What is Multi-touch Attribution?

Share This Post

73% of customers prefer shopping through different channels, according to the Harvard Business Review. So if you’re marketing with just a single-channel approach, then you’ve already eliminated ¾ of your potential leads. 

Having an omni-channel marketing strategy is key to bringing more leads through your door. Establishing different channels is the easy part, but understanding which channels are having the biggest impact on revenue – well, that part can only be solved with a little bit of Revenue Science!

In our final episode of our Revenue Science series, I sat down with Dealtale’s Chief Revenue Officer and co-funder, Ariel Geifman and Vianai System’s Senior Data Scientist, Xiwei Zhou, to talk about a marketing gamechanger: multi-touch attribution. 

The End of an Era: Single-Touch Attribution

For a long time, marketers relied on single-touch attribution to understand channel effectiveness because it was an easy solution to implement. 

Whether it was the first touchpoint or the last touchpoint, single-touch attribution models assign 100% of conversion credit to one marketing touchpoint. Here’s a good example, say a customer saw 20 ads before they converted, single-touch attribution will determine that only one of those 20 ads was responsible for converting the customer. 

It kind of sounds like a school group project, where everyone does the work, but that one student takes all the credit. Not only is it an inaccurate depiction of the final result was achieved, but it doesn’t show all the work that each person contributed to the project. 

TrueList shared that the average lead requires about 8 touch points before they ever convert. If it takes 8 steps before a customer ever buys, as marketers we need to understand the value each one of those steps has to the overall buying journey.

Multi-touch Attribution: It’s All About the Journey 

In this episode of Revenue Science, Geifman mentioned, “the goal is not to just understand where people came from but actually what made them complete a purchase or become a customer.”

And that’s exactly what multi-touch attribution does. It helps us understand the journey a customer is taking before they pay. 

Taking that ad example I mentioned earlier, multi-touch attribution will show the impact each marketing activity had in the user journey. Maybe a user saw ten of the 20 ads before they were convinced to click, once they clicked they ended up on a product video, which led them to a great blog, then to the coveted contact us page, where they were dropped into a compelling lead nurture email sequence and finally to a salesperson to close. 

Nowhere in that entire marketing campaign was one marketing effort solely responsible for that user converting. That’s why multi-touch attribution is so powerful. It tracks the impact that each of those touchpoints had on the lead before they became a customer. 

Where to Spend Your Marketing Dollars 

Now, the whole point of multi-touch attribution is to see where you can optimize your efforts and your budget. Were the ads really compelling or did that blog post just really sell? Truly, if someone could tell us what’s working – that would be great. 

In the State of Marketing Attribution, a report done by AdRoll each year, they found that 60% of US digital advertisers are wasting their budgets because they are not correctly measuring the effectiveness of their campaigns. 

So here’s the issue, many tools out there default to a linear, time, first or last-touch model to assign attribution – but as we’ve learned you’ll want to use a tool that’s more holistic. Unlike competitors, Dealtale uses the Markov Chain model to identify what a user will probably do next. 

Relying on probability, this model can help marketers understand the likelihood of a user’s reaction to marketing activities. It can tell us the probability of a user clicking on an ad, reading an email, or engaging with a social post. This identifies the impact that each channel is having on the customer journey, which allows us to optimize for conversion. 

Proving Marketing ROI with Dealtale 

Now for the best part – Dealtale provides not only the tool you need for multi-touch attribution, but also the formula to prove ROI for every marketing channel. 

“Revenue science helps you model the customer journey statistically and mathematically,” said Geifman. “So it takes all of these touchpoints and understands, okay what is the real contribution, the marginal contribution of these touchpoints? And when you see the marginal contribution, you can then calculate the marginal costs and then the ROI.”

If you’re ready to identify and optimize the right touchpoint for your customer then you’ll want to schedule a demo with us ASAP. We can’t wait to help you prove marketing ROI at each stage of your customer’s journey.

Click here to schedule a demo with us!

More to Explore

The Revenue Science Blog

Learn about the latest breakthroughs in
Revenue Science, geek out on quantum theories, and mastermind your next big marketing moves!