Marketing Attribution Software, Tools & More

December 18, 2020 Chris Baird

What Is Marketing Attribution Software?

Marketing attribution software programs are platforms companies use to observe how certain actions and touchpoints influence the success of a marketing campaign.

There are several different attribution models used in marketing software. The most commonly used attribution models can be broken down into single-touch and multi-touch methods:

Single-Touch Models

  • First-touch. The first touchpoint a customer interacts with gets all the credit.
  • Last-touch. The last touchpoint a customer interacts with gets all the credit.
  • Last non-direct click. The last touchpoint that is not direct traffic, or typing the product into a search bar, gets all the credit.
  • Last marketing channel-touch. The last marketing channel, like Google Ads or a social media page, gets all the credit.

Multi-Touch Models

  • Linear. Every touchpoint gets equal credit.
  • Time-decay. The closer the touchpoint is to a conversion, the more credit it receives.
  • Position-based (U-shaped). The first and last touchpoints get the most credit, while the rest is spread between the middle points.
  • Machine Learning/AI. These models use machine learning to analyze data from previous conversion journeys and appropriately attribute credit to the touchpoints that converted most historically.

Most marketing attribution software can easily integrate with other marketing analytics tasks, like conversion rate optimization and marketing automation, because it pulls its data from the same analytics tools. This makes the information gathered by attribution software highly accessible for anyone who needs it.

Why Do You Need to Track Marketing Attribution?

Marketing attribution software will help you quickly identify your most effective marketing channels. So when it comes to managing your budgets, you can spend more of your resources on the channels that produce the best results and cut back on those that aren’t helping customers as much.

Additionally, attribution gives you an estimate of the average number of touchpoints your clients need before they complete a desired task. For example, if a blog post seems to be underperforming, attribution can reveal how it’s actually helping customers travel down your marketing funnel.

Why Should I Use Attribution Software?

Businesses that don’t use attribution software usually just rely on marketing attribution technology that certain channels have built-in (such is the case with Instagram, Google, and Facebook). Others may even try to create their own attribution system. These alternative options offer an incredibly narrow view of your total marketing efforts.

To gain a truly holistic view of how effectively your company communicates with customers, you need to use marketing attribution technology.

5 Essential Marketing Attribution Tools

Depending on your campaign, different attribution software features can seem more or less appealing and useful. However, no matter what kind of campaign you’re running, there are six tools that every reputable attribution software should include:

  1. Customer Journey Analysis
  2. Return on Ad Spend
  3. Touchpoint Management Automation
  4. Device Compatibility
  5. Cross Channel Marketing Insights
  1. Customer Journey Analysis

One of the main purposes of marketing attribution is to recognize which of your channels and touchpoints your customers are interacting with. This helps you to more genuinely understand what your product or brand looks like through the eyes of your customers.

With a customer journey analysis, you’ll be able to analyze the individual touchpoints of your marketing plan and identify which are working and which could use more of your resources. It will also show you which touchpoints are potentially unnecessary and aren’t frequently interacted with. Knowing which touchpoints to cut out will help you streamline your marketing funnel, which adds efficiency to your customers’ journey.

This tool can also help your marketing team recognize similar paths your customers take to conversion, essentially highlighting a collection of touchpoints that work well together.

  1. Return on Ad Spend

Return on ad spend (ROAS) measures the amount of revenue your business gets for every dollar spent on advertising. It’s a way to track your return on investment, with the investment being the money you spend on digital advertising.

Your marketing attribution software should be able to calculate your ROAS for you. It will provide another metric to help measure the effectiveness of your campaign. From your ROAS, you’ll also be able to determine the budget of future campaigns, tweaks that need to be made to current campaigns, and what channels aren’t giving a high ROI.

  1. Touchpoint Management Automation

Another tool used to ensure you’re focusing on the most effective touchpoints is touchpoint management automation. This helps you to continuously process and record the performance of your customer’s interactions, like whether or not a touchpoint made them navigate towards your eCommerce page or if it helped make a conversion or a new lead.

Touchpoint management automation tries to focus on your brand’s relationship with individual customers. It does this by making small adjustments and improvements to each individual touchpoint, ensuring your customers won’t be frustrated by repetitive tasks or anything else that might disrupt your marketing funnel.

  1. Device Compatibility

Certain marketing attribution tools will specialize in a specific device, like mobile, while others will encompass nearly every marketing vehicle, such as mobile, desktop, and TV. While it’s generally a good idea to have as much coverage as possible, it really depends on your campaigns and your audience.

For example, maybe your audience is almost entirely found on social media channels that are largely exclusive to mobile devices, like TikTok and Snapchat. In that case, you can get away with an attribution tool that only measures one channel. But of course, if you have ads formatted for desktop or television, you obviously will need a tool that can measure all of your ads.

As a good rule of thumb, you need to be able to measure every marketing vehicle on which you advertise. Otherwise, you could waste thousands of dollars on a campaign that gets you little to no traction.

  1. Cross-Channel Marketing Insights

As you place more and more touchpoints onto different channels, your customers will be able to interact with your company in more places. However, that can make it difficult to track their exact path.

For example, say a customer has several interactions with your brand on YouTube, but doesn’t convert until after seeing one of your ads on Instagram. With a single-channel perspective, that single Instagram ad gets a lot more credit than it probably deserves. Cross-channel marketing insights will show you every channel a customer interacts with, so you can better understand what was truly influential in their customer journey.

Choose the Right Attribution Software for You

To be successful, companies must understand how every piece of their marketing campaign contributes to their overall success. All-inclusive marketing attribution software makes that possible.

ObservePoint created a product that lets you trust the ROI calculations of your campaign’s performance. It offers real-time insights so you can quickly make any necessary changes to your marketing efforts. Visit our homepage to discover how we turn our clients into data-informed companies.

About ObservePoint

For organizations to be truly data-driven, they must answer two vital questions: 1) What is this data telling me about our customers? and 2) Can I trust my data?

Since its creation, ObservePoint has empowered insights-driven companies to trust their data and create better experiences for their customers with analytics testing and tag governance. Our automated solution enables companies to scan their digital properties for data collection and performance errors—ensuring that they are collecting accurate data to guide their decisions.

Now with Campaign Performance, the ObservePoint solution also helps organizations answer the first question by unifying their data collection standards, capturing and validating every customer touchpoint, and generating trustworthy, actionable insights about their customers that drive real growth and increase ROI.

Together, these solutions arm data-driven companies with trusted data and actionable insights that drive their company forward.

For more information visit Follow ObservePoint on TwitterLinkedIn, and Facebook.

About the Author

Chris Baird

As Chief Marketing Officer, Chris Baird is responsible for providing strategic marketing direction for ObservePoint products, solutions, and services, and for presenting the ObservePoint brand worldwide. He previously held various marketing positions at Mrs. Fields Brands, Omniture, and Adobe.

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