Depending on your unique business requirements and objectives, the use of an attribution model can be an effective way to ensure that multiple keywords and different sources are taken into consideration when the prospect is ready to contact your organisation or, in marketing terms, make a conversion.
Attribution modelling – what is it and how does it work?
Put simply, attribution is assigning credit to the correct marketing channel for a lead or sale. It allows you to better measure your Cost Per Acquisition (CPA) and gain a better understanding of the ROI on your marketing activities.
Why is it important?
Marketing budgets are tight and with so many different advertising channels, finding the the one that is going to deliver the best results is paramount.
By correctly attributing sales to their correct source, you can find the marketing channel and specific message that is performing best, allowing you to put more of your marketing dollars into this area. Similarly, it allows you to see which channels and messages are not working.
Furthermore, in today’s world of multiple devices and potential customer touch points, finding the medium and channel which led to the sale has become more and more complex.
The types of attribution models
There are several different types of attribution models:
The last interaction attribution model places all the conversion weighting with the final action before the prospect converts.
The first interaction attribution puts all the emphasis on the initial action.
The the U-shaped or position-based attribution model puts a 40 per cent allocation to the first and last action and an equal weight to all the intermediary actions.
The linear model places equal emphasis on each touch point.
Time Decay attributes the majority of the sale to the click or action immediately preceding the sale, with the other interactions proceeding given less of the attribution.
You could also devise your own custom attribution rules using a bid management platform such as Kenshoo or in Google Analytics.
Which attribution model is best?
The attribution model which best suits you and your business will often depend on what data you are able to capture. In a recent survey by Dataliscious, 39% of companies said technology limitations was a reason they didn’t carry out marketing attribution. This was despite:
- 79% of respondents in the same survey believing that marketing attribution led to a better allocation of the marketing budget across channels
- 74% of respondents believing it gave them a better understanding of how digital channels worked together
- 65% of respondents believing it gave them a better understanding of digital and offline interactions.
Regardless of which attribution model you use, if you are not including the call as a key conversion point, then the model isn’t counting all possible conversion options and is therefore producing inaccurate data. Calls are important – callers are generally closer to making a purchasing decision and they usually attract a higher value sale.
Setting up in Google Analytics
Google Analytics provides you with a relatively easy method to compare attribution models and through Delacon’s integration with GA, the platform can take into consideration both click and call conversion data together.
In your analytics account navigate through to Conversions, Attribution and the Model Comparison Tool. In the Conversion dropdown box in the top left hand corner select all the relevant conversion options and then select which attribution models that you want to compare. This report will then clearly demonstrate the importance each source had in the prospect’s interaction with your company. To measure the effectiveness of keywords, simply add in the secondary dimension of keyword.
The custom attribution model can be used, according to Google, to “define conditions that identify touchpoints in the conversion path according to characteristics such as position (first, last, middle, assist) and campaign or traffic source type (Campaign,Keyword, and other dimensions). After defining the touchpoints you wish to identify, specify how these touchpoints will be distributed conversion credit, relative to other touchpoints.”
The attribution model is only as effective as the data that it’s populated with. If you don’t include all conversion options then the model itself isn’t going to give you an accurate indication of the best performing keywords and sources.