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The Future of Customer Attribution Models

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Written by on August 21, 2013

The big topic for marketers these days is customer attribution models, and it is a fantastically important topic. Partly because we are only now getting to a point where our data modeling services can actually tell us anything useful, and partly because in the connected world of abundance (of channels), measuring ROI is critical to our success.

In short, customer attribution models serve the very simple purpose of attributing the value of each one of our marketing channels. It helps us understand, for instance, what the true impact of social is... or an email campaign, or advertising, or any other channel.

That of course, is very important because without customer attribution models we would be completely in the dark and probably ruin our business.

In this report I'm going to take you beyond what we have today and illustrate to you what the future of customer attribution will be like, and why that is very important for your brand today.

One step forward, 1,000 more to go...

As you probably already know, in the old days we only had last-interaction models, which were hopeless for all kinds of reasons. Imagine that a friend of yours sees an ad for a product, she then tells you about it via social media. Intrigued, you visit their store that afternoon after work, and end up buying the product.

That is a successful conversion, but what channel contributed to it? If we only look at the last interaction, you would attribute it to the location of the store itself. As in, you would assume that people just happened to walk by, completely ignoring the value of your ad.

Luckily, we no longer have this problem, because modern analytics tools have in recent years added multi-funnel analytics, allowing us to look at the entire interaction... which is just wonderful.

And if you want to know the extent of what our new world of multi-funnel attribution models can do, I highly recommend that you read Avinash's great posts, "Multi-Channel Attribution: Definitions, Models and a Reality Check" and "Multi-Channel Attribution Modeling: The Good, Bad and Ugly Models".

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Thomas Baekdal

Thomas Baekdal

Founder of Baekdal, author, writer, strategic consultant, and new media advocate.

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