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Attribution Guide: How to Track Your Digital Touch Points


Digital marketing is becoming more and more complex. With the rise of new channels and technologies, it’s difficult to define success to specific touch-points, despite the mass of data and reporting available to us.

And yet, attributing value to specific touch-points helps you understand which ones are most important in the buyer journey, so you can invest more in those that are driving results, and save wasting resources on those that aren’t.

There are a few different methods of attribution, each with its own advantages and disadvantages. Here, the Clearwater team have put together a brief attribution guide to lay out your options and help track your digital touch points.

Last- vs. First-Touch Attribution

Last-Touch Attribution

Last-click attribution gives all the credit for a conversion to the last touchpoint before a conversion occurred. You will find most analytical platforms prefer this approach because it simply states what platform ‘caused’ an audience member to convert.

But does this really paint a full picture of the customer journey?

First-Click Attribution

First-click attribution, on the other hand, gives all the credit for a conversion to the first touchpoint that was interacted with. To many, this method is more accurate, as it offers more insight into the efficacy of brand awareness, but it’s also more complex and can be difficult to understand without further elaboration on the rest of the customer journey.

Multi-Touch Attribution

The best way to attribute value, therefore, is to use a multi-touch attribution approach. This takes into account all the touch points that are interacted with along the buyer journey and assigns a portion of the credit to each one.

How to Conduct Multi-Touch Attribution

Given the vast amount of data being processed in complex and differentiating customer journeys, it isn’t a simple feat to set up your multi-touch attribution models. After all, people may switch screens and devices throughout the process, or pass the information they have collected to someone else in a more authoritative position to decide on making the sale.

Still, the end results are worth the investment to analyse interactions from your audience and online visitors. In addition, there is already a selection of infrastructure and technologies put in place to help you get a running start.

Follow these three steps to begin:

1. Collect Data

Given this is a data-driven exercise, you will need to set up methods of collecting data on those who visit your website, as well as how they arrived there, and if they converted. This can be done via:

  • JavaScript – entering a code into the backend of your web pages that help you to record customer views, actions, time on page, and where they came from (such as email, social media, search engines)
  • UTMs – these are snippets that are created at the end of your URLs, offering data on the origins of a customer’s visit. It will offer details such as the platform, the campaign with which they interacted, and even the creative types.
  • APIs – should your CRM or advertising tools have proprietary ways of tracking online activity, then this can save you a lot of the manual work mentioned above 

2. Combine Data

Now that you have all your data, it needs to be combined and collated. Your method for this will depend on your technical ability, as you can go down the DIY route and build a data warehouse, or again you can use existing technology that allows you to bring this information together. Again, it is important to remember the qualitative aspects outside of the quantitative results, such as multiple stakeholders being involved in the process.

3. Visualisation of Data

It isn’t practical to sit down and read this information in its entirety, so your platform, software or custom solution must also be able to report and query the data you have produced. This will allow you to pull the necessary understanding and insights from your information to improve your wider digital marketing strategy and ROI.

Contact Clearwater for Assistance with Your Digital Marketing Strategy

No matter which method of attribution you use, the important thing is that you’re tracking your digital touch points and attributing value to them. This will help you understand which ones are most important in the buyer journey and invest more in those that are driving results.

For further assistance with your digital marketing strategy and attributing success to campaigns, please contact us at Clearwater today to book a free session with one of our specialists.


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