What Is Attribution Marketing?
Tracking is one of the most important elements in any successful marketing campaign. The more customer touchpoints you can track, the more you know about how well each individual part of your strategy is performing.
Not only does this help turn prospects into buyers or clients, but it helps you improve your marketing strategy going forward. For example, if you’re able to identify particularly valuable channels, you’ll be able to allocate a larger portion of your budget to them.
One of the ways that many businesses have begun to track, narrow and improve their sales funnels is through a process called attribution marketing. Attribution marketing is taking the Internet by storm, and it can help your company better understand your customer journey—and then improve it.
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Understanding how attribution marketing works
Attribution refers to the process of assigning credit to each individual step in a customer’s experience with your company before buying. All of the Internet-based components that make up your sales funnel can be attributed, or assigned a particular value.
This value can be a numerical system, a ranking system, or any other data-driven system that works for your company.
Let’s take the following situation as an example:
Jane Doe is looking for inexpensive but attractive office furniture for her home office, and she wants to buy it online. She types “buy cheap home office furniture”. Because you sell office furniture over the web, you have already created a Google AdWords pay-per-click (PPC) advertisement for the keyword “cheap home office furniture”.
Your ad comes up next to the organic search results, and she clicks through the link to a landing page. After browsing a little, she decides she wants to see what other furniture is available from your competitors, so she leaves. Fortunately, you’ve gotten her information through cookies and throughout the next month, you use retargeting to advertise to her on other sites.
Eventually, she clicks on one of the ads and returns to your site. At this point, she gets close to buying a desk, and she even puts it in her shopping cart. During check-out, she leaves to see if she can find the same desk elsewhere at a cheaper price, but gets distracted and doesn’t make a purchase at all that day.
Fortunately, she created an account with you and gave you her email address. In a few days, you send her an automated email reminding her that she left something in her shopping cart. At this point, she clicks through to her shopping cart, and finishes her order.
This scenario was hardly straightforward, but variations of it are common in the ecommerce industry. It involved many times when the sale could have been lost. However, thanks to your many campaigns, you were ultimately able make the sale.
Now, it’s time to look at each of those touchpoints with a fine-toothed comb and see how you can make each more successful, as well as which ones were the most critical. This is attribution marketing.
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Key tips for great attribution marketing
As you explore and examine each touchpoint during the marketing and sales processes you’ve set up on the web, you can assign values to specific actions. These values will help you see where you can make the most of your marketing.
Here are a few tips to help you get started:
Plan and run tests
It’s not enough to know that one of your campaigns is working—you need to know if it could be working better. This involves drilling down deeper into each element of your campaigns, like as the copy, the keywords, the landing pages, and any visual elements.
Then, you can test those points in the marketing process using tools like A/B split tests. These will help you gain a stronger understanding of what’s working well, and, more importantly, what could be working better.
Determine how you’ll assign value
You can assign values in a number of ways, such as percentages, click-thru rates, or even monetary means. This will help you be able to see how much it is truly costing you to make a sale.
Recognize all touchpoints
Many times, conversions are attributed to the last touchpoint in the sales process, rather than looking at the process as a whole. Don’t fall into that trap.
If you look back at our hypothetical scenario, this would mean assigning all value to an automated email campaign. And although this is ultimately what drove the action, it wouldn’t have happened without all of the other steps.
Consult someone who has experience with analytics
The analytics you get from any marketing campaign can be confusing, even if you’re a “numbers person”. However, it’s important that you fully understand what the data is telling you—especially if you plan to use it to inform your strategy going forward.
If you’re not sure what you’re looking at, consult someone who has experience with analytics to help.
Begin looking at your marketing data today, but don’t forget that it will become even more valuable down the road. It will take several sales to really determine a pattern in customer behavior, so exercise patience and don’t expect all the marketing attribution information to come immediately.
Ready to start using attribution marketing?
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