What you can learn from attribution reporting

TL;DR:

  • As the customer journey has grown more complex, the need to understand it has become more important than ever.
  • The most common reason businesses struggle to realize value from attribution reports is because their customer journey is riddled with data gaps.
  • Thankfully, the right marketing attribution tools can address all the pain points your business may be facing.
  • Proper implementation and execution are key to taking advantage of the many benefits attribution has to offer.

The customer journey is rarely as simple as traveling from point A to point B. More often than not, customers travel down long, winding paths that cross different engagement points across numerous marketing channels and campaigns for a single brand.

As the customer journey has grown more complex, the need to understand it has become more important than ever. The data pulled from digital interactions makes it possible to map each customer’s journey, but a deeper understanding of the ROI for these efforts is only possible through attribution.

Definition of attribution modeling as a strategy

By adopting the right tools and methods of using marketing attribution, your business can gain new, valuable insights that help you better understand — and shape — your customer journey. Attribution reporting assigns value to each component of this complex path, giving your business a holistic view of the role each channel or strategy is playing in your conversions.

Here’s a deeper look at the insights marketing attribution can offer and how to create reports for your business.

Why businesses overlook the value of marketing attribution reports

If you’ve had a bad experience with marketing attribution in the past, it can probably be categorized under one of a few reasons. The most common reason businesses struggle to get value from attribution reports is because their customer journey is riddled with data gaps.

An inability to track customers across channels — especially offline engagements such as direct mail and inbound phone calls — can make attribution reports unreliable at best. Addressing these data gaps is critical to any business that wants to leverage marketing attribution to guide its strategy.

In other cases, businesses may choose an attribution model that isn’t relevant to the brand’s marketing goals. This can result in insights that lead your business down the wrong path because your attribution model’s approach to calculating ROI doesn’t align with how your marketing aims to drive that ROI. It’s also possible that your business has given up on attribution reports because you’re unwilling to be patient when identifying and testing various attribution models.

 

Thankfully, the right marketing attribution tools can address all the pain points your business may be facing. Proper implementation and execution are key to taking advantage of the many benefits attribution has to offer.

How marketing attribution reports can help you drive more conversions

Successful marketing attribution offers value in terms of both hard and soft ROI. You can quickly gain insights that make a measurable difference in your marketing optimization and revenue generation, but the sum value of marketing attribution extends all the way up to strategic decision-making among your company’s C-suite.

Here are some of the ways your business benefits from marketing attribution:

  • You can identify the channel or channels that make the greatest contributions to your ROI. This data can be used to adjust your marketing mix and identify campaigns and channels that should be more frequently integrated into the customer journey.
  • You can reallocate marketing budgets to increase investments in high-performing channels, improving the ROI from your overall marketing spend. By increasing spend in areas where revenue generation tends to be more efficient, you can increase your company’s overall marketing ROI.
  • You can spot weak links that are causing too many customers to abandon the journey. This could be for many reasons, such as ineffective messaging, poor calls to action, or even data gaps preventing you from fully viewing this journey. Once identified, your marketing team can address the issue through A/B testing or other methods.
  • You can develop new strategies to encourage down-funnel movement. You might find, for example, that certain campaigns or channels are even more successful when paired together. You can then prioritize this collaboration across your customer journey.
  • You can incorporate offline data for a more comprehensive view of your entire marketing strategy. Inbound phone calls and direct mail play a crucial role in your customer journey. But without data points to integrate into your analysis, marketing attribution is never reliable. By embracing tools that supply marketing attribution with data from offline campaigns, you can finally achieve the accurate data insights your company needs to enhance its marketing strategy.
  • Your ability to make informed marketing decisions is proven. Marketing attribution strengthens the quality and reliability of your insights, which leads to better-informed decisions that continue to guide your marketing strategy in the right direction.
 

How to create a useful attribution report

If you haven’t already set an attribution model in Google Analytics or another analytics platform, you’ll need to do that first. Marketing attribution requires your business to choose the attribution model that best aligns with your marketing goals and the KPIs you’re currently using to measure your success.

Once you’ve set this attribution model, it will take at least two weeks before preliminary data based on your selected model is available. Plan on waiting about 30 days before robust marketing attribution data is available through your analytics platform. These reports can be found through your Google Analytics dashboard, and they will incorporate the latest data to give you the most updated insights possible about your marketing attribution performance.

Keep in mind that you can change your marketing attribution model or build your own custom model at any time when using Google Analytics. Your preferred attribution modeling might also vary depending on what you’re seeking to understand about your customer journey and your marketing success.

You can change this attribution model as often as you want, but remember that it will take at least 30 days to collect robust data. So if you change reports before hitting that mark, the data from any given attribution report may not be as valuable.

 

Software and tools that support marketing attribution

The best marketing attribution reports are supported by software that gives you access to as much comprehensive marketing data as possible. Your business should acquire and implement the following:

  • A CRM to manage all customers and leads, including their data
  • Analytics tools, such as Google Analytics, to consolidate multi-channel performance data and generate marketing attribution reports
  • Offline tracking tools, such as call tracking software, to fill the offline data gap
  • User intent analytics software such as Bombora, which identifies the leads who are warmest, as well as the types of engagement they want from your business

The right tools make all the difference. Use this combination of marketing solutions to set the stage for greater attribution success.

Using insights to guide smarter marketing decisions

The insights generated from marketing attribution can become one of your most important tools in boosting your marketing ROI and refining your overall marketing strategy. Use this innovative technology to learn more about your target audience and the campaigns and channels you’re using to reach that audience.

See how CallRail supports marketing attribution for yourself — sign up for a free trial today.

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