Multi-Touch Attribution Models for Business Growth

By Marianne Chrisos - Published on June 20, 2018
multi-touch attribution models for business growth

What is multi-touch attribution and how can it help grow your business?

The business basics of multi-touch attribution models.

If “multi-touch attribution model” sounds like a futuristic or space-aged business plan, you’ll be happy to know that it’s a modern marketing model that can help understand and track user behavior that follows them from prospects to customers.

“Multi-touch attribution” describes how customers have interacted with – touched – your business many times before making a purchasing decision. Most sales are no longer closed by an enthusiastic cold call – most customers do extensive research on a brand or product, which can start with a Google search and lead to reading blog entries or web articles which can move a customer through to a webinar and potentially to a phone call or e-commerce page that will ultimately convert them to a customer.

But multi-touch attribution helps businesses understand which touchpoints on the customer journey – that initial search, reading through the resources, a sales phone call – is the most impactful towards converting he customer. Depending on what multi-touch attribution model a business follows, different parts of their marketing plan will receive different effort in both reach, but also internal creative effort in developing those pieces of collateral.

Here are some common multi-touch attribution models:

Time decay model: This model places most of the marketing credit weight to the late-stage marketing elements. Part of the reason for this is because the B2B sales cycle is very long and so

the initial contact between businesses are not seen as important as the later information, when customers are more likely to decide and a purchase.

U-shaped: This model places most of its emphasis on acquiring leads and contacts, without much insight or emphasis on post-purchase behavior or marketing follow up.

Custom multi-touch attribution model: This model is only effective if an organization has a robust system in place to track actual user behavior, like Google Analytics or touchpoint tags like UTM codes and Javascript tracking code. But it’s highly useful to help marketers understand the actual movement of customers across marketing touchpoints and lets businesses know where the sticking points along their marketing campaign might be.

What tools help make sense of multi-touch attribution?

You already know that customers are interacting with your brand through several channels and mediums, and there are some tools and integrations that can help you find out which of these touchpoints are making the biggest impact and driving sales, including:

  • Marketing automation programs with analytics on which emails are getting opened during parts of the customer journey
  • Ad platforms like AdWords and Google Display Network that offer analytics
  • A/B testing to help understand what pieces of marketing campaign (images, copy, design, etc.) move more customers

You might find that using multi-touch attribution helps grow your business because you are more readily able to place the right amount of effort and emphasis on developing and delivering marketing messaging to your customer base. It can also help businesses understand the real ROI on their marketing campaigns to help them focus more energy on the marketing outreach that works and not waste time or monetary resources on those parts that have no impact on creating conversions.

Does your business use any kind of multi-touch attribution tracking or modeling in your marketing? Have you found that it’s an effective way to work smarter on B2B marketing campaigns?

Marianne Chrisos

Marianne Chrisos | Born in Salem, Massachusetts, growing up outside of Chicago, Illinois, and currently living near Dallas, Texas, Marianne is a content writer at a company near Dallas and contributing writer around the internet. She earned her master's degree in Writing and Publishing from DePaul University in Chicago and has worked in publishing, advertising, digital marketing, and content strategy.

Marianne Chrisos

Marianne Chrisos | Born in Salem, Massachusetts, growing up outside of Chicago, Illinois, and currently living near Dallas, Texas, Marianne is a content writer at a c...

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