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Attribution Implementation: The First 90 Days

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Gone are the days of a simple Google search being the only way a prospect can come across your brand. While browsing your website, your prospects are actively checking their online profiles, refreshing their emails, and checking out similar products on other websites. It's time to take a holistic, cross-channel view of the customer journey as opposed to traditional last-touch attribution models. 

So, let's say you're well on your way to determining which channels and tactics are most effective in improving marketing performance. You've done your research and realize that having a multi-touch attribution model makes sense to your business and is most in line with today's browsing trends. However, it can be challenging to find a partner who not only tracks their performance but all the other channels your customers interact with. Like choosing a new attribution model, it can be tricky and confusing. 

Based on our experience, we've compiled a list of what to be mindful of and things to expect for you to feel most comfortable when learning the world of attribution. 

After You’ve Launched Your Campaign...

Be mindful that conversion data across different channels may not match up

You’re using your attribution solution to analyze the performance. Everything’s going great so far, and then three weeks later, you notice that the conversion data across different channels isn't lining up with what's on Google Analytics or whatever you've formerly used as your source of truth. This is common because marketing platforms like Google and Facebook are typically only reporting on the conversions attributed to their platform. But it's often the case that the same conversion reported in Google is also reported in Facebook — the platforms just aren't aware of, or recognize, the influence of the other.

A quality attribution solution will reconcile those data discrepancies and provide a holistic view of where credit belongs. It should be able to take away the "bias" that marketing channels operate on, and track UTM-tagged channels so that you can see how effectively they tie into your campaigns.

Be sure to compare different models continuously

As you’re testing your campaign to see how often people convert, don’t be afraid to change attribution models accordingly until you find one that works best for your business. When selecting the right attribution model, consider the number of channels, customer journey, length of buying cycle, and more.

For example, companies with longer customer journeys might require a multi-touch attribution model that can tell the story of long conversion paths. In contrast, marketers who deal with shorter buying cycles might find a single-touch model like first touch more useful for measuring direct response. Your attribution solution should give you a safe space to explore how different attribution models define success and guide you through the process of switching. 

Looking at your company through a different attribution lens often gives you a completely different view of a channel. When you compare different models, it helps you see how the cost per action (CPA) and return on investment (ROI) varies when using different attribution models.

The First 90 Days: What to Expect 

After you’ve implemented your attribution plan, here’s a rough outline of what you should expect:

  • On the first day, you won’t see results for 24 hours.
  • For the first three weeks, you're going to see ramped up performance. As the algorithm continues to learn your audience, you'll see higher CPAs than usual. This will drastically decrease over the coming weeks, and in turn, you'll see your ROI increase.
  • After 30 days, you're going to see a big difference in terms of your conversions per month. Be mindful of taking note of what your conversion rate was before and after one month.
  • The first 60 days is decision-based. During this time, you'll see healthy ROIs, CPAs, and less fluctuation. Account Managers can help deep dive into the data and implement best practices to ensure you're getting the most out of your investment.
  • By the 90-day mark, expect to hit your KPIs, such as your cost-per-click (CPC) or ROI goals. At this point, your attribution solution will continue to work in the background generating conversions so you can focus on a more long term strategy. 

To Recap

Ideally, you wouldn’t have to work with loads of different providers. If you're working with a quality attribution solution, you can ensure you get in front of your customers no matter what device or channel they may be browsing. Combining the plethora of channels (Google, Facebook, LinkedIn, Yahoo, Native exchanges, etc.), the attribution solution should ensure that your brand is front of mind and that you have an accurate, holistic view of your customer journey.

Implementing a fully scalable cross-channel attribution strategy can seem challenging for any business, large or small. However, with proper planning and cross-team collaboration, multi-touch attribution can have a huge impact on performance.

Want to know the pros and cons of common multi-touch attribution models? Read more here

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