With the increasing complexity of the average buying journey, businesses are turning to multi-touch attribution (MTA) to gain a better understanding of customer behavior. Go-to-market leaders rely on MTA to analyze critical aspects such as ads clicked, blogs read, and reviews compared in order to optimize their activities.
MTA is a marketing concept that assigns value or credit to various customer interactions with a brand throughout their journey. It helps businesses determine the impact of different touchpoints on generating conversions. By using marketing attribution software, companies can track recordable customer touchpoints and analyze customer journey analytics to make informed decisions.
A conversion event can be any action taken by a customer, such as signing up for a free trial, booking a demo request, or making a purchase. Multi-touch attribution modeling uses data gathered from touchpoints in a buyer’s journey to attribute conversions to specific marketing channels or campaigns. Different multi-touch models exist to accommodate various business models and help marketers optimize their efforts to acquire new customers more effectively.
Multi-touch attribution is important to go-to-market teams for two main reasons. Firstly, it provides clarity in the customer journey by collecting and analyzing as much data as possible. This data offers insights into customer behavior, time spent at different journey stages, and touchpoints with the brand. Secondly, it helps measure the performance of go-to-market strategies by attributing credit to the touchpoints that convert and showing which activities generate pipeline and revenue. This allows marketers to scale, optimize, or stop certain efforts based on the data.
Multi-touch attribution should not be confused with multi-channel attribution. While both terms are often used interchangeably, multi-channel attribution focuses on analyzing the performance of different channels touched by customers, such as paid, organic, email, and social. On the other hand, multi-touch attribution analyzes and credits every touchpoint in the customer journey, providing a more detailed and comprehensive view of performance.
Multi-touch attribution differs from single, first, and last-touch attribution models. Single-touch models only credit one touchpoint, usually the first or last, while multi-touch models credit all touchpoints and distribute credit according to the chosen model. This allows for a more accurate representation of the customer journey and helps marketers make data-driven decisions.
When it comes to multi-touch attribution models, there are several options to choose from. The linear model distributes credit evenly across all touchpoints, while the U-shaped model gives more weight to the first touch and lead conversion touchpoints. The W-shaped model emphasizes the first touch, lead conversion touchpoint, and opportunity creation touchpoint. The time-decay model gives more weight to touchpoints closest to conversion, and the full path model accounts for all touchpoints in the customer journey. The Z-shaped model is unique to B2B marketing and highlights four critical pipeline transitions. Additionally, businesses can create a custom model tailored to their specific buying process.
Implementing multi-touch attribution can be done in-house or through the use of off-the-shelf tools. Building an in-house attribution model allows for complete customization but requires significant resources and expertise. Buying an off-the-shelf tool may be less customizable but offers convenience and ease of use.
Overall, multi-touch attribution is essential for businesses to gain a comprehensive understanding of the customer journey, measure the performance of their strategies, and make data-driven decisions to optimize their marketing efforts.