Perfecting Your Sales Funnel: The Art of Multi-Touch Attribution

The sustainability of any business can be attributed to its ability to market itself well. In other words, your sales funnel is one of the most, if not the most critical aspect of your business. This isn’t news to most business owners. But cleaning up your sales funnel and making it more effective is easier said than done. What if you could know the precise value of each component of your sales funnel? What if you could scientifically determine what elements of your sales funnel translated to revenue and what needed tweaking? Thanks to advancements in data science, this is now possible with multi-touch attribution.

What is Multi-Touch Attribution?

All marketers and business owners could benefit from more information about their customer base. How well are you engaging your Facebook audience? Does your website answer all of a potential customer’s questions? Does your landing page really convey the value of what you offer? In other words, we’re all seeking the crucial facts – What works and what doesn’t?

Multi-touch attribution is an advanced way of attributing and measuring all the interactions that affected the customer journey. Customers see your ads, check out your social media pages, or visit your website to make a purchase. Your job is to nurture their trust and provide precisely what they’re looking for. But without data, it’s a total guessing game on your dime. Keeping track of these channels manually can leave even the most tech-savvy entrepreneur befuddled. Multi-touch attribution takes the vague job of pleasing customers and makes it actionable. With multi-touch, brands are essentials learning what needs to physically change so that their sales funnel matches their customers’ abstract needs.

The Ins and Outs of Multi-Touch

In order the understand multi-touch attribution, we must first understand other attribution models. In last touch models, multiple marketing campaigns can be assessed. However, only the last touch (aka, the last element the customer interacted with in your sales funnel) gets ‘credit.’ There are also first touch models, and you can probably guess how they work – the exact opposite of last touch. These would both be considered “single-touch attribution.” The problem is, these models are more susceptible to bias – Why give all the credit to just one thing? – and leaving out valuable information. The more marketing campaigns you run, the more difficult it becomes to determine what truly made the impact – not only what gets the most conversions, but why? In comes multi-touch.

Multi-touch attribution is the only model that takes into account each aspect of a campaign and assigns value to all touch points – not just the first or last. Small businesses can do multi-touch several different ways, and these are: linear, time decay, full path, U-shaped, W-shaped, and custom. Essentially, these are all different ways to assign value to elements throughout your sales funnel.

Linear simply gives equal weight (% value) across the board to each element, while time decay gives increasing value as the customer progresses through the funnel. The U-shaped and W-shaped measure different aspects of a sales funnel and give different weights to each element. Lastly, full path is the most complex multi-touch attribution model that weighs more touch points than any other type. It essentially tracks the entire process from a customer at the very beginning of the journey right up until the sale.

Business owners may notice different aspects of their funnel excelling at differing tasks. For example, email marketing works best for collecting survey results, while Google ads work best for driving traffic to a product. Over time, each of these little insights add up to major budget savings.

Which type of marketing attribution model you choose will depend on your business goals and how you want to use the information. Any type of multi-touch is more accurate than measuring your marketing channels separately or with single-touch. In a marketing world that changes fast and often, having this data at your disposal is invaluable.

The Future with Multi-Touch

Gone are the days when harnessing data analytics and machine learning were only options for huge companies. This technology puts unprecedented power in the hands of small business owners. You don’t need to be a data scientist to get these systems in place, providing insights for you to act upon. In addition, multi-touch can be integrated with other things you may already be using, like CRM platforms. This creates a more manageable workflow where all the information you need is in front of you.

As more brands adopt data-driven marketing solutions, they’ll be empowered to project further into the future, measure precise revenue growth with ease, and determine where to budget funds. Marketing departments will spend less time tinkering, testing, and worst of all, guessing. And worrying about how to prove ROI will slowly become a thing of the past. This means less money wasted, faster growth, and ultimately, peace of mind for business owners.


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