Marketing Attribution: Looking Beyond Last Click

The customer journey is a long and winding road, but so often marketing attribution models only look at a small sliver of the path to conversion.

Indeed, despite the customer journey typically transcending formats, crossing devices, and requiring multiple touchpoints to drive a conversion, many marketers have attribution models that only look at the last click or a singular channel.

According to a recent study, 42% of marketers don’t have a multichannel attribution model in place. Even those that do may not be getting the full picture, as only 28% of marketers leverage attribution consistently across all of their campaigns.

Meanwhile, 8% of marketers have attribution in place, but don’t use it to analyze results or otherwise better understand their customer journey & the effectiveness of their various efforts.

Clearly, there is a gap. Without a clear & comprehensive picture of the full path to conversion, marketers are often left looking at — and giving potentially undue credit to — last click metrics.

While it is helpful to know what finally drove the conversion, it’s equally important to know what warmed a given consumer to the brand enough that the conversion was possible. After all, even the most impulsive engagements, conversions, and purchases require some level of comfort with the content. Typically, that comfort takes multiple touchpoints across multiple channels.

It’s easy to go after abandoned carts, but what about the customers who abandon before they ever get that far? Wouldn’t it be helpful to know where in the journey individuals are turning away and going down the path to a competitor? It’s hard to see that far down the road without multitouch & multichannel attribution.

Granted, this is easier said than done. As eMarketer notes:

“Marketers want better insight into how their dollars are spent, but replacing last-click attribution models with more advanced approaches can be challenging.”

So, what can marketers do? To truly optimize their efforts and drive consistent growth for the brands they represent, marketers must demand better visibility into their customer journey.  This entails:

  • Demanding cross-device conversion reporting from any provider running cross-device campaigns (and if they’re not running cross-device, ask why)
  • Seeking channel vendors that can pass data to one another
  • Minimizing partnerships with black box vendors as much as possible
  • Rethinking pixel strategy to cover inevitable reporting gaps
  • Leaning on partners to provide training to better understand their reporting
  • Better understanding which partners are using first click, which are using last click, and whether that information is passing into CRM systems properly

It’s no easy task, particularly for marketers at small to medium sized organizations who have less internal resources to lean on. So, it falls on martech partners to help, and on marketers to ask. Together, looking beyond last click and getting a better view of the full customer journey is possible.

AUDIENCEX offers our marketer and agency clients access to an multi-touch attribution tool that helps understand how each aspect of your marketing campaigns affect sales and revenue. For more information, contact us to set up a time to talk to one of our campaign strategists about MTA.