The Importance of Attribution Tracking to Account-Based Marketing

Entrepreneurs and startups need a firm grasp of both analog and digital marketing. One of the key points in marketing is to know what to track and how to track it.

This can seem confusing when you start, so the number one thing to understand becomes the difference between conversion tracking and attribution tracking. Being able to attribute each conversion vis a vis advertisement and channel lets you apply the data to better business decisions that produce additional revenue by spending your marketing budget more effectively. These seven basic items can help you get started.

1. Know what you need to track.

You need to track your marketing attributions and your advertisement conversions. Marketing attribution refers to determining which marketing touchpoint, also called channel, gets credit for a conversion. Conversion tracking refers to determining which advertisement resulted in a conversion.

2. Understand why you need to track both marketing channels and advertisement conversions.

Tracking the marketing attribution lets you determine the value of each touchpoint, such as Twitter vs. Direct Website visits or Facebook vs. Instagram. On another scale, it determines radio vs. newspaper vs. magazine or desktop vs. mobile phone vs. tablet purchases or and whether those devices are Android, iPhone or Google.

This lets you determine which touchpoints deserve the most investment of your marketing dollars. Conversion tracking though tells which of your advertisements performed best. You may run the same ad on Facebook and Instagram or in newspapers and magazines. You may run multiple ads in those places.

Conversion tracking lets you determine which advertising led directly to sales. In print, this may be tracked via a tear-off coupon or a discount code. Digitally, it refers to first click/last click tracking that tells you which site the consumer began their purchase on and trails their clicks through your website and ordering process.

This part tells you which ads to re-place and which to replace.

3. Use an analytics program that connects into your customer relationship management (CRM) database.

The free program Google Analytics lets you track key performance indicators (KPIs). From the first click to the last click this lets you document how consumers engage with your site – their entry point, any bounce points, their path through the site to become a sale and how long the conversion takes.

You can also track distribution across clicks.

4. Linking your CRM and analytics program lets you define the lifetime value (LTV) of a customer.

This metric lets you determine the value of upstream clicks, helping you measure the traffic that enters at the top of the funnel over time as opposed to only looking at single-conversion events.

5. Take your sales to the next level with marketing decisions that rely on hard data.

Use the right funnel touchpoints on every channel. Make sure that two channels have not taken credit for the same conversion. Develop and test user interaction hypotheses to improve branding.

6. Alignment and communication prove the key to success.

Use communication to eliminate advertising and data silos between channels and devices. All digital and analog teams should be acting in alignment with one another. Tracking it all also requires communication with and alignment of finance and information technology teams.

7. You still need to test ads and channels.

Regardless of how you hone your touchpoints, you still must test your ads and channels. You can always improve ad copy, design or graphics. All of the pieces must work together to achieve successful sales. Applying these seven items gets you started on tracking both ads and channels. Once you can attribute what works to where it worked best, you can better spend your marketing dollars. You will need to determine what tracking methods you want to use first though.


Options for Tracking

Numerous tracking models exist with the simplest being the last click. That provides you a starting point, but you also need to look at first click and distribution across clicks. You learn nuanced information by using econometric, Game Theory, Time Delay or U-shaped options. Each provides different information, but none provides a complete picture on its own. You can work with a marketing consultancy that specialises in small business like Hat Media to determine which methods would work best for your business.

Using a third-party program like Google Analytics lets you avoid channel-specific issues and limitations such as the 28-day time out of attributional information some sites use. It also allows you to use a single program to analyse all data across sites making it more convenient. Depending on the program, you will be able to run reports with a mouse click that provide bottom-line data like Cost Per All Conversions and Value Per All Conversions plus cross-device conversion information. This information lets you achieve the goal of generating more revenue by spending effective marketing dollars.

Pick your tracking method working with your finance and marketing teams to determine the best options. You will be able to leverage near-immediate results since you can begin aligning ads and channels with only a month's data. As you continue tracking ads and touchpoints, you will further be able to hone marketing budgets to utilise just the right mix of messages and distribution points.