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What Is Multi-Touch Attribution?

Multi-touch attribution is a way for marketers to identify where their customers are and which digital pathways they navigate on their way to a conversion. Attribution models are designed for the digital sphere, including social media, websites, and blogs.

Perhaps the most powerful aspect of multi-touch attribution is its ability to pinpoint consumer behavior in real-time. This provides invaluable insights into the relative impact of various marketing tactics; how they interact with one another; and how each of those variables lights the way toward a conversion.

With this approach, touchpoints are assigned values that help agencies identify which touchpoints or combinations of touchpoints are likely to lead to channel- and consumer-specific conversions.

These insights help marketers design effective touchpoints for future marketing campaigns and how best to allocate their marketing spend.

Over time, they produce a picture of how marketing tactics contribute to key performance indicators (KPI); how those KPIs contribute to profits; and how each of those contributes to a proper assessment of a marketing client’s return on investment (ROI).

Of course, the tracking of data positives also illuminates those touchpoints that lead to dead ends. In other words, multi-touch attribution helps marketers learn how best to dedicate future advertising and marketing funds while eliminating ad spending from ineffective channels.

Modern consumers are increasingly skilled at navigating the digital landscape. They’re also increasingly skilled at avoiding or ignoring marketing campaigns. This means that marketers must be adept at finding specific, targeted touchpoints that are more likely to be passed through on the way to a conversion.

Thus, an analysis of attribution models teaches marketers how to find where their audience is across multiple channels and then deliver highly targeted messaging that appeals to the consumer’s specific needs.

Finally, for this FAQ, it’s important to recognize that multi-touch attribution differs from other attribution models, such as first-touch and last-touch. As their names imply, those touchpoints are singular, whereas multi-touch permits the evaluation of the entire customer journey, where applicable.