If you’re not using marketing attribution reports, then you’re missing a whole wealth of data that can help you optimise your marketing and increase your revenue.
Attribution reports can help you understand the true impact of your paid advertising, link your offline sales to online searches and understand your customer journey. The list goes on, but the bottom line is, without attribution reports, you’re marketing blind.
Editor’s Note: If you already know how important attribution reports are, and just wanted to get started, then book a demo today. Our solution can help you connect your sales and marketing data.
Keep reading to find out more about marketing attribution reports and how they can help you improve your performance.
What is attribution in digital marketing?
Put simply, marketing attribution is a form of reporting that allows you to measure your marketing’s impact on your online and offline conversions.
Why is marketing attribution important?
Marketing attribution allows you to upgrade your marketing and optimise based on impact.
Attribution reports will unlock data to help you:
- Prove your marketing ROI
- Increase your ROAS
- Lower your CPA
Offline conversion tracking
Attribution reports can provide holistic insights for both your online and offline conversions. If you rely on a sales team to convert enquiries from your website into paying customers, marketing attribution tools like Ruler Analytics will track your calls, form submissions and live chat sessions so you can understand their role in your customer journey.
Long sales cycles
If you work in B2B or sell a high-value product, then chances are your customer journey is much longer. Long sales cycles can be difficult to track in traditional analytics tools like Google Analytics and Google Ads due to their 90 day window.
If sales don’t occur within that 90 day window, then they cannot be tracked in said solutions. Why does this matter? Well, even if you sell products completely online, once that 90 day window ends, any sales your paid campaigns brought in won’t get their due credit! And that means a lower return on ad spend for you, which could result in less budget being allocated towards paid in the future.
Marketing attribution tools like Ruler Analytics will manage your lead and conversion data endlessly, meaning you can still track performance whether they convert in two months or two years.
What is an attribution report?
An attribution report is used to understand the journey someone takes from the first time they set foot on your website to the time they become a customer. So, basically, you’re looking at their conversion path to understand what made them convert.
For marketers to be successful, they need to understand what channels and campaigns are driving their website visitors, and ultimately which ones are influencing conversions.
The value of an attribution report is simple. Marketers are able to pinpoint exactly what marketing effort leads to a conversion, i.e. revenue. By finding and using this data, they can make better-informed decisions about where to invest their time and resources ahead.
Those of you who are already familiar with marketing attribution are probably thinking, “well wait, aren’t there multiple types of attribution reports?”
And the answer is, yes! Depending on the type of attribution report you choose to run, you’re going to see different amounts of credit attributed to channels. That’s where the magic happens!
Types of attribution models
There are multiple types of marketing attribution models. And each will suit a different business. Depending on which model you use, you’ll find different rules for attributing credit in a marketing journey.
Want to know more about closed loop marketing? That’s the kind of attribution we use. We close the loop between your sales and marketing data, so you can attribute a sale back to the marketing channel, campaign or keyword that influenced it, no matter if that user took steps offline like called, or emailed!
Become an attribution expert by downloading our eBook on closed-loop attribution
Attribution models include single-touch and multi-touch attribution models.
- First-click attribution
- Last-click attribution
- Linear attribution
- U-shaped attribution
- W-shaped attribution
- Time decay attribution
- Full path attribution
- Custom attribution
Choosing the right attribution model is essential. We share more guidance on which to choose in our blogs (linked above). But here’s a quick example. If you run a first-click report, then 100% of the credit for a conversion is given to the first touchpoint a user interacted with.
If you opt for a multi-touch model like linear attribution, then equal credit is given to every touchpoint a single user engages with.
How you assign credit is extremely important. It’ll help you better understand which pages, campaigns and channels are working best to convert your website traffic.
Not sure how to get started? Think about the following questions…
Do you want to:
Measure how many leads you’re generating through organic SEO content?
Understand paid impact on your conversions?
See what channel is driving the most conversions?
Learn what content someone viewed directly before becoming a customer?
An attribution report will be able to answer any question you have about what drives conversions throughout your funnel.
So, what can you learn from a marketing attribution report?
Honestly, what can’t you learn from an attribution report?! The amount of data available is vast and will help you understand how your content is performing individually and holistically.
Calculate your marketing ROI
Ah, the age old problem for a marketer. We bet you’ve been asked at some point in your career about the impact of your marketing. If you rely on offline sales, then proving your true ROI can be particularly tricky.
Marketing attribution tools, alongside call tracking software like Ruler Analytics, can help you bridge that gap in data.
You’ll be able to see how channels are working together to push users down the funnel, and ultimately understand exactly what your marketing efforts are driving in terms of revenue.
Learn which channels are driving the most revenue
Now you know your marketing ROI, chances are you’ll want to improve it. Marketing attribution tools will highlight which channels are performing best. And that’s not just from a first or last-click basis. Depending on your attribution report, you can see how all of your content is working in conjunction with each other.
Once you can see what channels are working, you can realign your strategy to focus your time and budget on what works. You’ll also see what’s not working so well. You can look into why it isn’t working.
Perhaps on a first-click basis, your paid advertising looks like it’s not delivering much in the way of sales. However, by using a multi-attribution report, you’ll be able to see the real role (and therefore real ROAS) of your paid advertising.
Let’s take this example. You set up a paid campaign and a user, let’s call him Tom, clicks on it and interacts with your website. He’s already visited your website, but your pinpoint targeting gets him back on your website where he converts by filling in a form or calling your business. From a first-click perspective, this lead would be attributed to whatever platform he engaged with prior to the paid advert.
And what if Tom doesn’t convert on your PPC advert, but later directly searches for your website and converts then? That paid campaign still played a valuable role. It’s only with marketing attribution software that you can see what role.
Using marketing attribution reports, you can make more informed decisions based on revenue, not clicks or impressions.
Being able to see the customer journey of your users is helpful for a multitude of reasons. One great use of this data is to analyse journeys for any micro-conversions. That is, perhaps one channel in particular is working particularly well to drive leads that go on to become customers.
Looking at your content, and your campaigns, holistically means that you can see all of your work in connection with one another.
By identifying small series of touchpoints that work well to convert your users, within larger customer journeys, you can maximise promoting those micro-conversions. This will eventually mean shorter sales cycles as you start to identify the best triggers for moving users through the funnel.
Understand the impact of paid advertising
Whether you’re a beginner or an advanced user of paid advertising channels like Google, Bing or Facebook, understanding true ROAS is no mean feat.
Particularly if you rely on a sales team to convert leads offline, or generally see much longer sales cycles, then this can be even trickier.
Thankfully, marketing attribution reports can provide clear data. Using marketing attribution you’ll be able to get a clear idea of your ROAS, as well as your cost per lead and cost per acquisition.
For those of you with a sales team fielding inbound calls, then call tracking in conjunction with marketing attribution will allow you to see the true value of channels. Particularly so when looking at paid advertising impact on inbound marketing. Just think how many times you’ve clicked on a Facebook or Google click-to-call ad. While a user might click on it, it doesn’t mean they will actually call, nor does it mean they’re going to be a high-quality lead.
So, while you tick off every click-to-call as a clap on the back for marketing, your sales team is cursing as they sift through low-quality leads.
Marketing attribution will allow you to see the impact of your paid campaigns on a channel, ad and keyword basis. That means you can truly optimise your campaigns based on revenue generation, no matter if conversions are happening on or offline.
View your content as part of the buyer’s journey
Understanding the buyer’s journey is essential to good marketing. While you might understand the principle, do you know your own customers’ buying process? We’ll guess that you don’t.
With marketing attribution reports, you can begin to understand the role individual pieces of content play in the buyer’s journey.
Is your content converting leads? Is your content or campaign resulting in inbound calls? Without marketing attribution, you might never know. But, once you can answer those questions, you will get deeper insight into why your content performs the way it does.
For example, you could learn email marketing is the best place to start a user on their buyer’s journey. Or, you could learn that paid is the key to driving users from a lead, to a sale.
Understanding the health of your channels and campaigns is key to understanding where your team should invest their resource. You can then optimise your content, promote your content, or pool resources elsewhere.
Get started with marketing attribution
By this point, we hope we’ve sold you on how vital marketing attribution is.
Find out more about getting started with Ruler Analytics by booking a demo. You can see how to attribute your leads and sales back to the marketing campaigns, channels and keywords that influenced them.