One-Touch Attribution Modeling Is So Last Year

Much ado is being made in the marketing community about sales attribution. Historically, it has been common practice to use one-touch models such as first-touch and last-touch to attribute sales to marketing activity. Although these models are correct in the sense that the marketing activity led to a sale, it does not mean that it was the sole catalyst. Making this assumption can lead to sub-optimal decisions when it comes time to allocating resources.

Your buy online channel may have been the channel used to complete a sale, but if you sent the prospect a letter and an email before she decided to purchase then attributing sales to one channel misses the impact of the other two. Modern businesses use a variety of marketing media to promote their products, build brand awareness and find new customers. Often prospects touch more than one channel, and the final conversion would not have happened with that the interplay.

If your business is stuck in the first/last-touch attribution modeling, then I encourage you to think about the decisions you are making using this model. You may get a lot of conversions from your PPC campaigns, but what happened before they converted? Did they visit your organic website? Did they call your call center? Did they receive an email? An attribution model that looks at all of the touches can put all of this in context and give you a more accurate understanding of the true efficiency of each marketing channel.