Why multi-touch point attribution is the way to go


Marketing attribution in the B2B scenario should be about using machine learning and algorithms to make better marketing investments.

As businesses get competitive, B2B marketers are adopting the strategies and techniques of B2C marketers, especially when reaching out to customers using multiple digital channels. Attribution, a marketing measurement technique that B2C players have been using for a while now, is one such instance.

In its simplest form, marketing attribution is defined as the value assigned to each marketing touchpoint that is used to reach out to the target audience. It enables a business to evaluate which marketing channels are helping them to generate revenue and by how much, so they can use this data to allocate further investment in those channels.

Attribution helps a CMO tie various marketing activities to revenue, helping to justify the profitability of an initiative. The CMO is able to present hard numbers with marketing attribution in place.

The right way to attribution

According to a study done by research company Econsultancy (The State of Marketing attribution), ‘organisations carrying out attribution across the majority of their campaigns are still in the minority.’

The key problem that most CMOs and their marketing teams face is deciding at which point in the campaign the target audience actually transforms into leads. The trend generally is to credit or reward the last channel or clickthrough with which the customer closes the business deal. However, this could be misleading.

In an insightful TechCrunch article, contributor Vishal Agarwal has given a basketball analogy to define the concept of attribution. Just like it would be unfair to recognize only the player who scored without recognizing the others who helped make the play possible, the revenue generated from a marketing activity should not be credited to the last channel alone through which the consumer makes a purchase, but to all the channels preceding it that led to the final click.

Cross Channel Attribution

According to Forrester, cross-channel attribution is the practice of using advanced statistical methods to allocate credit to marketing communication and media activity across all the channels that ultimately lead to the desired customer action.

With B2B marketers leveraging more and more channels to engage with customers, it is important to know where the marketing money is being spent well. Cross-channel attribution provides the CMO with insights into the various channels and how they have impacted the revenue generated.

Time decay is a very popular cross channel method; it is more evolved than linear attribution. In this method, more credit is given to the channels that are closer to the final touch point that led to conversion. This method works on the assumption that these channels have more impact in influencing the conversion.

Machine learning and algorithms work

As you advance in your marketing attribution methods, look for solutions that work on an algorithmic system. This type of attribution solution is highly comprehensive and works on various data points. It studies every type of customer interaction and allocates weight to each channel. Algorithmic attribution uses machine learning to arrive at the data. It is statistically-validated and removes guesswork to a large extent.


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