It can be difficult for business owners to see the value in certain marketing exercises, especially if they are not working with a long-term strategy or a cohesive plan for marketing to their ideal audience. Measuring the value that marketing initiatives give in terms of a monetary return can be tricky but it’s not impossible and it’s definitely necessary to ensure that a business gets the most out of their marketing spend and effort.
That’s where marketing attribution comes in. By connecting marketing activities to sales-relevant data, you can assign credits to a touch point in the customer journey and evaluate it in terms of turnover. This all sounds good but the truth is that, because they don’t actively measure (or know how to measure) their marketing efforts, the majority of marketers can’t say with certainty exactly how valuable each touch point (or chosen marketing channel that connects the customer to the sales representative) is. And that means they can’t say whether they’re effectively spending their budget and optimizing their revenue – which is the goal of attribution – to find out which touch points to invest in and which budget burdens to cut.
The good news? With content marketing / inbound marketing strategies and activities, it is much easier to measure attribution in comparison with traditional marketing methods. Access to better data and recording and reporting tools allow for more accurate and insightful results. So, ignoring marketing attribution is a big mistake.
Setting up a marketing attribution system
1. Be clear on the structure
The infrastructure and measurement tools you choose will have a significant impact on the quality of the data you collect and how it is interpreted. Do your research and take time to formulate a plan for how you will allocate credit to marketing assets and channels.
2. Set a goal and choose a model
Know what you want to measure and why, across the whole customer journey by setting goals and choosing an attribution model that works for you, such as Google Analytics. Because there are lots of ways to assign value to a marketing touch point, depending on your goal, you might go for a single-touch, first-touch, or last-touch model, depending on your needs. For example, is the first touch (like clicking a Facebook ad) more important than the eBook that generated the sign up (last touch)?
3. Go beyond reports
We will discuss the pros and cons of different attribution models in a future post but, for now, know that whatever model you choose, having access to data reports is not enough. You need to make the time to review and understand the results so that you can use them to make positive changes to your marketing strategy and business. An understanding of reporting processes and their value can be hugely beneficial for content development and for gaining a better understanding of your customers.
Reporting on marketing activities (and understanding how to use those reports) is crucial to developing and implementing a successful marketing strategy. Not sure how to do this for your business? Understand it’s important but don’t have the time or expertise? We can help! As content marketing experts, our consultants know how to get your website (and other content-sharing tools) working to connect you with your ideal customers and grow your business.