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Moving beyond the last click

Attribution has been an untapped area of digital marketing for quite some time without an industry standard for measurement. Last click or first click attribution have previously been the methods for measuring marketing campaigns. However, with multiple devices and channels now readily available to consumers, a new measure for attribution is required. We need a more holistic view of the purchase journey to understand the route to conversion.

It takes six to eight touches to convert a sale, according to Salesforce. To understand which channels and campaigns are delivering success for brands, all touchpoints the customer interacts with before converting, must be taken into account. If your attribution model doesn’t include all touchpoints, you could risk falling behind the curve and losing out to your competitors, and ultimately reduce revenue.

Attribution reporting can be an afterthought for many digital marketers and it is often overlooked. However, it is key for enabling brands to measure ROI and getting a clear view of the effectiveness of marketing spend. It’s time for marketers to look beyond the last click.

Why measurement matters

Measuring the results of campaigns enables marketers to make data-informed decisions about how to spend future budgets. If you’re only basing your measurements on the last click, you aren’t taking into account the impacts of other channels. Without this understanding, it’s difficult to create the optimum multi-channel approach.

Departments often work in silos but multi-channel campaigns should bring everyone together to create a bespoke journey and add value at each customer touchpoint. Attribution must take into account each touchpoint over a given period to evaluate the influence and return of each campaign.

The challenge for marketers

All channels are different. Take email marketing, it has a very different process and impact compared to other digital channels. It’s also about the consumer and at what point in the purchase funnel they’re engaging with marketing. An email campaign can have a different impact at the beginning of the purchase path, such as increasing awareness, to the end where a payment is secured. It’s important to understand each individual channel and its worth as well as the impact it has in different stages of the conversion path.

With consumers navigating a variety of online and offline touchpoints, it’s near impossible to trace a single trigger point for a sale. The variety of factors to consider in a customer journey mean there’s no simple sales funnel. Customers are savvier with their searches, the usage of multiple devices is on the rise, multi-screen viewing is now considered the norm and customers are increasingly wary about giving their details to companies.

There are many levels of attribution and by acknowledging this and moving towards a more reliable industry standard, we can start to move away from the last click measurement mentality.