What is Marketing Attribution?

The world of online marketing has dramatically changed since the words “online” and “marketing” were ever put together. What was once a fairly simple offshoot of marketing departments and strategies, today’s online marketing experts are required to be highly specialized, especially because “online” can mean so many different things. From Facebook to YouTube, text-based ads and professional movies, there are endless opportunities and possibilities for online marketing.

Because of this marketers working online need to understand how their efforts are performing. Or, more specifically, where the customers that are eventually ending up at a business are coming from. Part of this ongoing work to leverage an online presence and increase digital marketing’s effectiveness is known as marketing attribution.


What exactly is marketing attribution?

Marketing attribution is, in basic terms, the ability to understand which marketing tactics are leading to sales and conversions. Using analytics, marketers use marketing attribution to determine “touchpoints”, which are moments of contact between a business and a consumer. These touchpoints give marketers more specific knowledge so that they understand exactly how the customer journey works for a certain company — and where their efforts need to be focused in order to make every penny spent more worthwhile.

Within the world of marketing attribution are specific models of how these touchpoints can be measured, as well as how certain touchpoints can be modified in order to customize them for a particular customer. The more zeroed in digital marketers can become on these touchpoints and the overall online customer journey, the better the ROI for any company.


What’s the most effective way to leverage marketing attribution?

First and foremost, effective marketing attribution depends on data being collected and reviewed regularly. The more data you can gather from a variety of channels, the more you’ll be able to clearly see how a business’s digital marketing strategy is working. At the core of marketing attribution is always better understanding how the entire customer journey really works, from very first touchpoint to checkout. And while there are basic ways to understand this journey from just a few simple analytics, businesses really looking for in-depth knowledge need to use advanced analytic systems to get information that’s accurate enough to seriously invest in.


What are the benefits of marketing attribution?

There are four basic benefits to using marketing attribution for a business:

  1. Enhanced marketing knowledge. When you start to gather data from marketing attribution, you better understand where you need to be spending your marketing dollars. This enhanced knowledge makes your campaigns, and your budget, more highly optimized because you can zero in on what’s really working for your target audience.
  2. Improved ROI. The better you understand where your customers are and how you can effectively reach them so that they’re primed to buy, the more money you earn back from conversions. This is exactly why marketing attribution has become a staple for so many successful marketers.
  3. More customization. Done correctly, marketing attribution allows businesses to speak directly to a certain subset of consumers, understanding exactly where they are in the customer journey. This type of customization results in higher conversion rates and even more customer loyalty down the road.
  4. Guide to future products. Because marketing attribution is data-driven, it provides businesses with information for future product development so that they know exactly what their customers want and how to deliver it to them.

Marketing attribution is one of the best ways to conserve a marketing budget while still getting huge results. And, as more data is collected, more ad dollars can be spent with confidence because businesses know exactly what works and what doesn’t.

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