Spend some time developing an understanding of marketing attribution models and your attention will soon shift to whittling them down to the cream of the crop. Though no single marketing attribution model is guaranteed to be perfect for your business, at least one will emerge as especially insightful. The difficulty lies in selecting the best models for your business’s unique needs.

Make an Educated Selection

The marketing attribution model you select must be the optimal fit for your company, both now and in the future. Keep in mind, the attribution models you key in on should provide insight based on your unique sales cycle, its length and other factors specific to your organization.

Take some time to conduct internal discussions, covering how customers learn about the brand, the potential for conversions offline, the reasons for customers prematurely ending their buying journey and more. Most important are the leads that steer customers toward conversion. Moreover, the specific reasons for customers returning to the business’s website or returning for a second purchase are also distinct to your company.

The right model or several models empowers business owners and marketers to make better use of their marketing budget, enhance marketing campaigns and most importantly, add customers. The optimal model empowers business owners to better understand how specific touchpoints affect customers.

Models also make it easier to accurately assign credit for ensuing sales. Take your time when reviewing models, select the optimal model for your organization and you’ll obtain an invaluable understanding of customer engagement.

First Touch Model Vs. Last Touch Model

The first touch attribution models provide full credit to the first point of contact with marketing material. This approach discredits the rest of what the customer is exposed to after the initial point of contact. The first touch approach is helpful when attempting to understand what, exactly, piques the interest of new customers.

In contrast, the last touch model focuses on the final point of contact with business marketing material before conversion. This disproportionately weighted approach favors the final marketing channel over all others, including the first point of contact.

Rather, the merit of this approach is its highlighting of the marketing material or avenue that convinced the prospect to convert into a paying customer. The underlying assumption of the last touch model is that the final point of interaction is more important than others as it directly led to the sale.

The U Model Vs. W Model

The U-shaped attribution model is unique in that it attributes part of the credit to the initial point of contact with the customer and the same amount of credit to the final interaction. The remainder of the credit (20%) is attributed to the touchpoints that are second and third to last. Alternatively, credit can be evenly distributed throughout the entirety of interactions after the first and before the last. The U-shaped model provides balance when gauging the impact of touchpoints. This model is especially helpful when businesses struggle to determine which stage in the decision-making path most affected one’s conversion from prospect into customer.

Alternatively, the W attribution model awards more credit to the initial and final touchpoints before conversion. However, the W-shaped attribution model also prioritizes the middle touchpoint where customers have the potential to become a valuable lead. The model evenly credits the rest of the touchpoints.

The W attribution model ultimately makes it easier for businesses to determine which specific touchpoints rake in the leads and transition them into customers while simultaneously highlighting those that convince customers to at least consider making a purchase. The drawback to the W marketing attribution model is that it doesn’t clearly present the interactions at the middle stage that play a part in conversion.

The Time Decay Marketing Attribution Model

Businesses that use the time decay attribution model prioritize touchpoints that take place closer to the point at which a customer converts. The time decay approach respects the fact that unique interactions affect consumer decisions to varying degrees. Businesses that succeed in shifting the target to touchpoints that have the strongest impact on conversions emerge as the winners.

The Linear Attribution Model

Employ the linear attribution method and you’ll weigh the sales process steps equally. Such an approach helps marketers better understand the customer journey. This model also provides a better macro view of the digital marketing campaign. The drawback to the model is that it glosses over the fact that the customer journey steps vary in importance.

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