Custom attribution assigns credit to the various touchpoints in the customer journey to pinpoint the most effective marketing strategies for your business. Unlike traditional attribution models, which automatically give a certain amount of credit to each touchpoint, custom attribution allows businesses to assign different weightings to each touchpoint based on their perceived importance.
In today’s article, we’ll walk you through everything you need to know about custom attribution and how to set up a personalized measurement system for your marketing efforts.
How does custom attribution work?
Conceptually, custom attribution is nothing more than weighting certain marketing touchpoints based on their impact on the end goal (i.e., a purchase).
When someone buys a $50 product, there are multiple touchpoints that may have contributed to the sale. They may have:
- clicked on an ad
- visited your website
- read a blog post
- and/or received an email from your company
With traditional attribution, you’d give all the credit to a certain touchpoint (e.g., clicking an ad) or assign a specific amount of weight to each touchpoint (e.g., 40% to the ad, 30% to the website visit, and so on).
But with custom attribution, you can personalize these weightings to better reflect how each touchpoint impacts your unique customer journey. When you can attribute a specific dollar amount to each element of your marketing mix, figuring out your marketing ROI is basic math.
Key features of custom attribution models
The beauty of custom attribution is that it allows businesses to take a more data-driven approach to measuring the effectiveness of their marketing efforts. Here are some key features of custom attribution models:
- Flexibility — Custom attribution models can be tailored to any business, industry, or specific marketing campaign.
- Transparency — Unlike traditional models where the weightings are pre-determined, custom attribution allows businesses to see how each touchpoint is being weighted and why.
- Granularity — Custom attribution looks at individual touchpoints, rather than grouping them together. This provides a more detailed view of your marketing efforts and helps identify which specific strategies are driving the most conversions.
- Personalization — As the name suggests, custom attribution allows you to personalize your measurement system to their unique customer journey, rather than relying on a one-size-fits-all approach.
- Integration — With custom models, you integrate online and offline data, giving you a more holistic view of your marketing efforts.
- Niche markets — Tailored attribution models can be customized for specific industries, products, or even customer segments.
Why businesses use custom attribution models
If your business has a complex sales cycle with several different touchpoints, custom attribution is the only way you’ll be able to accurately quantify everything that goes into closing a sale.
For example, B2B sales take an average of 102 days to close. In that time, a potential customer will have seen multiple ads, blog posts, and video content from your company. More than likely, they’ll also have downloaded a white paper, signed up for a webinar, or spoken to a sales representative.
How do you accurately give credit to each touchpoint and determine which strategies are driving the most conversions?
Custom attribution takes into account all of these touchpoints and assigns weightings that reflect their impact on the final sale.
It’s worth mentioning not every business needs a custom attribution model. If your sales cycle is short with only a few touchpoints (e.g., DTC e-commerce), traditional models will probably suffice.
Setting up a custom attribution model
To set up a custom attribution model, you’ll need to follow these steps:
- Define your conversion goals — What do you want customers to ultimately do? Make a purchase? Sign up for a newsletter? Attend a webinar? Define your primary and secondary conversion goals.
- Identify all potential touchpoints — List out every possible interaction a customer could have with your business, both online and offline.
- Determine the weightings — Assign weightings to each touchpoint based on their perceived impact on conversions. This can be done through historical data analysis or using a multi-touch attribution platform.
- Test and adjust — Like any marketing process, it’s essential to continuously test and refine your custom attribution model. As your business grows and evolves, so will your customer journey and the effectiveness of different touchpoints.
- Integrate data sources — To get a complete view of the customer journey, it’s crucial to integrate all relevant data sources, such as ad platforms, website analytics, and your CRM.
- Communicate with stakeholders — It’s essential to keep all stakeholders informed about the custom attribution model and its impact on marketing decisions. This will ensure buy-in from all departments, leading to a more cohesive and effective measurement system.
Custom attribution is a powerful tool that allows businesses to personalize their measurement systems for marketing success. By assigning weightings based on each touchpoint’s impact on conversions, businesses can gain a more accurate understanding of their marketing ROI and make data-driven decisions to improve their strategies.