Multi-touch attribution is sort of incredible, isn’t it?
For the first time, we can now track buyers throughout their customer journey and identify exactly which sales and marketing efforts brought them into our laps.
63% of marketers with attribution say they now have a better understanding of how their marketing channels work together, and 72% believe it positively impacts their ad spend.
However. Just because it’s possible doesn’t mean it’s easy.
Despite the hype, there’s still a lot of confusion around attribution best practices.
That’s why a panel of experts came together — to pull back the curtain and reveal their winning strategies.
These panelists represent a variety of industries, but each is using multi-touch attribution in their corner of the market to great success. Together, they came up with 9 key insights.
HOW TO: Build and optimize your multi-touch attribution system
1. When building your attribution system, prioritize precision and accuracy
Precision means you can track visitors across the entire funnel on an individual level. Accuracy means you can correctly match a person to their buyer’s journey. In general, precision is slightly more important, but you need both to get the most out of your attribution system.
You’ll never know what efforts are driving the bottom line until you can track a sales call all the way back through the buyer’s journey →
2. Analyze user journeys across channels to find hidden conversion opportunities
One panelist discovered that her SEM traffic was converting through her SEO content. Diving deeper, she realized leads were clicking from the ad to her locations page to her SEO content, and then converting. So she added a lead form to the locations page and 2X’d conversions overnight.
Siloing each channel limits your view — you need to see the buyer’s journey as a whole →
3. Prioritize your leads based on their likelihood of conversion
Identify key conversion signals — which channels, touchpoints, and audiences have the highest likelihood of converting? Use this information to put your sales team’s time towards the high-probability leads.
It’s hard to distribute the right lead to the right team — you’ll need to automate the process →
4. Build a close relationship between sales & marketing to achieve true closed-loop reporting
Truly informed decision making can only happen when sales & marketing pool and analyze the data together. Your teams should meet on a weekly basis, and make all key decisions together.
Likewise, your tools need to make team coordination seamless →
5. Identify the elements you can actually change; don’t bother tracking what lies outside your control
If you have no control over your affiliates’ messaging, why waste resources tracking it? If you can influence whether leads find you on mobile or desktop, then absolutely measure which channel is more effective.
It sounds simple, but you would be surprised how many marketers get caught up in data for data’s sake.
6. Assign metrics to each stage of the funnel, not just the final sale
Without targets for every major touchpoint, you won’t be able to identify your strengths and weaknesses. One panelist broke his customer journey into 7 stages, with separate goals and KPIs for each.
Compile your metrics into a single tool to analyze your entire funnel at once. 2 panelists custom-built this platform, but if it’s out of your budget try →
7. Prioritize response time to boost sales engagement — freshness is absolutely key
The average industry response time is 48 hours, but your goal should be to get that down to 1 minute. Pull it off, and you could 4X your conversions.
Think about it — why spend so much time generating leads only to lose them at the finish line? Automation is key to scale the kind of response time you need →
8. Build the tech stack that matches your unique needs — there’s no one-size-fits-all
As you can see below, the panelists’ tech stacks vary widely. Ultimately you need to pick & choose the combination of in-house and vendor solutions that works best for you.
- Ellie Mae: Facebook & LinkedIn for air cover, Eloqua for marketing automation & lead scoring, Drift for conversational marketing, Salesforce as a core CRM, Velocify for lead distribution & sales engagement, Sendoso for direct mail, and Tableau for BI
- AWL Insurance: A proprietary platform as a central hub, into which they plug Salesforce as a CRM, Pardot & IBM Silver Pop for automation, and Twillio for a contact center
- Clutter: Custom-built most of their tech; they only use Invoka for call attribution
9. Evaluate potential vendors based on your ability to control and access data
When looking at a new vendor, your first question should be: “Do I need to own the data this capability will produce?” If so, build it in-house. If not, you should still demand access. If the vendor won’t send real-time data back to you, it’s a dealbreaker.