Multi Channel Attribution: The Secret to Boosting Your ROI - TrueProfit

Multi Channel Attribution: The Secret to Boosting Your ROI [2023]

The customer journey is no longer linear. It’s a complex web of touchpoints, and it’s impossible to say which one was the most important.” – Avinash Kaushik.

This statement holds in various aspects. A study revealed that 73% of consumers make use of multiple channels throughout their shopping experience. Consequently, businesses will need to gain a clear understanding of how customers engage with their brands across different platforms.

It’s not impossible to detect which touchpoint is more important than the other. With multi channel attribution, you’ll be able to track your customer’s journey across multiple touchpoints and gain valuable insights into which channels are driving conversions.

In this article, we will explore all the essential aspects of multi channel attribution.

Let’s get started!

What is Multi Channel Attribution?

Multi channel attribution is the process of tracking your customer’s journey across multiple channels and assigning credit to each touchpoint that led to a conversion.

Multi channel attribution can help you optimize your marketing campaigns across different channels, such as email, social media, web, mobile, etc. It can also help you measure the return on investment (ROI) of each channel and allocate your marketing budget more efficiently.

There are generally two types of multi channel attribution in analytics: single-touch attribution and multi-touch attribution:

  • Single-touch attribution only credits conversions to the first or last marketing channel that a customer interacted with. This is a simpler type of attribution, but it can be inaccurate because it ignores the impact of other marketing channels.
  • Multi-touch attribution assigns credit for conversions to all of the marketing channels that a customer interacted with. This is a more accurate type of attribution, but it can be more complex to calculate.
💡 What is the difference between multi channel attribution and multi-touch attribution?
  • Multi channel attribution measures the impact of different marketing channels, such as email, social media, web, mobile, etc., on your sales and conversions.
  • Multi touch attribution measures the impact of different marketing touchpoints within channels, such as ads, posts, videos, emails, etc., on your sales and conversions.

Multi-touch attribution is more comprehensive and detailed than multi channel attribution. It recognizes that customers have multiple touchpoints with a product or service before buying.

On the other hand, multi channel attribution can tell you how much credit each channel deserves for a conversion, but not how much credit each ad or post within that channel deserves.

What Are The Different Types Of Multi Channel Attribution Models?

multi channel attribution models

Here are some most popular multi channel attribution you may have heard of:

  • Last click
  • First click
  • Linear
  • Time decay
  • Position-based
  • Data-driven

Last-click & First-click are single-touch multi channel attribution type, and the rest is multi-touch attribution type.

Let’s explore each of them!

1. Last click attribution

last click attribution

Last click attribution is the simplest multi channel attribution model. It assigns all credit for a conversion to the last channel that a customer interacted with before making a purchase. This model is easy to understand and implement, but it can be inaccurate, as it doesn’t take into account the other channels that may have influenced the conversion.

For example, a customer may have seen an ad on Facebook, visited your website, and then made a purchase on your website. If you’re using last click attribution, you would credit the conversion to the website, even though the Facebook ad may have played a role in the conversion.

💡 What kind of strategy is this model best suited for?

Last click attribution is best suited for businesses that have a short and simple sales cycle, where customers typically make a purchase decision after one or a few interactions. Last click attribution can also be useful for businesses that want to optimize marketing campaigns for conversions, rather than awareness or consideration.

2. First click attribution

first click attribution

First click attribution is another simple multi channel attribution model. It assigns all credit for a conversion to the first channel that a customer interacted with before making a purchase.

This model can be just as inaccurate as last click attribution, as it doesn’t take into account the other channels that may have influenced the conversion.

💡 What kind of strategy is this model best suited for?

First click attribution is a good option if you’re trying to track the effectiveness of your brand awareness campaigns, and identify which channels or touchpoints are most successful at attracting new customers.

3. Linear Attribution

linear attribution

The linear attribution model is another straightforward way to assign credit across multiple marketing channels. It evenly distributes credit to each channel that a customer engaged with before making a purchase.

For instance, if a customer viewed an ad on Facebook, visited your website, and then completed a purchase, linear attribution would allocate 33% of the credit to each of those channels.

However, this model overlooks the sequence of channel interactions and the duration spent on each channel, potentially resulting in inaccurate outcomes.

💡 What kind of strategy is this model best suited for?

Linear attribution is a good option for businesses that are just starting with multi channel attribution. It’s easy to understand and implement, and it can give you a general sense of which channels are driving conversions.

4. Time Decay Attribution

time decay attribution

Time decay attribution is an advanced model for measuring the impact of marketing channels, giving more weight to channels that were interacted with closer to the time of purchase.

For instance, if a customer saw a Facebook ad 30 days before buying and then visited your website just 1 day before making the purchase, time decay attribution would allocate only 20% of the credit to the Facebook ad and 80% to the website.

Nonetheless, this method can be challenging to grasp and apply compared to linear attribution. Moreover, its accuracy may be compromised if customers interact with channels in a nonlinear manner.

💡 What kind of strategy is this model best suited for?

Time decay attribution is a good option for businesses that want to get a more accurate picture of which channels are driving conversions. It reflects the idea that the closer a channel is to the purchase, the more influence it has on the customer’s decision.

It also helps to avoid overestimating or underestimating the impact of some channels, such as social media or display ads, that may have a long-term effect on customer awareness or consideration.

5. Position-Based Attribution

position based attribution

Position-based attribution is a multi channel attribution model that takes into account both the timing and order of customer interactions with marketing channels. Unlike time decay attribution, position-based attribution assigns more credit to the first and last channels that the customer interacted with, regardless of how close they were to the purchase.

For example, if a customer visits 4 different channels, this model distributes 40% to the first and 40% to the last channel that the customer clicked on before making a purchase. The remaining 20% will be assigned to the 2 channels in the middle.

While this model provides a comprehensive understanding of customer behavior, it can be more challenging to comprehend and implement compared to linear or time decay attribution. Additionally, its accuracy may be compromised when customers engage with channels in a non-linear manner.

💡 What kind of strategy is this model best suited for?

Position-based attribution is a good option for businesses that want to get a more accurate picture of which channels are driving conversions. It recognizes the importance of both customer acquisition and customer retention.

By giving more weight to the first and last touchpoints, position-based attribution can help you identify which channels are effective at both attracting new customers and encouraging repeat purchases.

6. Data-driven attribution

data driven attribution

Data-driven attribution uses machine learning to measure your marketing impact and customizes your attribution strategy based on your own data. It learns how your customers interact with your campaigns and credits different channels accordingly.

However, it’s important to note that implementing data-driven attribution can be more intricate compared to other multi channel models. Additionally, it may require additional investment in terms of acquiring the necessary data and utilizing advanced machine-learning tools.

💡 What kind of strategy is this model best suited for?

Data-driven attribution is a good option for businesses that have a lot of data about their customers and their marketing campaigns. It can also be helpful for businesses that want to get the most accurate attribution model possible.

Which multi channel attribution model is right for you?

This will depend on your specific needs and goals. If you’re just starting with multi channel attribution, a simple model like linear attribution may be a good option. However, if you’re looking for a more sophisticated model that can help you optimize your marketing campaigns, you may want to consider a more complex model like time decay or position-based attribution.

No matter which model you choose, multi channel attribution can be a powerful tool for understanding your customers and improving your marketing campaigns.

Common Challenges With Multi Channel Attribution

Multi channel attribution is a powerful tool for understanding how your customers interact with your marketing campaigns. However, some challenges can make it difficult to implement and use multi channel attribution effectively in the eCommerce scene.

1. Misattribution of conversions

This is one of the biggest challenges with multi channel attribution. This occurs when the wrong channel is credited with a conversion.

Here’s an example of how misattribution can happen:

  1. A customer sees an ad for your product on Facebook.
  2. The customer then visits your website and adds the product to their cart.
  3. The customer leaves the website without making a purchase.
  4. The next day, the customer sees an ad for your product on Google.
  5. The customer clicks on the ad and makes a purchase.

In this example, the Facebook ad may have played a role in the conversion, but it’s impossible to know for sure. If you’re using a simple attribution model, you might credit the conversion to the Google ad, even though the Facebook ad may have been the first touchpoint.

How to avoid misattribution:
  • Use a multi channel attribution model that takes into account the order in which customers interact with your marketing channels.
  • Collect data about your customer’s interactions with your marketing channels.
  • Use a data-driven approach to attribution. Don’t rely on guesswork or intuition.

2. New data regulations

The second challenge we want to mention is related to data regulations. In recent years, there have been several new data regulations, such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

These regulations make it more difficult for businesses to collect and use data about their customers. This can make it difficult to implement multi channel attribution models that require access to customer data.

How to deal with new data regulations:
  • Make sure you’re compliant with the latest data regulations.
  • Collect data about your customer’s interactions with your marketing channels in a way that complies with the regulations.
  • Use a data-driven approach to attribution that doesn’t rely on personal data.

The Best Multi Channel Attribution Tools

There are some different multi channel attribution tools available, each with its strengths and weaknesses. Here are a few of the best tools:

1. HubSpot Attribution

HubSpot Attribution is a comprehensive multi channel attribution tool that offers a variety of features, including:

  • Data integration: integrates with a variety of marketing platforms like Google Analytics, Facebook Ads, and Salesforce.
  • Attribution models: offers a variety of attribution models, including linear, time decay, position-based attribution, etc.
  • Reporting: provides detailed reports that show you how your marketing channels are performing.
HubSpot Attribution - Multi channel attribution tools
HubSpot Attribution

2. Google Attribution

Google Attribution is a free multi channel attribution tool that offers a variety of features, including:

  • Data integration: integrates with many of marketing platforms, including Google Analytics, Facebook Ads, and Twitter Ads.
  • Detailed reports: generates reports for you to gain insights into the performance of your marketing channels.
  • Free to use: available to all advertisers for free
Google Attribution - Multi channel attribution tools
Google Attribution

3. Adjust

Adjust is a mobile multi channel attribution tool that specializes in tracking mobile app conversions. Adjust offers a variety of features, including:

  • Data integration: integrates with Google Analytics, Facebook Ads, Salesforce, etc.
  • Powerful: allow you to see which ads led to which conversions, down to the ad creatives level.
  • Safe: have an anti-fraud system to ensure your data and budget is safe and never misrepresented.
Adjust Attribution - Multi channel attribution tools
Adjust Attribution

Other tools

Choosing the right multi channel attribution tool

To pick out the best tool, it will depend on your specific needs and goals. If you’re looking for a comprehensive tool with a variety of features, HubSpot Attribution or Google Attribution may be a good option for you. If you’re looking for a tool that specializes in tracking mobile app conversions, Adjust may be a better choice.

To sum up

So, there you have it! Multi channel attribution is a powerful tool that can help you understand how your customers interact with your marketing campaigns. By choosing the right multi channel attribution tool and using it effectively, you can get the insights you need to improve your marketing campaigns and achieve your business goals.

But don’t just take our word for it! Try out a few different multi channel attribution tools and see for yourself how they can help you. And if you’re not sure where to start, check out the resources we’ve mentioned in this article!

Discover what proper profit-tracking looks like at trueprofit.io