How Multi-Touch Attribution Marketing Can Help You Increase Cohesion Between Marketing and Sales

17 Sep 20

Achieving cohesion and harmony between your marketing and sales departments can be tough. With Multi-Touch Attribution Marketing, you can create an insightful and accurate methodology of sharing the revenue split between your Marketing and Sales teams.

A key benefit of Multi-Touch Attribution Marketing is that it can help marketers fine-tune their strategy. Knowing which content is resonating with different buyers helps them define the types of content and channels that they want to use to target specific personas, buyers, and influencers. This can help them advocate for budget and/or allocate their budget to the best use. Essentially, MTAM helps them not only identify ROMI (return on marketing investment) but also make the most advantageous adjustments to their marketing strategy.

You can also drive more cohesion with sales by understanding which pieces of content are signaling that a buyer has crossed over from awareness and is now considering actual options (i.e., lead conversion). MTAM can help marketing screen and pass more qualified leads to sales, gaining the trust and cooperation of the sales teams.

As a marketer, one of the vital – and often hardest to quantify – pieces of information that is sought is the application of revenue credit to your marketing efforts. While it is all well said and done that a lead that was transferred between marketing to sales created a sale of $100,000, what is crucial for any marketing team to understand is at which touchpoint during the marketing process was the lead picked up and solidified. Was it through scanning through the company website, a click-through on a particular email push, or even the download of a thought piece or e-book?

Looking for more insight into touchpoints? SBI's Touchpoint Analysis Tool will help you understand and define where they are within your own organization.

There are now two main types of models that can be used to discern this information and allow a much more granular understanding of the effectiveness of your marketing stages.

Single Touch Attribution – Models That Shine a Light on a Single Step of the Buyer Journey

Often seen as the simplest method of attributing revenue credit for a sale, single touch relies on apportioning 100% of the assigned revenue credit to a specific stage of the buyer journey. These are often seen as "First Click," "Lead Conversion," and "Last Click."

While MTAM is extremely useful, models that incorporate only a single touch (STAM) can also be just as valuable. For example, STA is more impactful for B2C companies who have one buyer to consider – fewer touchpoints, fewer interactions, and usually one decision maker/influencer. B2Bs benefit from MTAM because there are multiple buyers/influencers involved in the decision (and the content consumption).

First Click

As the saying goes, all buyer journeys start with a single click, and with the First Click method, all of the revenue credit is apportioned to the action that first made the buyer click through to your website.

Lead Conversion Click

While that first click-through to the website is crucial, it does not tell us the whole journey, often before we engage/sign up/download, there are multiple visits to the same page for research, cross-referencing, and comparisons to competitors. With the Lead Conversion methodology, the final page visit that results in the lead conversion is attributed 100% of the sales credit. So if a buyer visits your page seven times in a week before signing up for more information, all of the credit will be appointed to that final seventh visit, with no credit being given to the previous six.

Last click

Just as the First Click is focused on the beginning of the buyer journey, the Last Click focuses on the final touchpoint that has been interacted with before the customer's conversion.

Multi-Touch Attribution Models – Helping You Track and Assign Value to the Wider Customer Journey

While Single Touch Attribution provides a beautifully simple view of your marketing world – it could also be said that its view is slightly too simple. While attributing revenue to the initial click or actual conversion is important, there are multiple steps involved in the journey that will be left out and under-developed as a result of this 100% apportionment. Thankfully, multi-touch attribution is a method that will allow you to spread this credit across multiple touchpoints, and thus create a more holistic and egalitarian view of your marketing operations.

As with single-touch, multi-touch attributions come in a variety of forms, each with its own nuances:

Linear Model

The linear model is arguably the most simplistic of the models, merely apportioning an equal percentage of revenue credit across the various touchpoints of your organization – so if you have five touchpoints defined in your buyer journey – each will get 20% of the credit.

The Ascending Attribution Model

The Ascending Attribution model still incorporates all of the touchpoints for revenue credit, much like the Linear model. Still, instead of assigning equal importance to each step, this model apportions importance on a sliding scale of least to most importance from the first touchpoint to the last touchpoint, respectively. So with a process that includes four touchpoints, the credit from start to finish might equal 10%, 20%, 30%, and 40% - amounting to 100% in total.


Another simple model that can be used is the U-Shape model, which focuses the lion's share (80%) on the first and last touches that a customer makes on their journey to conversion, with the remaining 20% being evenly distributed.


This model focuses on three key elements within the buyers' journey, namely the first touch, lead conversion, and last touch before conversion, applying 30% credit to each. The remaining 10% of the credit is divided among the remaining touchpoints.


The Full path follows a similar sequence as the W-shaped model but includes another touchpoint—the customer close. 22.5% of the credit is given to each of these four key touchpoints: first touch, lead creation, opportunity creation, and close, with 10% going to any additional touchpoints.


As the name implies, the custom model is one that is made specific to the demands of the organization in question.

What Risks Are Associated With MTAM?

While Multi-Touch can provide a wealth of benefits and advantages to a company, the challenges of this methodology must be also considered.

For one, MTAM is focused largely on digital campaigns and measures the consumer actions that can be made through these actions. Because of this style of measurement, it's extremely difficult to track the engagement from offline campaigns such as television and print media, which are still hugely important marketing mediums.

Second, no single MTAM is capable of providing a fully holistic view of the customer journey. Because of this, marketers that employ this method will need to apply multiple models to achieve a fuller picture of the customer journey. As you can imagine, the volume of data and analysis required in a single MTAM can be a formidable task, which quickly becomes overwhelming as additional models are introduced. It is crucial that before undertaking this that those who will be responsible for it are fully equipped with the task at hand.

Interested in Adopting MTAM? Here's What You Should Consider Next:

Implementing an MTAM, while an extremely positive aspect – is something that will require a structured process to make sure that your rollout is smooth and successful:

  • Understand the capabilities of your marketing team
  • Identify your most important touchpoints and the most relevant MTAM
  • Identify and implement a robust marketing analytics package
  • Once the MTAM is deployed, continue to regularly test and refine your model.

For guidance and expertise on how to answer these questions in your journey to implement MTAM, get in touch with SBI's Marketing Practice Experts.

SBI's proprietary Touchpoint Analysis Tool will provide you with a list of the key touchpoints to consider for marketing, along with instructions on how to perform analysis of each, and a buyers' journey that can be used when you add your customized touchpoints.


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