Can Retailers Benefit from Using Multi-Touch Attribution?

How ecommerce marketers can benefit from using multi-touch attribution

By Ryan Koonce

E-commerce, driven by multiple new channels, is a booming business. “The NRF expects that online retail will grow 8-12%, up to three times higher than the growth rate of the wider industry, racking up nearly $445 billion in sales.” But today’s consumers no longer purchase in a silo; they read customer reviews on social media, attempt to price match on Amazon before ever heading in-store, and visit brand websites to understand product details. Buyers visit a site an average of 9.5 times before making a purchase. More than ever, the consumer purchase journey is evolving into an ever-expanding range of online and offline channels and interactions. As these hyper-connected consumers increasingly rely on a variety of digital and physical resources when making purchase decisions, how then do ecommerce marketers effectively engage them AND get more get ROI from their media spending?

Ecommerce marketers are adapting their strategies to deliver the right ads with the right offers at the right time and through the right channels and devices

Marketers know that the shopping landscape is changing drastically with the rise of new channels, content, and connected devices. As reported in Ad Age:

  • Shoppers will use smartphones in over one-third of total U.S. retail sales in 2018 for researching, comparing prices and purchasing.
  • 88% of consumers research their purchases online before buying, whether it’s online or in-store.
  • 65% compare the in-store price with the online price while in the store.
    Shoppers who use multiple channels to conduct product research spend 14% more than single-channel shoppers.

Hyper-connected consumers expect a highly personalized experience from all their interactions including organic search, retargeting ads, paid search, remarketing email and/or direct mail offers. They expect you to know them, show them you know them, and help them at every touchpoint. Poor performing campaigns will flop with shoppers, wasting dollars and costing you lost sales. As a result, marketers are rapidly converging channels, content / offers, and devices along the consumers’ purchase journey, where having the ability to track, measure, and optimize each touchpoint has become the secret weapon. Yet many marketers continue to use antiquated attribution models, like last touch, to determine how they optimize their touchpoints to maximize sales and ROI.

But last or single-touch attribution is ineffective for an omni-channel / content / device world

Single-touch attribution consists of first touch and last touch models, giving the full credit of the sale to the touchpoint a consumer interacted with first or last such as a promotional email or a display ad. Any interactions before or after that, clicking a Facebook or paid search ad, for example, are not credited with the sale. According to retail marketing strategist Mike Farrell, attributing a sale wholly to the last (or first) interaction before the purchase is outdated and inefficient. The customer journey has grown increasingly complex, so optimizing for a single action or channel ignores a much bigger picture of how consumers engage with your touchpoints on their way to purchase. A customer, for example, may discover a new product on Pinterest, rediscover that product through display ad retargeting, research the product via Amazon, and finally make the purchase after receiving a promotional email and/or direct mail. This journey can occur across desktop and mobile devices.

Valuing only the last touch ignores the very important role each marketing activity had in driving the sale and limits marketers’ ability to develop greater cross-channel cohesion. That’s because you can overly emphasize top or bottom-funnel activities, neglecting touches across the full purchase journey. Ecommerce marketers need to know the effectiveness of each marketing touchpoint in every consumer journey regardless of where those touchpoints occur. Without the ability to track this and tie interactions across channels, content, and devices to one user, it’s virtually impossible to know which marketing initiatives are working and which ones aren’t.
Envelope and exclamation point
Last-touch attribution is inadequate for tracking today’s real-world touchpoints and hyper-connected journey, resulting in missed revenue and misspent dollars.

Multi-touch attribution connects real-world touchpoints and devices to consumer journeys and provides a single version of return on spend

By reconciling all available touchpoints to a unique consumer identity, multi-touch attribution helps marketers see precisely how each consumer moves through the purchasing funnel and reach them on their preferred channels. The granular detail allows them to better understand how customers interact with their media, more accurately attribute credit to each interaction, and more effectively optimize their media buying. Since this insight is produced in near real-time, marketers can quickly capitalize on opportunities to improve engagement and influence purchase decisions at each stage in the consumer journey.

Once linked, identities previously attached to multiple devices are collapsed into a single identity. This cross-device attribution gives marketers a view of the end-to-end consumer journey. By linking touchpoints and devices to a single person and journey, marketers can clearly see when they are serving too many ads to the same person or when two or more display vendors are overlapping each other serving ads across the same domain. Multi-touch attribution can help marketers understand exactly which factors are driving shoppers to convert and fine-tune their tactics to influence their decision to buy and deliver a successful experience that wins over new customers, and keeps existing ones coming back for more.

Multi-touch attribution uses different models to meet your needs

While single-touch attribution only gives credit to one touchpoint, multi-touch attribution models assume all touchpoints play some role in influencing a sale. Some popular models are:

Linear multi-touch attribution model is the baseline for multi-touch attribution models. It assigns an equal percentage of revenue credit to each touch regardless of its recency in the buying journey.

Time-decay multi-touch attribution model assigns revenue credit to each touch based in accordance to its recency in the buying journey. The closer the touch was to the sale or conversion event, the more influential it was.

Position-based (or U or W-shaped) multi-touch attribution model gives 40% revenue credit to the first and last touch, with the remaining 20% applied equally among the rest of the touches. A modern multi-touch attribution platform allows you to configure these percentages.

Data-driven machine learning multi-touch attribution model uses historical touch and conversion data with machine learning to derive a custom algorithm to assign revenue credits to touches.

There’s no perfect science for choosing the right multi-touch attribution model. As the use of multi-touch attribution technology evolves, marketers will run several models concurrently to see which one is right for their business. The good news is modern multi-touch attribution tools allow you to see and compare the results from each model.

Multi-touch attribution uses cohort analytics to give you deep insight to optimize acquisition channels and campaigns.

Cohort analysis the most effective ways to gather information about your channels and campaigns. A cohort method quantifies the ROAS of your channels and campaigns based on a cohort (date or date range) and captures the spend and stream of conversions to report profit, break-even and even lifetime value. In multi-touch attribution, your cohorts may look something like this:

How much revenue did we generate today? this week or month?

How long does it take for my ad spend to break-even?

How are we trending by channel? which ones are consistently delivering top ROAS?

Modern cohort analytics allow you adjust cohorts (without spreadsheets) to any date or date range and easily visualize ad performance, discover patterns, and optimize channels and campaigns in real-time to quickly optimize your channels and campaigns.

Multi-touch attribution keeps your advertising channels honest about their ROAS

Because advertising platforms each use their own pixel to track ad performance, your conversion counts can easily become overstated. For example, let’s say Molly is shopping for a laptop and clicks on your Google search ad on Sunday; clicks on your AdRoll retargeting ad on Tuesday; and on Friday she clicks on your Outbrain native ad which takes her to your site where she purchases a laptop for $600. In this purchase scenario, Google, AdRoll and Outbrain reports show 3 unique conversions totaling $1,800, but your ecommerce system only shows 1 conversion to 1 buyer at $600.

Multi-touch attribution automatically connects campaign details from Google Ads, AdRoll, Outbrain, and other advertising platforms to the consumer purchase journey and allocates a portion of the revenue credit (total not to exceed 100%) to each touch in accordance to their role in influencing the purchase. This built-in reconciliation eliminates the over-counting problem associated with using conversion data from each platform to guide your ad spending. Having this true ROAS insight (along with cohort analytics) also allows you accurately compare the performance of each advertising platform to what’s really converting (or not) and confidently rebalance your total spend to maximize revenue and return.

Multi-touch attribution works hand in hand with your ecommerce platform

Multi-touch attribution doesn’t replace your ecommerce platform – it complements and enhances it. It enables ecommerce platforms such as Shopify and WooCommerce to do what they do best: automate and scale back-end functions and consumer-facing activities and transactions for your storefront. Concurrently, multi-touch attribution focuses solely on quantifying which marketing touches, campaigns, and channels are working (or not) to help ecommerce marketers make better decisions across the entire purchase journey.

Multi-touch attribution also complements your ecommerce platform by integrating synergistically and standardizing the attribution method to see an unbiased impact of every customer interaction from search keywords to retargeting ads to direct mail offers. It enhances workflow with existing tools and channels and eliminates the chaos and inefficiency of extracting and normalizing channel-specific analytics. It also provides the data that fuels effective budgeting and optimization by helping marketers to know where to place their best bets to drive efficient revenue growth.

Ecommerce marketers should plan for multi-touch attribution.

Consumer expectations for relevant and personalized experiences have soared. Winning their business means understanding their unique preferences and behaviors, as well as the marketing messages and offers that influence their decision to buy. With a true understanding of their customers and the tactics that influence their decision to buy, marketers can deliver a successful omnichannel / device experience that wins over new customers and keeps existing ones coming back for more.

While it may seem daunting, moving away from last touch or first touch attribution models will quickly become an imperative for retailers. As consumer journeys have grown in complexity, marketers need to ensure their attribution models keep up. With multi-touch attribution, ecommerce marketers can understand consumer interactions across different channels and devices, spend smarter than their competitors, and improve consumers’ overall shopping experience to encourage conversions.

Get started with multi-touch attribution

What is Multi-Touch Attribution? How do I Choose the Right Model?

Choosing the right multi-touch attribution model for your marketing

By Ryan Koonce

What is multi-touch attribution marketing?

Multi-touch attribution is the practice of assigning credit to marketing touchpoints in proportion to their impact in driving a desired conversion outcome. The operative term here is “proportion.” Multi-touch attribution models collect data from all touches in the buyer’s journey and assign proportionate credit based on the attribution weightings of a model, thereby accurately reflecting their impact (or not) in generating a sale.

For example, if a prospect or visitor comes to your website through a search ad, converts to a lead on a newsletter, engages in person with a sales person, and revisits your website through a remarketing ad to make a purchase for $100, multi-touch attribution (using a linear model for illustrative purposes) would assign $25 in proportionate revenue credit to each of the four touches. And depending on your view of the impact of the recency of the touch, multi-touch attribution models come in basic flavors to easily fit your strategy.

Unlike multi-channel attribution, multi-touch attribution can track any marketing touch with a deep level of granularity, such as online channels (any source, medium, campaign, etc.), events (any sales touch), email campaigns, and even direct mail, mobile devices and television.

What problem does multi-touch attribution marketing solve?

Remember the earlier word, “proportionate”? The problem is single-touch attribution allocates a disproportionate amount of revenue credit to either the first or last touch. If your customers’ purchase path is straightforward, single touch attribution is an adequate method of informing budget allocation using tools like Google Analytics, CRM or ecommerce. However, like most modern B2B and B2C businesses, you’re probably marketing through multiple paid platforms and marketing channels including offline, single-touch attribution misrepresents ROI by giving 100% revenue credit to either the first or last, woefully understating the impact of other touches and channels.

For example, if a prospect or visitor comes to your website through a search ad, converts to a lead on a newsletter, engages in person with a sales person, and revisits your website through a remarketing ad to make a purchase for $100, multi-touch attribution (using a linear model for illustrative purposes) would assign $15 in proportionate revenue credit to each of the six touches. And depending on your view of the impact of the recency of the touch, multi-touch attribution models come in basic flavors to easily fit your strategy.

Linear multitouch attribution model

Further, single-touch attribution data from ad-specific ad sources such as Google Analytics and Facebook Insights often double-count revenue with each source claiming 100% revenue credit to a sale. With this “attribution anarchy,” marketers can’t make data-informed decisions as to which channels and campaigns are worth spending more dollars on and which ones are wasting dollars.

What are the different multi-touch attribution models? Which one is right for my marketing?

While single-touch attribution only gives credit to one marketing touchpoint, multi-touch attribution models assume all touchpoints play some role in driving a conversion such as a lead, pipeline or a sale. Here we’ll look at the most popular multi-touch attribution models and how you can choose the one that’s best for your marketing.

Linear multi-touch attribution model

A linear or “impartial” model is the baseline for multi-touch attribution models. It assigns an equal percentage of revenue credit to each touch regardless of its recency in the buying journey. Hence, using the earlier example, each touchpoint receives an equal $15 in revenue credit, totaling $100.

If you don’t have a strong view of the value of when the touch took place in the buying journey, then a linear model is an excellent starting point. Don’t try to boil the ocean! The good news is with a modern multi-touch attribution tool you can easily toggle between attribution models to see the differences and start learning.

Time-decay multi-touch attribution model

A time-decay model assigns revenue credit to each touch based in accordance to its recency in the buying journey. Whereas a linear model gives equal credit, a time-decay multi-touch attribution model says the closer the touch was to the sale or conversion event, the more influential it was. Using the same buyer journey, you can see the more recent touches receive more credit than the older ones.

time decay multitouch attribution model

If you believe strongly (and have some supporting data) that more credit should be allocated to touches that nudged prospect closer to a sale vs touches that brought the lead or buyer in, then a time-decay multi-touch attribution model is the way to go.

Position-based (or U or W-shaped) multi-touch attribution model

A position-based (or U or W-shaped) model assigns 40% revenue credit to the first and last touch prior to the conversion event or sale, with the remaining 20% distributed equally among the middle touches. If there is only one touch before a conversion event or sale, then a position-based multi-touch attribution model would give 100% revenue credit to the touch. Similarly, if there is only a first and last touch, they each receive 50%.

Let’s look at our example to see how these models work:
position based multitouch attribution model

Note: A W-shaped model works the same as a U-shaped model except it allocates 30% revenue credit each to the first, key middle, and last touch, while distributing equally the remaining 10% among other middle touches

If your business places more value on the touch that brought in the initial prospect and the touch that converted them compared to the middle of the buyer journey touches, then you should use a position-based multi-touch attribution model to optimize your campaigns and channels.

Data-driven machine learning multi-touch attribution model

Custom machine learning modeling is the most advanced approach to multi-touch attribution. A custom model uses a machine learning algorithm to assign revenue credits to touches. Rather than using a static model with user-determined weightings as in the above examples, an algorithm is derived using historical touch and conversion data. As you can see in the example below, data-driven modeling applies a unique algorithm to allocate credits.

Custom Machine Learning multi-touch attribution model

It is for this reason you should not expend the effort with it until after you’ve gone through at least one or two full path buying cycles using one or more of the static models. If you’re business is direct-to-consumer with a short purchase path, this means a matter of a few weeks, buy if you’re dealing with longer B2B buyer journeys I would learn from the static models for a good six or more months depending on your sales cycle to determine if there is ample opportunity to further optimize your marketing mix.

There’s no perfect science for choosing the right multi-touch attribution model. As the use of multi-touch attribution to optimize budgets and channels matures, marketers will run several models at one time to see which one is right for their business. The good news is modern multi-touch attribution tools allow you to see and compare the results from each model.

How do I know I am ready for multi-touch attribution marketing?

Regardless of whether you’re a B2B or B2C marketer, multi-touch attribution is worth the effort if you’re on the hook for lead or pipeline generation and/or customer acquisition or purchase, AND you’re:

  1. Using multiple digital ad networks such as Google, LinkedIn, AdRoll, Facebook, and others. As the number of ad channels grow, single-touch attribution crumbles under the tracking complexity. With less linear and more complicated customer purchase paths, multi-touch attribution effectively manages the attribution intricacies of different ad channels (and the products and metrics within each channel required) for informing budget and revenue allocation across the different ad platforms.
  2. Using or considering using offline channels such as direct mail, conferences, stores and/or sales touches, AND want a consistent way of attributing and comparing revenue and cost credits. The minute you do offline marketing is the moment single-touch attribution tools such as Google Analytics become useless in giving you holistic and accurate visibility of the ROI of your online and offline channels. Multi-touch attribution is channel-neutral, thereby allowing you to accurately compare ‘apples to apples’ ROI between online advertising and event spending, as well as the insight within each offline channel.
  3. Using or considering using SEO to spur brand awareness and qualified traffic to your site, AND you want a consistent way of attributing and comparing revenue and cost credits from this channel to others. Here only multi-touch attribution can connect anonymous touches from your blogs and web pages, and accurately assign revenue and cost using the same model (and conversion data) as your other channels.
  4. Spending more than $250,000 annually to drive B2C sales or $500,000 annually to generate qualified B2B leads or pipeline. This is considered a general inflection point where your marketing efforts are increasingly better spent on knowing which channels and campaigns are working and which ones need to be purged for poor ROI vs getting mired in attribution chaos due to lack of true attribution insight.
  5. Starting to boil over the frustration associated with trying to optimize budgets using single-touch attribution from one or more tools, exceeding the effort to switch to a multi-touch attribution., which is why you’ll want to look at the change as a journey using the above guidelines when considering the different attribution models.

    If you have a short and simple marketing funnel, a single-touch model may be good enough. But if you’re marketing on various channels, have many touchpoints and are nearing “attribution anarchy” with single-touch tracking, you’re ready to move to multi-touch attribution marketing. Now.

    Multi-touch attribution marketing is both a technology and culture

    Because buyer journeys span many touchpoints and devices before converting, marketers need to understand which touchpoints a buyer (or buyers in the case of B2B account-based marketing) interacted with that resulted in a positive action. The goal is to understand where to focus spend, devoting funds to higher performing channels and campaigns and diverting dollars from those that were ineffective, making the change to multi-touch attribution marketing is as much a culture shift as it is a new technology. With the click of a mouse, it enables marketers to look at all channels and attribute the sale to those touches using various models. Marketers can look at user-level data (clicks, forms) their touches have on key conversion goals such as leads, signups and purchases. Unlike single-touch attribution, multi-touch attribution models enable marketers to better understand both the chronology and the type of interactions that preceded and influenced conversions, using the insight to optimize the conversion paths of buyers.

    Get started with multi-touch attribution

New Features and Integrations for Attribution

Attribution Adds Powerful New Multi-Touch Attribution Capabilities

Ryan Koonce

I’m excited to announce new features that will enable marketers to integrate television advertising and machine learning in our multi-touch attribution platform and empower them with new insights into campaign performance to maximize marketing efforts.

In today’s tech charged, omnichannel world, marketing attribution is rapidly transitioning from single to multi-touch models to help optimize marketing activities for increasingly complex buying journeys. With our multi-touch attribution platform, marketers can easily turbocharge their attribution analytics to maximize marketing effectiveness and ROI.

Television Attribution

We believe strongly in making the insights in Attribution for any channel, so connecting the dots between your TV ads and lead conversion or revenue was a no-brainer to add to our multi-touch models. Through our platform, marketers can now collect TV impression data and establish an authoritative baseline of response activity, measure the impact of TV on driving desired responses or conversions such as visiting a site, watching a video, signing up for an email, or purchasing, and accurately determine the performance lift and allocate proper credit for your ads.

Just as we do for digital ads from Facebook, Google and others, marketers now have faster and more granular attribution insight (compared to legacy TV measurement methods) as to which TV ads are really working and which ones need to go, as well as predictive insight to make more data-informed decisions in forecasting and optimizing TV ad spend and business outcomes.

Custom Machine Learning (ML) Attribution Model
Our out of the box multi-touch attribution models enable marketers to easily transition from disparate single-touch models to allocating credits to any touchpoint along the buyer’s path to conversion. Whether you start with position-based (aka U-Shaped), linear, or time decay, each of these algorithms automatically tracks and accurately assigns revenue and cost to touchpoints. Don’t get too wrapped around the axle as to the academic merits of which model is best for your journey – the important thing to remember it’s easy to start learning in our platform by flipping a switch, comparing the insights from each model, and determining which one(s) works best for your needs.

custom machine learning attribution

For those organizations who want to advance to the next level in marketing attribution maturity, we advise moving to a custom model that uses machine learning to tune your channel mix (including sales outreach and offline events) to optimize revenue and ROI. This is where a custom model can provide deeper insights as to what’s really working and what’s not, to help you become even more prescriptive in allocating investments and executing touches. Attribution’s machine learning algorithms will automatically do channel mix modeling and forecasting based on historical conversion performance and marketing’s ability to move deals at each stage in the buying journey, adding scenario planning flexibility against changes in budgets and/or buyer dynamics.

Integration with Salesforce, Quora, and HubSpot

We’ve created new out of the box integrations to securely connect Attribution to an extensive and growing list of adtech and martech platforms to make it easy for you to set up our platform and start optimizing your marketing:

Salesforce – Attribution for Salesforce is now available on the AppExchange, providing an easy pathway for Salesforce customers to transition their marketing attribution model from single to multi-touch.

mobile screenshot of attribution

Together, we provide marketers with full-funnel marketing touch visibility, automatic conversion tracking by sales stage, built-in cohorting and reconciling account-level attribution, and integration with all popular ad platforms including LinkedIn Ads, Google Ads, and AdRoll. To learn more about multi-touch attribution for Salesforce, read our blog or visit our Salesforce integration page.

Quora for Business – Attribution is now integrated with Quora, providing marketers the ability to easily link their account to access cost-per-click ad conversions from Quora right in Attribution, ensuring marketers know their true return on ad spend (ROAS) to compare performance with other ad networks such as Google Ads, LinkedIn Ads, and Facebook Ads.

Chart for quora customers

For Quora customers who want to learn more about adding Attribution, read our blog, watch the Attribution + Quora on-demand webinar, or visit our Quora integration page.

HubSpot – Attribution is now available on HubSpot Connect, provide marketers with a holistic view of how their marketing dollars are impacting revenue at every touch point along the full buyer’s journey.

hubspot connect logo

Attribution automatically connects leads and deal stages in HubSpot to advertising data from LinkedIn Ads, Google Ads, Twitter Ads, and other channels and campaigns, providing a single source of attribution truth. Marketers can quickly know what’s working and what’s not by channels and touch points to optimize MQLs, pipeline and wins, aligning sales and marketing at a whole new level. To learn more about multi-touch attribution for HubSpot, visit our HubSpot integration page.

To all our customers who voiced their requests for new product features and integrations, thank you. We will continue our mission to empower every marketer with the data to deliver amazing marketing performance. To learn more about how Attribution’s solution can help you go from single-touch chaos to business outcomes, please request a demo.

It’s Official: Multi-Touch Attribution Analytics Are Now the Smartest Weapon for B2B CMOs

By Yancy Oshita

The evidence that CMOs are on the hook for the magic growth number is overwhelming, but the days of unrestrained lead growth are fading into the annals of SaaS history. Inefficient scaling of a SaaS business is a death knell, which is why investors treasure the magic number as one of the best indicators of current health and future value. But without an effective and efficient marketing engine, the odds of a SaaS business scaling up growth and creating value are slim. And adding more salespeople only feeds the fire.

According to Paul Albright of Captora (Venture Beat), “The reality is the marketing has become THE most efficient want to accelerate growth in our digital economy. The imperative is to connect the dots, so each marketing expense dollar is aligned and reported against revenue growth.” Hence, CMO budgets are being conditioned by investors with weighty expectations to scale recurring revenue. The seminal question for CMOs is: How much recurring revenue are we getting out of your marketing? CMOs must own the answer to this question.

The Single Touch / Source Attribution Problem

How can you grow high-quality pipeline and bookings while improving the cost of acquiring new customers (CAC)? CMOs need to own the pathway to driving an impressive return on marketing and magic number. They own spending and outcomes for every marketing touch and channel across the full buyer’s journey from organic website clicks, social engagement and advertising click throughs to conference booth visits, nurture email downloads, on-demand demo views, and free trial requests.

While CMOs are on the hook for efficient revenue growth, the challenge is most are painfully handicapped by an archaic single-touch (or source) attribution approach. According to Chief Marketer’s Attribution Still a Huge Challenge for B2B Marketers report, “lengthy sales cycles, numerous touchpoints and too much data are among the biggest hurdles B2B marketers face when it comes to accurate attribution.” Regardless of how influential the other touches were in influencing the buyer, the first or last touch gets all the credit. How do you know which marketing touches and/or channels are really generating revenue and which ones need to go?

Single-touch attribution is inadequate for full-funnel, multi-touch insight. It does not tell you the impact of a given touch on revenue in relation to other touches nor does it give you the ROI granularity needed for optimization. This causes erroneous conclusions about what’s really working and what’s not. Further, single touch attribution involves multiple analytic tools and laborious effort, each one giving incomplete and biased insight. Single-touch attribution:
 

Deceptively distorts revenue contribution and ROI of touches and channels by giving 100% credit to whichever touch was first or last, woefully understating the impact of other touches and channels such as events, content, or drip emails.

 

Double-counts revenue credit from channel-specific sources such as Google Analytics and Facebook Insights each claiming 100% revenue credit of their respective touches to a deal, severely overstating ROI.

 

Keeps you in a constant state of “attribution anarchy” due to stitching together attribution insights from your CRM, MAP, website, and channel specific sources, and spreadsheeting your way to getting the insight you need to optimize your spending.

 

Negative Consequences: Relying on first or last touch marketing attribution to make decisions on spending adversely impacts scaling revenue growth and driving sales & marketing efficiency.

 

Modernizing Your Analytics with a Multi-Touch Attribution Platform That’s Wired for B2B Marketing

To solve this pervasive pain and give you and your organization the data you need to continuously optimize budgets and maximize revenue, you must change to an attribution approach that can deal with the rigors of modern B2B SaaS marketing.

To start your journey, you will need to invest in a multi-touch attribution platform that:

  • Automatically connects every marketing touch to your buyer’s full path to purchase. From anonymous website visits to email offer click-throughs, offline visits to an event or store to digital ad click-throughs.
  • Uses various multi-touch attribution models such as time decay, linear, position-based and custom, depending on your business need. Regardless of source, channels, or funnel stage, these models must automatically allocate revenue and costs, and calculate ROI.
  • Enables you to compare “apples-to-apples” ROI of any combination of channels over long buying journeys with the flexibility to group or cohort their revenue and cost results by date or other parameters.
  • Provides built-in integration with:
    – Popular B2B advertising platforms including LinkedIn, Google Ads, Quora, and AdRoll.
    – Any other marketing channel including website, 3rd party media, offline events, content, and partners.
    – Top B2B CRM and marketing automation platforms such as such as Salesforce, Pipedrive, HubSpot, and Marketo.
  • Tracks B2B account-level buying journey and automatically allocates credit for revenue, conversions, and cost to all account-based marketing efforts.
  • Automatically reconciles touches and revenue credits among all your touch points to ensure 100% sum and zero duplicate to touches / channels that had no role in the conversion to revenue.

How Does Multi-Touch Attribution Fit in Your B2B Marketing Stack?

Multi-touch attribution doesn’t replace your CRM or MAP – it complements and enhances them. It enables both platforms to do what they do best: automate and scale lead and opportunity management activities. Multi-touch attribution also complements your advertising and other channels by integrating data flows and standardizing the attribution method, streamlining workflow and eliminating the chaos and inefficiency of extracting and normalizing data from multiple sources.

Concurrently, multi-touch attribution focuses solely on quantifying which marketing lead and opportunity activities (touches, campaigns, channels) are working (or not) to help marketers make better decisions across the entire (not just one touch or source) funnel. It also provides the data that fuels effective budgeting and optimization by helping marketers to know where to place their best bets to drive efficient revenue growth.

Your 4-Step Journey to Data-Driven Marketing

A multi-touch attribution cheat sheet for CMOs:

Marketing attribution has been re-thought for the modern, B2B SaaS marketing organization. Find out how you solve the pain of single touch / source attribution, giving you and your team the data to deliver more revenue with less spend:

Additional Links

Attribution for B2B CMOs
6 Best Practices for Successful B2B Multi-Touch Attribution
Using Multi-Touch Attribution to Make the Most of your B2B Ad Spend  [Sponsored by Quora]
Popular B2B Integrations with CRM, MAP, advertising and other channels
Attribution and Salesforce for B2B Marketing

Multi-Touch Attribution for Salesforce is Here

Go from single-touch attribution chaos to business outcomes faster than ever before with Attribution and Salesforce

By Ryan Koonce

B2B Marketing “Takes a Village”

Most B2B marketers would agree that acquiring new customers “takes a village” (marketing and sales) – it takes e-books, SEO, PPC ads, field events, blogs, retargeting ads, conferences, email nurtures, SDRs, case studies, free trials, 3rd party reviews, live chats, mailers, demos, webinars, and more, all working together to nudge buyers (and accounts) along a nonlinear journey, often starting with a Google search and progressing through various stages of the proverbial Salesforce funnel where concrete terms like MQLs, SALs, early and late stage pipe, and closed/won can be shared with marketers, sales folks, and board members. And the effort to acquire a single customer can be costly, easily reaching several hundred thousand dollars depending on the sales complexity and size of the prize. Hence, the better the village operates, the lower the customer acquisition cost (CAC), the higher the win rate and velocity, and the greater the valuation of a company.

But the problem is most B2B marketers are painfully handicapped by an archaic single-touch (or source) attribution model, which typically culls marketing touches from a marketing automation platform (MAP) and attaches one touch to each opportunity in Salesforce – typically the first or last touch. Regardless of how influential the other touches were in nudging the buyer along, the first or last touch gets all the credit. Seriously!? How do you know which marketing touches or channels are really generating revenue? Adding to this heap of attribution chaos is the length and complexity of the B2B journey, which often involves multiple contacts and can take months to over a year to close. How do you know which marketing touches are delivering the best outcomes by funnel stages such as MQLs created or Opportunities generated?

Attribution for Salesforce Integration

That’s why we’re excited to announce that Attribution for Salesforce integration is now available on Salesforce AppExchange, giving Salesforce customers an easy path to start their multi-touch attribution journey.

With Attribution’s Salesforce integration, Salesforce customers get easy access to a multi-touch attribution SaaS platform that automatically:

  1. Connects their lead and deal stages in Salesforce to the entire cast of marketing touches including on and offline channels and campaigns.
  2. Accesses revenue data from Salesforce for a complete return on ad spend (ROAS)

Our multi-touch attribution platform is architected from the ground up to simplify the complexity of B2B marketing attribution through:

  • Highly configurable time decay, linear, position-based and custom machine learning multi-touch attribution models
  • A patent pending cohort method to precisely allocate credit for revenue, conversions, and cost for any touch, channel, and/or account-based effort
  • Pre-integration with all major B2B adtech and martech platforms including LinkedIn, HubSpot, Facebook and Google, as well as any tracking parameter
  • Built-in auditing engine that reconciles revenue credits, preempting giving credit to channels/campaigns that had no role in the conversion to revenue.

Turbocharge Full-Funnel Demand Generation and Account-Based Marketing

There are hundreds of ways B2B marketers can spend their budgets and resources.

Do I spend it on thought leadership webinars or blogs to drive top-of-funnel metrics like traffic, social followers, and site time, or do I increase mid-funnel tactics like e-books, retargeting ads, webinars or conferences to grow click-throughs and MQLs? Or maybe I go all in on down-funnel things like nurture campaigns, direct mail, review sites, or field marketing events to drive new opportunities or accelerate pipeline stages?

How should I allocate my budget by channel, content, and/or campaign? Do I plan a frontal assault with LinkedIn ABM campaigns and retreat with Google retargeting? How much should I invest (or not) in BrightTALK, G2 Crowd, trade shows, field seminars, TechTarget content promotion, social media, direct mail, SEO, webinars and/or e-books?

For B2B marketers, the data analysis can be dizzying. And unless there’s a silver bullet awaiting, marketers must prioritize (continuously) which ones to invest in, which ones to watch, and which ones to stop.

Unlike single-touch / channel attribution, multi-touch attribution is touch-neutral. Regardless of source, it follows the money of each touch, allocates revenue and costs, and determines true ROI. Multi-touch attribution informs B2B marketers which channels and campaigns to place their bets across the marketing mix and which ones to avoid. Since our multi-touch software is integrated to Salesforce, it automatically connects upper-funnel activities (keyword clicks, ad campaigns, blog articles, webinars, emails, etc.) to lower-funnel results (opportunity conversions, closed deals, and revenue generated).

With Attribution’s Salesforce integration, Salesforce customers can easily compare granular attribution data at the touchpoint level. MQLs, opps, pipe, and/or revenue can be connected directly to specific keywords, online ads, events, and other channels or campaigns. By examining the down-funnel conversion rates of leads generated in earlier funnel stages, marketers have can better optimize their budgets and activities. If marketers know the opportunity-conversion rates of leads generated by a given channel or campaign, they can make decisions about how to reuse or improve those activities in the future. B2B marketers can easily compare campaigns against each other based on their respective down-funnel results (opportunities, customers, and revenue).

Marketers can use the insights from multi-touch attribution to make the right decision throughout the entire demand generation funnel from initial touch to MQL to pipe to booking and scale their spending up or down accordingly.

Align Sales and Marketing at a Whole New Level

By connecting Salesforce conversion data to our multi-touch attribution platform, marketing and sales can confidently align at a whole new level to continuously improve efficacy in each stage of the funnel. What exactly does this mean? The actionable insights marketers from multi-touch attribution can increase sales productivity. I’ll say it again, by optimizing all stages of the marketing funnel to revenue, sales people will increase opportunity conversion, deal velocity, and overall win rate. Together, Salesforce and multi-touch attribution do this this by:

  • Tracking a leads journey and quality from first-touch through the marketing and sales funnel to closed / won, giving salespeople powerful nuggets intelligence of what the buyer has interacted with throughout their journey.
  • Tracking every touchpoint in a given account, from every social click to every content download to booth visit, a sales person knows precisely how the lead has progressed through the funnel at any given time.
  • Streamlining the lead handoff between marketing and sales with revenue data being tracked to marketing campaigns in Salesforce, providing a lead’s ‘story’ and enabling more impactful sales outreach.
  • Enabling collaborative, data-driven forecasting between sales and marketing, eliminating the guesswork of what marketing budget will produce which outcome in terms of pipeline and revenue.
  • Unifying sales and marketing investments around trade shows and conferences (often one of the largest budget lines) through attribution insight how a given event and related sales activities at the event like seminars and dinners worked.

By providing both sales and marketing with a single-source of attribution truth aligned to pipe and revenue, marketing and sales can rally around one playbook to optimize CAC and maximize revenue.

Salesforce Customer Call-to-Action

According to Chief Marketer’s Attribution Still a Huge Challenge for B2B Marketers report, “lengthy sales cycles, numerous touchpoints and too much data are among the biggest hurdles B2B marketers face when it comes to accurate attribution.” B2B marketers are dealing with a plethora of content platforms and channels with multiple sources of leads over a long timeline, so easily and quickly telling the full attribution story, including what influenced the deal, and justifying events, ads and other investments is hard when you look at first and last touch only.

Adding Attribution for Salesforce frees B2B marketers from single-touch jail and enables them to easily see the full and true attribution story, which touchpoints are really working, which ones need monitoring, and which ones need to go.

Attribution’s Salesforce integration is currently available on the AppExchange here.
To learn more about Attribution’s Salesforce integration, click here.

Attribution Named High Performer by G2 Crowd Grid® for Attribution Software

By Ryan Koonce

At Attribution, we are determined to empower marketers with the insight they need to convert more buyers and maximize ROI. That’s why I’m excited to announce that we have been recognized as a High Performer in the Attribution Software category by G2 Crowd for Winter 2019. Just as we want to help our customers grow better, we want to grow better ourselves, so we always welcome honest feedback from our community.

In its announcement, G2 Crowd explains, “Rankings on G2 Crowd reports are based on data provided to us by real users. We are excited to share the achievements of the products ranked on our site because they represent the voice of the user and offer terrific insights to potential buyers around the world.” To ensure fair evaluation, G2 Crowd maintains rigorous criteria for recognizing vendors with a high customer satisfaction score.

For this distinction, a vendor must have a minimum of 10 published reviews and achieve top peer ratings in customer support, product setup and use, Net Promoter Score (NPS), and other key criteria.

Here’s what some of our customers had to say:

  • “Love that Attribution only does one thing and does it so well. No gimmick. No non-sense. Clear and simple solution to track our attribution metrics” – Head of Product, Vice President
  • “Attribution was easy to set up and use. Love their integrations to LinkedIn, Facebook, Google, and other…we now have one unbiased source to track and compare conversion performance of our ad channels. No more frustration with the conversion “math” from the different ad platforms! Also their customer support is awesome” – CEO and Co-Founder
  • “Once you get going with ads and have the platform set up, it works great. You’re able to see a complete history of CPL and can attribute every last dollar to each campaign you’re running” – Growth Marketing Lead

Recognition from real users is the best testimony that our product innovation and customer focus are solving real problems for marketers. In addition to being named a High Performer, Attribution earned the following honors:

The only reason we exist as a company is to empower every marketer with the data to optimize their marketing to revenue. This central tenet is our inspiration to challenge conventional marketing attribution norms and build a different multi-touch attribution platform that features a patent-pending attribution engine, cohort-based analytics, proven usability, and integration with an extensive and growing list of ad platforms including LinkedIn, Google, Quora, and Facebooks, as well as all major conversion platforms such as Salesforce, HubSpot, Segment, and Shopify.

Everyone at Attribution is deeply proud to be honored as a G2 Crowd High Performer in their Grid Report for Attribution, Winter 2019. The report showed that:

  • 87% of users would recommend Attribution
  • 92% gave Attribution 4 or 5-star ratings
  • 86% say that Attribution meets their business’ requirements

To learn more about these distinctions, see how Attribution stacks up against other multi-touch attribution vendors like Bizible or Visual IQ, or to read the reviews written about our product by the marketers who use them, please download a complimentary copy of the full Grid® Report for Attribution Software | Winter 2019.

To all our customers who submitted reviews, thank you! We will continue our mission to empower every marketer with the data to deliver amazing performance!

Top 5 Marketing Attribution Trends for 2019

By Ryan Koonce

Investor demands, customer expectations and competitive intensity will drive adoption of marketing attribution technologies and new attribution models.

Although classic web analytics and marketing automation tools serve up point KPIs, marketers are grappling with the lack true attribution insight to optimize their spending to revenue. According to a 2017 research study by the Marketing Attribution Think Tank (MATT), which was spearheaded by marketing leaders from some of the world’s top brands including Unilever, Allstate and Bank of America, while “81% of marketers use CTR (click-through rate) more than any other metric…there is virtually no relationship between click-through and sales.”

The good news is that marketers are finally recognizing the need to evolve their attribution approach. The days of last-click, first-touch and CTRs are fading into the annals of advertising, and a new day of multi-touch attribution models is gaining momentum, where MATT’s study also showed “75% of respondent marketers said they are or will be using multi-touch attribution within 18 months.”  Companies large and small are using these advanced analytics to patrol online (and offline) marketing touches and connect them to revenue. They can quickly tally campaign and advertising costs, allocate revenue credits and collect new insights to show marketers what’s really working, what needs watching, and what needs to go.

The rise of multi-touch attribution is just one example of change, one of our marketing attribution trends for 2019 with the potential to drive significant evolution and deliver economic opportunity over the next five years. Our CMO, Yancy Oshita, shared his perspectives on the adoption of multi-touch attribution and other pivotal trends in an article published by Martech Advisor: Top 5 Marketing Attribution Trends for 2019. Having successfully scaled marketing and grown revenue at venture-backed and some of the best-known tech brands, Yancy combines his experience and passion in a plain-speaking way to offer his insights and practical guidance to senior marketing leaders in B2B and B2C industries. In the article, he expands on the following movements:

  1. Connecting Marketing to Revenue Outcomes
  2. Rise of Multi-Touch Attribution
  3. Performance Monitoring of Ad Vendors Comes of Age
  4. Shift to a Marketing Attribution System of Record
  5. Emerging Marketing Organizations and KPIs

As an advanced marketing attribution platform working with B2B and B2C clients, we’re always pushing ourselves to help marketers and advertisers use data to optimize their marketing to revenue. We believe the future will be characterized by smart attribution delivering increasingly insightful intelligence everywhere marketers connect with buyers. Still, most marketers are wrestling to act on attribution insights, indicating the challenge to take advantage of attribution intelligence goes beyond technology and includes process and culture. As Yancy predicts, next year we’ll see more companies tune their organization models and KPIs around the new insights offered by multi-touch attribution technologies.

Advanced marketing attribution is really about connecting marketing to revenue. It’s about bringing the science of marketing to a whole new level and organizations need to evolve with it to reap the enormous benefits. And unless CMOs are taking extreme ownership of revenue return on marketing, moving to advanced marketing attribution would likely lead to marginal success at best. As you grapple with “doing more with less” and “showing the money” to you’re your investors, the Top 5 Marketing Attribution Trends for 2019 in Martech Advisor is worth a read!

Attribution Quora Partnership | Attribution

By Ryan Koonce

I am thrilled to announce our partnership with Quora, the popular Q&A platform that connects people seeking knowledge with those who have it. Quora Ads is now integrated to Attribution’s platform, meaning that marketers and advertisers on Quora can easily link their account to view their true return on ad spend (ROAS) alongside their other paid networks such as Google, LinkedIn, and Facebook.

With a reach of over 300 million monthly visitors, Quora Ads provide marketers with a native, high-performance channel to connect and engage with their audiences. Advertisers can automatically serve ads in a way that is consistent and additive to Quora’s user experience and deliver a strong ROAS. By integrating Attribution to your Quora Ads account, you’ll receive actionable insights that enable you to optimize your budget to drive more conversions and generate the best revenue outcomes. Attribution automatically captures ad and conversion data and connects it to every marketing touch across the full buyer’s journey.

Quora Attribution Dashboard

 

Commenting on our new partnership, Quora’s GM & Head of Partnerships, Brendan L. Weitz, added, “We are excited to launch this integration to enable our customers to have greater insight into the value of marketing on Quora.”

Attribution provides marketers with single version of attribution truth in how paid channels are contributing to revenue. Using a patent pending multi-touch attribution approach and unique cohort-based ROAS method, Attribution quickly culls through how target audiences responded to various touchpoints and accurately assigns cost and revenue credit. These unique capabilities give you the true picture about what’s working, what’s not, and what is your current and forecasted return on marketing.  

We’re dedicated to giving our customers a variety of options when it comes to measuring their success on Quora. Our integration with Quora will give you a way to track the holistic ROAS and optimize your campaigns. Linking Attribution to your Quora Ads account to is easy. Just go to your Attribution account, visit Settings->Integrations and “Connect Quora”, and start receiving insights alongside all of your other paid social platforms.

If you are interested in integrating your Quora campaigns into Attribution and/or would like a demo of Attribution, please reach out to us at get.attributionapp.com/request-demo. If you are new to Quora Ads, you can get started at quora.com/business.

Attribution App is one of the first to join new Stripe partner program

Most people today don’t know that only three percent of GDP is online. That’s why we’re excited to join the Stripe Partner Program to increase internet commerce and help companies start, run, and scale their businesses more efficiently.

By joining the program, our mutual customers will now benefit from the combination of Attribution’s multi-touch attribution solution with Stripe’s seamless payments platform.

This means that our customers can now connect their Stripe account to Attribution, which can then automatically integrate standard Stripe data like when a charge is successful (event label: Charge Successful) or a Charge is captured (event label: Charge Captured).  These events can then be associated with the appropriate ad channels to calculate return on ad spend.

We believe that removing barriers to online commerce helps more new businesses get started, levels the playing field, and increases economic output and trade around the world, and we believe that democratizing attribution is a key for businesses to grow and thrive. Together with Stripe, our mission is to bring more commerce online and increase the GDP of the internet.

Read more about the Stripe Partner Program here: https://stripe.com/blog/stripe-partner-program