5 Game-Changing Facts that Prove the Value of Multi-Touch Attribution

April 16, 2019 Ginna Hall

We live in an era of unprecedented amounts of data. Technology that follows us as we work, travel, shop, eat, and browse makes it possible for marketers to understand consumers better than ever before.

Consumers are interacting with more channels than ever. Research shows that 88% of consumers pre-research their buys online before making a purchase either online or in-store.

This translates into multiple interactions across platforms. According to eMarketer, interactions more than tripled from 2014 to 2017—surpassing 3 billion. This information is difficult to capture and analyze.

Many marketers find themselves sitting on gold mines of data that they aren’t able to make good use of. Data silos and siloed teams make consistent analysis impossible. In-house expertise needed to dig into data is in short supply.

A recent article by McKinsey suggested that only a small percentage of the value derived from  advanced analytics approaches has been unlocked – as little as 10% in some sectors.

If you feel this way, you’re not alone. Marketers struggle to understand what each touchpoint is worth -- both how it influences their customers and contributes to growth. In fact, a survey by the Data and Marketing Association and Winterberry Group found that nearly two-thirds of U.S. marketers were putting a higher priority on attribution for the coming year.

As the landscape becomes more competitive, marketers who don’t adopt new techniques risk falling behind. As of August 2018, fourteen US retailers have filed for bankruptcy or announced liquidations, on top of more than twenty that did so in 2017. Businesses in other industries such as iHeartMedia, Bertucci’s, Southeastern Grocers and Remington Arms have seen their share of decline as well.

Yet most companies rely on the same tools and tired metrics to measure key performance indicators (KPIs) as they did before the data explosion. The old approach treats all interactions and customers the same. This makes performance easy to measure but hurts marketers in the long run.

Even marketers who consider themselves “advanced” when it comes to data science and analytics find themselves relying on old school techniques to measure performance. We cobble together data from our CRM, web analytics, marketing automation system, email platforms and plug it into Excel spreadsheets.

We use metrics such as clicks, impressions, reach, viewability and bounce rates which are not adequate to gauge success accurately. These metrics, which treat all interactions and customers the same, are easy to measure but hamper performance in the long run. Despite the rising interest in attribution, only 15% of marketers are using advanced attribution models to measure effectiveness today.

Multi-Touch Attribution Is a Game-Changer

It’s never been more important to get marketing analytics right. You need to know that every marketing dollar spent is delivering maximum impact.

Multi-touch attribution uses granular, person-level data to measure past marketing performance. It calculates the impact of every touchpoint and dimension on each key performance indicator (KPI) in near-real time and produces a set of metrics that reflects the credit each channel and tactic deserves for its contribution.

Multi-touch attribution platforms consolidate and normalize previously siloed data to create a more complete picture of marketing performance. Using algorithmic attribution allows marketers to see which tactics drove conversions, for which audiences, and understand cross-channel influence.

This insight is actionable. Depending on the outcome, we can reallocate spend to boost high-performing tactics and prevent wasted spend on low performers.

5 Game-Changing Facts About Multi-Touch Attribution

5 Game-Changing Facts

Nielsen understands that using multi-touch attribution to understand the ROI of every dollar spent at each part of the journey has never been more critical. We set out to prove the value of multi-touch attribution.

We analyzed 109 anonymized B2C client data sets made up of $2.8 billion in media spend and over 256 billion impressions over a 6-month period (from January 1 to June 30, 2018). The companies included in the analysis include a wide range of B2C brands in the automotive, retail, financial services, healthcare, telecommunications and other industries.

We found five game-changing facts that show the direct impact of multi-touch attribution on the bottom line. If you’ve ever wondered why multi-touch attribution is superior to other measurement methods, here’s why:

FACT #1. Multi-touch attribution unlocks 25% in opportunity costs.

FACT #2. Without multi-touch attribution, you could under-value channels by 215% or more.

FACT #3. Without multi-touch attribution, you could waste 50% or more of your spend by delivering the wrong message to the wrong audience.

FACT #4. Without daily multi-touch attribution, you can’t react quickly to performance fluctuations that may vary by as much as 590%.

FACT #5. Without daily multi-touch attribution, you could be wasting 38% of your monthly spend on non-performing tactics.

New Times Call For New Measurement

As marketers face increasing pressure to deliver not just clicks, views and likes but long-term growth, you must adapt to the digital era to thrive.

The reality is that all customers and their interactions aren’t the same. Rather than rely on siloed, channel-specific metrics, marketers can and should use digital-era tools to measure person-level data across tactics and channels.

Multi-touch attribution is a game-changer that can put your business on a whole new playing field. Stay tuned as we take a deep dive into each of the 5 game-changing facts that prove the value of multi-touch attribution in upcoming blog posts.

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