Analytics Attribution Modelling 101: How to Get Started

2019/03/20 05:43

attribution model

What you need to know about attribution modelling in Google Analytics and how to apply it to your business.

Let’s think about the customer journey for a second – it can actually be far more complex than you think.

Let’s say a potential customer sees one of your sponsored posts on Facebook and clicks through to your site to have a brief look around. After they leave, they are met with a retargeting campaign that takes them back to the site where they sign up for your email updates – they haven’t purchased anything yet though.

A few days later, you send them an email about an upcoming sale that you’re having, which entices them to make a purchase but they don’t do it immediately because they need to run to a meeting. Later that day, they type your website’s URL directly into a browser and they purchase one of your products.

Looking at this customer journey, it’s hard to decide how that revenue was really created – this is where attribution models come in.

Attribution Models Explained

Think of attribution models as sets of rules that help you determine which touchpoint in your customer journey is responsible for the revenue that was generated.

Essentially, businesses use attribution models to determine which of their campaigns and marketing efforts are resulting in sales. Several models can be used at once to discover how they’re impacting different marketing channels but ultimately it depends on your goals.

Big data is the driving force behind attribution modelling and it can be gathered from your advertising campaigns, content, email marketing campaigns, social media posts and your URLs to name but a few.

Depending on the process that a customer went through to finally make a purchase and the attribution model that was used, Google Analytics will credit the sale accordingly.

Types of Attribution Models

Let’s look at the attribution models that you could apply to your customer journey.

  • First-Touch Attribution: 100% of the credit goes to the campaign that initiated the first interaction with your brand. It is mostly used to collect demand generation data.
  • Last-Touch Attribution: 100% of the credit goes to the campaign that initiated the final interaction that the customer has before making a purchase. This model helps highlight campaigns with the highest conversion rates.
  • Linear Attribution: Each touchpoint that played a role in the final conversion is given even credit. This model offers a more holistic overview of your marketing campaigns but doesn’t give you an idea of the interaction that resulted in the final conversion.
  • Time Decay Attribution: This model gives credit to the interaction that directly resulted in a conversion but value is still given to previous touchpoints that helped drive the final conversion. It provides an overview of all the touchpoints involved in the process but gives the most credit to the interaction that lead to the conversion.
  • Position-Based Attribution: 40% of the credit goes to the first and last interaction, while 20% goes to the middle touchpoints. This model gives businesses the opportunity to optimise the most important touchpoints.

How Attribution Modelling Can Benefit Your Business

1- Marketing budgets are spent more wisely

When you know exactly which marketing channels and campaigns are generating the most sales, it becomes easier to allocate your budget in a way that generates the best ROI. Attribution modelling provides marketers and business owners with essential information about what hooked the customer, how they chose to interact with the brand online and how long it took them to complete a purchase. Attribution modelling is one way to spend marketing budgets more efficiently.

2- Develop stronger customer personas

It’s clear that attribution modelling provides businesses with deeper insights into the behaviour of their customers. From knowing which channels they spend the most time on to understanding what drives their purchases, attribution modelling is a tool that can help businesses develop in-depth customer personas that can be used company-wide. You may even discover brand new audiences and marketing opportunities that you may not have considered until now. Stronger customer personas mean stronger revenue streams!

3- Discover how marketing channels work together

Attribution modelling offers key insights into how your different marketing channels are working together to expand your business – this includes channels such as your website, emails, social media and your content. When all of these channels are being tracked, it becomes easier to understand how they work together and whether some channels are no longer worthwhile. Attribution modelling will tell you which social media channels are driving the most interest in your brand, which keywords are driving traffic to your website and what time you should be sending out email campaigns to generate the best response. Once you understand where your best results are coming from, you’ll know exactly where you should be focusing your efforts.

Attribution modelling can be slightly intimidating if you’ve never used it before but it is one tactic that is definitely worth looking into in 2019.