Cross-Channel Marketing Attribution Modeling: An Overview

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Cross-channel attribution marketing helps you make informed decisions with your marketing dollars. Prospective customers typically experience several engagements across multiple channels before making a final buying decision. For example, someone might see a social media ad for your product one day. Weeks later, that person recognizes your product and decides to buy after reading a testimonial on your website.

So…which ad made the sale? These cross-channel experiences are more common than not. The challenge to marketers is how to effectively measure the overall performance of cross-channel campaigns.

Using the right tools, you can look at each engagement a customer has with your brand and evaluate which one had the most impact on a buying decision. The ability to assess a customer’s journey across multiple platforms and understand which action had the desired result is cross-channel attribution modeling.

For B2B marketing, tracking prospects along the buying journey is critical. This data helps you learn how to attract more customers, build a loyal customer base, and generate more revenue.

Below are some thoughts on the significance of cross-channel attribution marketing. Included are various models to consider for your business and recommendations for building a successful cross-channel attribution strategy.

Why Cross-Channel Attribution Modeling Matters

Proficient marketing decision-makers rely on attribution to optimize campaign strategies. When you know which channels are converting more customers, you can allocate more marketing and communications resources to those channels. Informed decisions help drive a more robust ROI.

Your marketing strategy must include several channels to boost brand visibility. Embrace digital advertising via Google or Facebook, social media advertising on Twitter or Instagram, and broadcast advertising through television or radio. They all contribute to heightened brand awareness. The idea behind cross-channel attribution is measuring how much impact those engagements contribute throughout a customer’s journey toward buying your product or service.

Customers interact with several of your marketing channels before deciding to purchase. Salesforce reported that customers convert after having at least six or eight engagements. Simply stated, they need to trust your product or service before investing.

Suppose a customer learns about your company through a Facebook ad and subsequently visits your website. They discover that you have a blog where you discuss the benefits of the product they saw on Facebook. They decide to follow your social media channels to get updates on similar products that interest them. At a later date, they find a promo ad posted to Instagram and then, finally, decide to buy.

All the channels this customer encountered played a role in convincing them to buy your product. You can determine which channels are most successful throughout a customer’s journey with cross-channel attribution. When you know which touch points are getting more customers and sales, you should enhance those channels. You can also reconsider the level of investment you have in media that deliver less impact.

Cross-Channel Marketing Attribution Models to Consider

An attribution model is used to determine a channel’s impact during a customer’s journey. Digital marketers use combinations of these models while collecting in-depth analytics to identify which channels drive the most leads. There are two groups of attribution models, each with its own types. Consider these models in your cross-channel marketing attribution strategy.

Single-Touch Attribution Models

This attribution model credits only one channel that a customer encounters in their buying journey. Single-touch attribution models are the easiest to implement in a B2B marketing analysis strategy.

  • First-Touch Attribution Model: This model assigns all marketing credit to the customer’s first engagement in their buying journey. If a customer finds your brand from a Facebook ad, signs up for your email newsletter through your website, and then buys your product from an email promo you offered, all credit goes to your Facebook ad.
  • Last-Touch Attribution Model: This model gives full credit to a customer’s last engagement when finally buying your product or service. In the example above, all credit would go to your email campaign.
  • Last Non-Direct Click Attribution Model: This model gives 100% of the credit to the previous engagement before they typed in your website URL and made a purchase.

Multi-Touch Attribution Models

Multi-touch attribution models give all the credit, to varying degrees, to all engagements your customer had during the buying journey. Unlike single-touch attribution models, these models may be challenging to set up. However, they offer valuable insight into your marketing strategy by analyzing the entire customer conversion journey. An effective multi-touch marketing strategy can pay significant dividends when implemented correctly.

  • Linear Attribution Model: This model is also known as the equally-weighted attribution model as it equally credits all engagements a customer has before conversion.
  • Time-Decay Attribution Model: This model values the channels that are closest to the final sale. This model can also help you optimize the touch points that usually hold more weight in conversions.
  • U-Shaped Attribution Model: This model gives more credit to the first and last touch points than the engagements slotted between them. It values when a customer found your service and decided to buy without completely neglecting the middle touch points.
  • Algorithmic Attribution Model: This model offers the most accurate B2B marketing insight. The algorithmic attribution model involves complex calculations and data analysis to identify which channels genuinely matter in your marketing strategy. Each engagement can be different. The weight of each is determined by your company’s industry, sales cycle, and individual circumstances.

Not Just Connection, But Integration

In addition to measuring the success of your marketing channels, cross-channel marketing attribution is about connecting with your audience. When you know what your audience wants, you can integrate your insights into your marketing strategies to better serve them.

Effective connection requires a cohesive message. If you say one thing about your brand online, customers must encounter a complimentary message when they visit your store. Let’s imagine you run a bakery and advertise your promotions on Instagram. When customers visit your shop, they should see the same ad promoting the same message. Consistency helps customers have a great brand experience and helps you work more productively.

Cross-Channel Marketing Attribution Brings Clarity and Focus

Mastering cross-channel attribution modeling is about analyzing your customers’ behavior across multiple channels before they decide to buy your product or service. This strategy is critical in account-based marketing. You can engage prospects through relationship building via tailored interactions and analyze the best ways to turn them into loyal customers.

Cross-channel attribution identifies all the touch points that a customer encounters so you know which channels are working in your favor. When you know which campaigns are successful, you can optimize them, drive more significant ROI, and generate more revenue.