The typical marketing funnel is a simple way to think of the customer journey and can be very helpful in conceptualizing the path through a specific channel toward conversion. However, the customer journey is much more complex than that, especially if your marketing efforts are present in several different forms and in several different channels. Your audience might start out their journey by being exposed to one touchpoint, only to drop out of that funnel and only make progress once they are exposed to a different type of touchpoint. One of the crucial aspects of digital marketing is using every tool at your disposal to recognize which advertisement, email version, or external link can be credited with each customer’s successful conversion, especially if your collected data shows that they have been exposed to multiple touchpoints. Which one finally convinced them to follow through to the end?
Let’s use an illustration within sports marketing. Say a team has set up an SEO campaign that promotes their games as a top result when people search for fun family activities within a specific radius of the stadium or arena. They have also sent out emails with a promotional offer to attendees of a recent charity event that they partnered with. Additionally, they have sponsored a very popular local influencer whose content contains a link to the team’s website with ticket price discounts. Now say that a local man conducts a Google search for fun family activities and follows the team’s link but ends up closing out that search result due to the cost. Later, he sees the local influencer’s content and is intrigued that this team is mentioned by them but assumes that they are only promoting the team because they are paid to. Finally, he checks his email and sees that the team is rewarding recent charity event attendees with a special offer. The combination of the special offer as well as the reminder that the team is philanthropic finally convinces him to purchase tickets to an upcoming game to take his family to. The team’s digital marketing team needs to be able to recognize that, despite the customer’s interactions with other touchpoints, it is the email that can be attributed with the final conversion.
Giving credit where credit is due across all your customer touchpoints is critical for your ROI because it allows you to know which areas need improvement, which warrant more investment, and which ones you are better off discontinuing. Major CRM tools such as Salesforce are often equipped with attribution insights, and it is in your best interest as a marketer to know how to utilize them as in-depth as possible. Your business will undoubtedly benefit from it.
If you want to know more about marketing attribution models, check out this article by Salesforce.