How marketing attribution can maximize your campaign ROI

Choosing the right attribution model for your brand goals makes it easy to understand the role of each touchpoint on a consumer’s path to purchase.
25 October 2022
Marketing Attribution
Jeremy Jones

VP, MTA Solution Lead, North America

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In an ever-changing marketplace, advertising budgets are constantly scrutinized, so marketers need to prove the ROI of media investment by ensuring that their campaigns build the brand and drive sales. To maximize advertising impact and reduce waste, marketers need to optimize their media tactics and allocate budget against both short and long-term measures that deliver business results. At Kantar, we hold expertise across a range of marketing measurement options to guide and support your strategy.

But what’s the best way to prove (and improve) the impact of ads, particularly to optimize ROI? Discover how marketing attribution could be the key.

What is marketing attribution?

Before we learn how marketing attribution can help, let’s start by answering the question ‘what is marketing attribution’?

Marketing attribution analysis involves the evaluation of the touchpoints a consumer encounters during their path to purchase to identify the channels and messages that had the greatest impact on conversion.

Put simply, marketing attribution is the process of identifying which marketing methods have the biggest impact on sales and conversions. With Kantar Balanced Attribution - our AI powered, multi-touch approach - you can go even further to reveal deeper brand insights.

What is a marketing attribution model?

Different attribution models rely on different analytical techniques to deliver their results. When it comes to deciding which model to employ to get the most from your marketing attribution analysis, focus on finding a model that allows you to see:

  • Which messages a consumer was exposed to (and which messages delivered the best results)
  • The channels through which the message was delivered
  • The touchpoint that had the biggest impact on a consumer’s decision to purchase

There are two main types of marketing attribution models:

  1. Single-touch attribution
    As the name suggests, single-touch attribution models look at a single touchpoint. This is either:

    First-touch attribution, which attributes conversion to the first touchpoint the consumer encounters on their path to purchase, regardless of subsequent messaging the consumer is exposed to.

    Last-touch attribution, which attributes conversion to the last touchpoint a consumer encounters before making a purchase.

    Criticism for single-touch attribution models unsurprisingly stems from the limited analysis across the wider consumer journey. Using these models, marketers are unable to fully assess the role different touchpoints played in influencing a consumer’s decision to complete a purchase.

  2. Multi-touch attribution
    Multi-touch attribution models look at all the touchpoints involved in a consumer's path to purchase, providing a more accurate picture of how various messages and channels influence consumer decision-making.

    These models assign value in various ways; some will place different weights on when in the journey different touchpoints were interacted with. Others weigh them equally or use model-based schema.

    However, multi-touch approaches often focus on sales outcomes or behavioral proxies, leaving important factors unaddressed.

    Balanced Attribution is a marketing attribution analysis tool unique to Kantar, created to address these missing factors. It measures several brand lift components at one time, including brand building and performance marketing where campaign goals usually compete – meaning brand is more connected to sales outcomes. This analysis method uses accounts for efficiency measures to truly understand what each dollar spent on marketing is doing for your brand, product, or service. The propriety data that sits behind Balanced Attribution enables quality user level outcome and exposure data, we’re able to understand what is driving media performance at a truly granular level

So, we’ve looked at the different attribution models, but why should you care? Why is attribution important? Let’s find out.

Why is attribution important? The benefits of marketing attribution

Marketing attribution analysis is all about the focus on customer-level data to analyze the importance of different touchpoints. The benefits of marketing attribution, and the reasons why it is important, include:

  1. Spend and campaign optimization

    Marketing attribution can provide data that is key for campaign optimization analytics practices. Being able to identify the touchpoints that have the largest engagement allows marketers to optimize their campaigns accordingly and allocate budget to the places that actually work.

  2. Ad optimization and personalization

    Analyzing customer-level data allows marketers to understand the different channels and messages that work best for different customers – providing the opportunity for greater personalization and ad optimization for specific consumer groups.

    Kantar helped an automotive manufacturer optimize their ads by using Balanced Attribution to deliver much more granular reallocation and ad improvement advice. The gains from this optimization and reallocation equated to an improvement of more than 60% in the key brand metric of Consideration.

  3. Access to consumer data for product development

    Marketing attribution provides deep, customer-level data analysis that allows you to better understand the needs of your current customers and potential customers. This data can be used to improve and update both existing and future products to target specific consumer wants.

  4. Ability to improve and optimize ROI

    The sum benefit of all these factors is that marketers have all the consumer data they need at their fingertips to ensure they are tailoring campaign messaging to the right consumers, at the right time, on the right channels. This, in turn, will lead to increase conversions and optimized ROI.

There you have it - understanding the role of different touchpoints on a consumer’s path to purchase is easy if you have the right tools at your disposal. Get in touch to see how Kantar can help answer your questions about marketing attribution and provide campaign optimization analytics and support.

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