How to Optimize Your Campaign With an Attribution Model

in Digital Marketing Strategy & Trends | by Jessie Markell

We’re all about giving credit where credit is due. Just like Instagram Stories should probably thank Snapchat for their idea, and Kobe should thank Shaq for three of his five trophies, it’s important to hone in on the specific touchpoints or channels that played a key role in your own success—especially as a marketing professional. After all, if you don’t acknowledge (and support) just what drove your customers to purchase, you risk losing out on some serious profit.

Marketing is a team sport—but in order to have all the players cooperating, you need to know who performs best and when. That’s where attribution comes into play.

As noted in our guide, 5 Steps to Marketing ROI Stardom, leveraging and optimizing your attribution process will help you create personalized campaigns and better reach customers. While an integrated marketing agency will deep-dive into your processes, we’ll help you lay the foundation now.

Set up for Success

First things first: You must design your campaign for testing purposes. This means setting up your website and landing pages for split testing and installing UTM links for tracking. It’s impossible to improve with a fixed campaign, so build your campaign with growth in mind.

Okay, now we’re ready.

Get the Details

The next step toward attribution optimization is getting to know your audience and how they currently respond to your efforts. How many touch points does it take before a lead converts? Where is the majority of the traffic coming from? Are they abandoning the cart? If so, why? The answers to all these questions can be found in Google Analytics.

Let’s take a look at some of the metrics that offer the most valuable insights about your audience:

Website traffic

  • Geographic location
  • Device (mobile, browser, tablet)
  • New/unique visitor vs. return visitor conversion
  • Source (organic, referral, direct, social)
    • Conversion by source

Website behavior

  • Bounce rate—how many visitors leave your page immediately after arriving?
  • Top pages—what pages receive the most traffic?
  • Interactions per visit—what is your audience doing once they get to your site? For this, make note of your page views per session and time spent on individual pages.

Don’t just stay at the surface-level of data—dive a little deeper and collect more detailed customer information, too. A demand generation agency is your go-to for leveraging the smaller, more dense data streams that might get overlooked. For example, our team will assess (and spruce up) your lead scoring and grading processes in order to analyze which ad groups and targeting methods are actually delivering the most qualified leads.

Measure Conversion Goals

Another pit stop on the road to optimization: choosing an attribution model. These models help marketers decide which touch points and which channels get the credit for each conversion. Here are some of your options:

Last-Click Model—attributes 100% credit to the last touch point before conversion.

First-Click Model—attributes 100% credit to the first source within a search session.

Linear Model—attributes equal credit to every touch point within the conversion path.

Time Decay Model—attributes more credit to the touch points closest in time to the conversion, but gives some credit to every stage.

U-Shaped Model—attributes more credit to the first and last touch point, but gives some credit to the touch points in between.

It will take some experimentation to find your most successful model, which might change based on different campaigns. It then becomes a matter of “when should we use this model?” not if.

Optimize for Opportunities

When it comes to optimizing based on attribution models, think of the process as connecting the dots. You’ve mapped out a plan to get from point A to B, and you have multiple checkpoints along the way, but sometimes things aren’t so fluid. Your job is to see where things are falling through and revamp your tactics accordingly. Let’s take a look at a few real-life examples:  

If Google Analytics showed an influx of traffic from iPhones in Arizona or Texas but not nearly as many conversions, you might want to take a look at both the frontend and backend of your site. For instance, you might design a mobile-friendly version of your site in Spanish to better cater to that audience.

Let’s also say you test LinkedIn and Facebook ads and notice that LinkedIn ads deliver higher quality leads. Despite having a higher CPA (cost-per-acquisition), you might decide to allocate more of your budget to that channel moving forward.

Optimizing your attribution model is your not-so-secret secret weapon. When every aspect of a campaign works together to achieve the end goal, you can maximize both your input and output. Put all of your weapons to good use and make smarter, savvier decisions.