Conducting Success: Understanding Multi-Channel Attribution In Marketing

Conducting Success: Understanding Multi-Channel Attribution In Marketing

Recently, multi-channel attribution modelling in marketing has gained significant prominence. The term is now familiar to everyone, signalling a shift in how we measure the performance of media and creative spend. It is essential for anyone lacking a solid understanding of multi-channel attribution modelling to do so, enabling them to pose the right questions to their agencies and growth partners.

Firstly, let's recognise the prevailing approach to attributing marketing channels to performance – predominantly through a single-channel lens. For instance, reporting on Meta performance from Business Manager, AdWords data from Ads Manager, and so forth. However, there are two fundamental issues with this methodology. It presupposes that different media channels use the same metrics, which they do not. A purchase on Meta is not equivalent to a purchase on Google or TikTok. Each platform employs its unique metrics, making direct comparisons impractical and false.

Moreover, it assumes that a customer has only one touchpoint, like seeing an Instagram ad and subsequently making a purchase. This assumption is erroneous. Customers may encounter anywhere from 4 to 30 touch-points before contemplating a purchase. Traditional attribution models suggest that one channel is superior to others. Theoretically, if one channel is the best, allocating all resources and spend to it should yield the highest Return on Investment (ROI). However, this approach is flawed. If an orchestra only comprises trombone players, the result would be discordant. Why then do we assume marketing should operate differently? It's imperative to construct the entire band and discern the appropriate role for each element of the marketing mix.

Now, let's delve into the future of multi-channel attribution and what it's finding out

The simplest way to describe multi-channel attribution is through an analogy. Picture your marketing strategy as an orchestra, with each instrument representing a different marketing channel – social media, email, paid advertising, etc. The conductor, in this analogy, is the multi-channel attribution model. A model is essentially an analytical framework or algorithm used to assign credit to various marketing channels based on their contribution the desired outcome. It embodies our analysis, our data science, and our unwavering effort to decipher what truly works.

So, who plays what role?

  • Orchestra Members (Marketing Channels): Each instrument (marketing channel) possesses a unique sound and contributes to the overall symphony (customer journey). Social media may be the strings, email marketing the brass section, and paid advertising the percussion, yes they can make music individually, but they work infinitely better when all played at the same time.

  • Symphony (Customer Journey): The symphony mirrors the customer journey, progressing through stages from awareness to consideration and ultimately conversion.

  • Conductor (Multi-Channel Attribution): The conductor orchestrates the instruments to create harmony, much like the multi-channel attribution model allocates credit to each marketing channel. It ensures seamless collaboration for driving purchases, understanding who to push and when.

  • Instrument Solos (Channel-Specific Contribution): Certain marketing channels play more prominent roles at various stages. Multi-channel attribution identifies these solos, showcasing each channel's impact, such as using display and out-of-home for awareness and social for re-marketing. And even how what creative to push and when.

  • Optimising the Orchestra (Budget Optimisation): The conductor ensures each instrument shines while maintaining balance. Similarly, multi-channel attribution aids in optimising budgets, directing resources to channels with the most significant impact on overall performance. This shouldn't be done at the end of a campaign, but instead in real-time.

  • Sheet Music (Data and Analytics): The sheet music represents the data and analytics guiding the conductor. Multi-channel attribution relies on data from various sources, much like the conductor reading sheet music to understand when each instrument should play. Historic campaigns, Google Analytics and brand data all plays into how you build the model.

  • Encore (Continuous Optimisation): After the symphony concludes, the conductor and orchestra review the performance for improvements. In marketing, continuous optimisation based on multi-channel attribution insights is akin to refining strategies for even better results.

By segmenting out your channels when trying to work out what's working and what isn't in your marketing strategy, it's like looking at a picture with one eye closed. multi-channel attribution lets you see the whole orchestra, and really focus on driving results and growth for an organisation.

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