used website analytics to monitor results?  

Include metrics for branding awareness  

Not all marketing initiatives will immediately generate revenue. For example, comparing a video campaign’s performance to a revenue-based measure won’t provide a realistic picture of how well the campaign did if its goal is to raise brand recognition. For efforts that have a less direct influence on revenue, look for ways to evaluate success using a performance-based metric.  

Don’t wait for perfection  

Don’t be overwhelmed by Attribution. Understandably, the challenge is enormous, but don’t bypass its priority. You may even go through the data endlessly on the quest for a definite answer, but understand that Attribution will never give the actual answer. Attribution analysis assigns a priority value to each channel based on the data. The margin of error is unavoidable; hence lay down a benchmark % on the acceptable margin of error.   

Keep in mind the bigger picture 

While valuable, analytics dashboards tend to oversimplify the data, leading to inaccurate inferences. Relying on just one metric will not allow you to draw wrong conclusions. Each marketing channel has a different effect on the purchase decision; hence, they must be put in context.   

Challenges of Attribution  

  • How do you attribute the impact of online and offline campaigns to the conversion?  
  • How would you understand the complete customer journey of a single user across various channels and touchpoints?  
  • What should the margin of error be in attribution modelling? And what is the indicator that the model has hit the perfection level?   

The answers to these questions come with intuition, business understanding, and solving multiple cases. Therefore, we recommend that marketers run as many A/B tests as possible to understand what’s happening.   

Conclusion  

Understanding attribution is one of the significant skillsets of being a marketer. Data may be the king, but harnessing the data and acting upon it to improve your KPIs can lead to improving your marketing strategies significantly.   

If you are an aspiring marketing expert, try to gain a deeper understanding of all stages of the customer journey through Attribution.   

You can watch our episode of Story Talkies on “Of Attribution and MeasurementSaumar Deka, Director of Marketing, HighRadius  

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