5 Success Factors for Multi-Touch Attribution

July 10, 2018 Ginna Hall

Over the past ten years, the number of ways we reach and engage consumers has skyrocketed and the “path to purchase” has become even more complex.

As a result, how we measure consumer engagement has changed significantly. Brands with more complex customer journeys have found last-touch attribution models lacking because they don’t provide enough insight into cross-channel influence.

With proper planning and collaboration, multi-touch attribution can have a tremendous impact on performance.

Many organizations have begun to shift toward more holistic models such as multi-touch attribution. This approach lets marketers see the value of each touchpoint -- and which touchpoints are effective -- so they can plan and optimize at a granular level.

Multi-touch attribution reveals not just where and how a consumer saw your message, but the impact each addressable touchpoint throughout a conversion path had on the final sale, download or other conversion event.

Adopting multi-touch attribution can seem complex for any marketing team. In order to look at all your data, you first need to gather it from disparate sources. This usually requires a shift from your current systems and metrics and puts new demands on your people and processes. But with proper planning and collaboration, multi-touch attribution can have a tremendous impact on performance.

In a recent webinar, Nielsen Sr. Director of Customer Success Wendy McClintock and Director of Analytics Jared Robbins described best practices for overcoming implementation and adoption challenges.

Here are the five elements of a successful multi-touch attribution practice that McClintock and Robbins recommend. Following these steps will help you anticipate hurdles and ensure a smooth implementation.

>> To learn more, view our on-demand webinar Learn the Top 5 Factors for Multi-Touch Attribution Success.

Factor #1: Define a Clear Vision

The key to implementing any project that will have a significant impact on your business is having a clearly defined goal. You must have a vision of what a successful measurement approach looks like.

Ask yourself: What’s not true today and what will be true if multi-touch attribution is a success? What joins these two things together? The answer could include both short- and long-term ways the project can contribute to overall company goals.

Multi-Touch Attribution Success

Factor #2. Enlist an Executive Champion

Having a high-level manager in your corner will help you leap over any obstacles and smooth the way for cross-team collaboration.

To engage your champion, show how multi-touch attribution will help the company achieve business outcomes. Find out what the most important goals are. Grow revenue? Reduce agency reliance? Gain the ability to test budget and gain media efficiency? Get insights to share with the board of directors? Or something else?

Once you’ve Identified your champion’s three to five top outcomes, develop a simple plan for how you will achieve the milestones your champion is looking for.

Factor #3: Use an Agile Process

Setting up the right process can be challenging, but it’s critical to success. If your organization has been siloed by channel, you may have to coordinate them for the first time as well as budgeting, reporting and optimization insights.

One way to tackle this is to think of marketing as an agile function. When setting up your process, begin by understanding your current workflow -- within and between teams and your agency. Then roadmap your adoption plan, identifying who owns each channel and who should be part of the agile “stand up.”

Multi-Touch Attribution Success

Factor #4: Motivate Your People

Attribution doesn’t happen on its own, and great process doesn’t occur without buy-in. To roll out attribution successfully and get the most value from the platform going forward, you’ll need to engage people throughout the organization.

This most significant element to be aware of is that moving to multi-touch attribution will change what people do and how they do it. Responsibilities may increase, their workload may change, and how they complete their tasks may involve new skills. Success will depend on the goodwill of many stakeholders.

Factor #5: Share Your Success

You will want to share your story broadly, frequently and with multiple teams, including high-level details about the project’s achievements and milestones. Keep everyone informed about project milestones and the positive impact of the new approach. You’ll foster enthusiasm and platform adoption by sharing “wins” and encouraging everyone involved.

Attribution for a New Era

Implementing multi-touch attribution will have huge benefits for your organization. Learning which channels and tactics drive marketing performance by audience, at a granular level not only helps with planning and forecasting, but also enables in-flight optimizations throughout the duration of a campaign. Don’t forget to ask your attribution vendor to help you set up the process and roadmap for implementation so you can derive the most value from your solution.

Learn More

See how multi-touch attribution can help you be a better marketer in the digital era. Watch our on-demand webinar Learn the Top 5 Factors for Multi-Touch Attribution Success.

Request a Demo

Learn how Nielsen can help you measure and optimize your marketing and advertising: Request a demo today.


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