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What are the Different Types of Marketing Attribution Models

The modern B2B buyer’s journey is multi-layered. Buyers are increasingly researching solutions on their own through various channels like websites, industry forums, and social media. In this context, B2B businesses must understand which marketing touchpoints are most effective in driving revenue. This is why it’s important for businesses to understand marketing attribution models.

What are B2B marketing attribution models

Marketing attribution enables you to measure the effectiveness of your marketing and sales efforts using a structured approach. It defines frameworks for measuring traffic, the number of leads, and conversion rates for each customer channel. These frameworks are known as marketing attribution models. The percentage value assigned to each channel represents its marketing effectiveness.

● Revenue attribution helps marketers focus on the channels that generate the maximum ROI and de-prioritize the ones that are not effective.
● It also helps quantify the sales value created by a marketing channel. It makes it easier to convince product and business teams to increase spending on particular marketing channels.

The different types of marketing attribution models

There are two types of B2B marketing attribution models:

  1. One-touch attribution: As the name suggests, these models attribute the entire sales value to one marketing touchpoint or channel.
  2. Multi-touch attribution: These models assign proportionate values to each channel, contributing to the overall sales value.

While multi-touch channel attribution models are more prevalent in modern B2B businesses, the one-touch attribution models also have certain advantages.

One-touch attribution models

●      First-touch attribution model

A first-touch attribution model assigns the entire sales value to the first channel that the customer uses to know about your brand or product. It is easy to implement and does not require complex tracking mechanisms. However, it also does not accurately account for the contribution of other channels to the buyer’s journey. It helps marketers to know the most effective top-of-the-funnel channels. 

●      Last-touch attribution model

This model assigns the entire value only to the last touchpoint or channel the customer uses to purchase your product or service. It enables marketers to know the most effective channel for conversions. However, it misses recognizing the touchpoints crucial for creating brand awareness and interest.

Multi-touch attribution models

●      Linear attribution model

This model assigns equal value to every channel a customer uses through the B2B buying process. For example, a buyer may see a Facebook ad about your product, chat with a sales agent through your website, and then interact with your sales team during a live demo before making a purchase. The linear attribution model will attribute a third of the sales value to each of these three touchpoints. It overcomes the limitations of one-touch attribution models as it recognizes the channel mix you need to drive sales. However, it does not accurately represent the comparative effectiveness of each of these channels. 

●      Time-decay attribution model

This model goes a step ahead and assigns higher values to the channels towards the end of the sales process. In the above example, the live sales demo would get a higher value than the initial two touchpoints. It is suitable for some B2B businesses with very long sales cycles, where the most recent interaction drives the maximum intent to convert. However, in other cases where the initial touchpoints are also as important, it may not be a suitable framework. 

●      Position-based attribution model

This is a hybrid model that attempts to combine the advantages of the one-touch and multi-touch models. It assigns 40% of values each to the first and last channels in the sales process. It distributes the remaining 20% value among the rest of the contributing touchpoints.

●      Custom attribution model

Instead of assigning predefined values to channels, you can also set custom values based on an in-depth understanding of your buyers’ purchase behavior. For example, if long-term data suggests that content marketing leads to more chat interactions than Facebook ads, you can choose to attribute more value to your content marketing channel. However, custom attribution models can be tough to implement as they require dedicated data analysts, continuous testing, and stakeholder buy-in.

Maximize marketing ROI with sharper marketing attribution

If leveraged effectively, B2B marketing attribution models can generate actionable insights that will help you optimize your business’ budget allocation while maximizing buyer engagement.