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Sep 15, 2022

The Importance Of Attribution In Integrated Marketing Communication (And How To Get It Right)

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by Nicole Stiverson
Attributing your sales to a specific campaign can be tricky.
But, in an integrated marketing world, you need to know which campaigns are actually driving new customers to focus your efforts on them. 
The good news is that several tools and techniques are available for attributing sales back to specific campaigns. In this article, we'll explain the most common attribution strategies and how they work so you can start optimizing your integrated marketing communication strategy.
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What is integrated marketing communication (IMC)?

Integrated marketing communication, or IMC, is the art of combining different marketing methods to reach your audience. 
These methods include advertising, public relations, and social media.
IMC is the only way to ensure that you are reaching your target customers in a way that is relevant to them and their needs.
For example, if you want to advertise your product on TV and promote it on YouTube, then you need an integrated marketing communications plan that helps you do both things at once. You can't just put out two different ads—one for TV and one for YouTube—because they will likely be competing with each other regarding how well they work when it comes down to attracting customers.

The importance of IMC for your Inbound marketing strategy and improving attribution.

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IMC is essential to your company because it allows you to connect with your customers in the best way possible.
Your customers want to feel like they can build a personal relationship with you. That's why your marketing strategy must make your customers feel that your company is approachable, knowledgeable, and cares about them and their pain points. Since we are all customers in one area or another, you also know that your customers want to feel like they're getting value for their money.
But what if you were able to go beyond just being approachable, knowledgeable, and friendly? What if you could show them the value of your services and products by demonstrating how your customers can use them? What if you could show them how our products and services can help them achieve their goals?
That's where IMC comes in. 
By integrating these elements into one cohesive campaign, you can connect with customers by showing them exactly why they should choose you over your competitors. 
And this is why attribution is so crucial in IMC.

What is attribution, and why does it matter?

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Attribution is a key component of an integrated marketing strategy. 
It's the process of determining which marketing techniques contribute to sales and what influences those results.
Attribution helps marketers optimize their budgets by ensuring that they spend money on the proper channels, at the right times, to reach customers most likely to respond. 
It also allows them to measure success and improve future campaigns accordingly. Attribute your marketing to sales.
Understanding the impact of your marketing efforts is a vital part of the integrated marketing communications process. 
To optimize your strategy, you need to be able to measure it. Attribution is one way you can do this.
Attribution allows you to attribute sales back to specific channels and campaigns, enabling you to understand better which media channels drive sales. 
For example, suppose your conversion rate increases on a product page after you've launched an email campaign. In that case, attribution can help you identify that email as the reason behind those conversions (or at least one of them). Then when analyzing future campaigns—including new emails—you can tailor them, so they have even more impact on conversion rates and revenue generation.
But what if there were no attribution models? In this scenario, all digital marketers would have access to only about 30% of their total data because they wouldn't know what caused someone else's purchase decision (i.e., whether it was from Google Ads or Twitter). 
So how does attribution work?

Use attribution to optimize your strategy

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Attribution can help you understand the effectiveness of your advertising.
It's a tool that allows you to measure how much of your company's sales are coming from each touchpoint, enabling you to optimize your strategy and improve results across the board.
Attribution is also important because it can help you gauge how effective your marketing strategies are overall. 
If a particular campaign doesn't work, attribution data will be able to quantify this and pinpoint where things went wrong so that it doesn't happen again. This way, when developing a new ad campaign or making changes to an existing one, you'll know exactly where any money spent will be going -- and what kind of return on investment it's likely to yield for your business!

Attribution shows you what's working — and what isn't

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You'll know more about your marketing efforts' long-term impact on behavior, which is important for planning future campaigns and prioritizing which marketing channels to use in the future.
As you might imagine, this data is extremely valuable to marketers who are trying to figure out which of their channels have the most significant impact on consumer decisions. With this information at their fingertips, they can make informed decisions about where they spend time and money to get the best return on investment (ROI).

The basics of attribution modeling

Attribution modeling is a way to measure the impact of marketing efforts on sales. The goal is to determine how much each touchpoint contributes to a deal and optimize your marketing budget accordingly. 
Attribution models are also used to determine how many customers come from each channel and improve channel performance, giving you more insight into which channels deliver the best ROI or cost-per-lead ratio.
Advertisers can use attribution modeling in multiple ways:
  • To optimize their marketing budget based on actual results: 
For example, if they've spent $10,000 on Facebook ads but only made $5,000 in revenue this month (and they want to spend more), they can look at their attribution report to better understand where those sales came from and adjust accordingly.
  • To measure the effectiveness of their overall integrated strategy:
For example, suppose 60 percent of all sales come from social media but it's only responsible for 15 percent of leads generated through other channels like email campaigns or ads online (and thus costs less per lead). In that case, there might be room for improvement in terms of ROI.

Last-click attribution

Last-click attribution is a method used in digital marketing to attribute sales to marketing activities. It's used with display advertising, paid search advertising, and other digital channels.
Here's an example: 
Let's say you're running a campaign with three different types of ads (Facebook, Pinterest, and Google.) You want to know which ad channel brought the most leads or revenue during that period. This can be done in two ways: last-touch and first-touch (or none at all.)
Using last-touch attribution would mean that someone saw your Facebook ad but then clicked on another platform such as Google before buying. Facebook would get credit for bringing in those new customers because it was their last click before making their purchase decision—even though that person hadn't seen any other ads from you or even been exposed to them yet! 
This can be problematic because it gives advertisers credit for customer acquisition when they shouldn't have received any. Some marketers will use multiple channels across multiple platforms (like Google Ads, Facebook Ads, etc.) to attribute everything back onto one channel, like AdWords, so they aren't paying for ads that aren't delivering results!

First-click attribution

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First-click attribution is the most common method of attributing conversions to marketing campaigns. It's also the default mode when setting up a new campaign because it's easy to implement and understand. 
The basic idea is that when someone takes action on your site (such as downloading content), that action is tracked as a conversion for whichever channel was responsible for their last click before arriving at your site.
Suppose someone arrives on your website after clicking an ad on Facebook. Any conversions are attributed to Facebook— even if they converted after visiting another page inside your site. 
First-click attribution works well in many cases, but there are some situations where other methods might be more appropriate.

Linear attribution

This method of attribution is the most common, and it's used by many companies worldwide. 
It attributes sales to each channel in a linear way. For example, if you spend $100 on marketing and get $500 in sales from that campaign, linear attribution would attribute $100 to each channel.
Linear attribution models are easy to understand but not necessarily helpful in predicting future performance because they don't account for things like seasonality or competitive factors (i.e., what other brands are doing).

Time decay attribution

A model where the effect of a campaign decays over time is called a decay model. An exponential decay function weighs the effect of each campaign, and all campaigns are added together to get the total attribution. 
This model is appropriate when you have multiple ad placements or marketing channels with different impact durations; some may have longer-lasting effects than others.
The main drawback of this approach is that it gives more weight to campaigns that started earlier compared with subsequent campaigns if those latter campaigns had larger budgets. Although, later starting campaigns could still drive profitable conversions for your business if they happened to coincide with additional exposures via other channels such as search or social media advertising during their lifecycle.

Data-driven attribution

Data-driven marketing is a practice that can help you use data to improve your marketing strategy. It includes collecting and analyzing data across various channels and applying that information in real-time to make informed decisions.
Data-driven attribution is one type of data-driven marketing. It involves measuring the performance of each channel or campaign, then attributing a certain percentage of sales back to it based on how much it contributed to overall conversions (sales). For example, if you had five sales from 100 visitors who saw an ad on Facebook and clicked through after seeing it there, Facebook would be responsible for 20% of those sales (5/100 x 100 = 20).
You could also apply this principle when determining how much of your budget should go towards each channel or campaign based on their performance over time. With data-driven attribution, you can prioritize the campaigns that are working best while reducing spending elsewhere when necessary. 
This type of optimization means more efficient use of company resources and better results overall!
Understanding how your marketing dollars contribute to sales will help you build a more effective integrated campaign.
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Attribution modeling is a way to measure the effectiveness of your marketing. You can use attribution modeling to optimize your marketing strategy, identify what marketing channels are contributing to sales and identify what marketing channels are not. It's a way to understand how your marketing dollars contribute to sales and ensure you get the most out of each dollar spent.

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