As a budget holder and marketer you want to know what is the optimal mix of messaging that moves a new prospect from discovery through to end goal completion most efficiently.


Target audience does not convert with just one message or couple of touches. It's a complex process of selecting the best marketing mix, nurturing, engaging, converting and finally optimising it for the future marketing efforts. It is essential to measure all channels that affected your results.

That’s why more and more marketers are using marketing attribution methods to determine what role different channels play in influencing the customer journey  from Awareness, Intent, Desire and Action (the AIDA model).

Here we look at different marketing attribution methods used by marketers and agencies to determine the value of individual channels and how to optimise  future marketing campaigns better:

  • The last click method and first click are the most popular, largely because they have been the most readily available. In last click attribution, most or all credit is assigned to the final interaction prior to the desired action (sale, registration, phone call, etc.). Both happen to be precise, but have the same limitation offering a myopic view of what is happening at the Awareness and Action stage of the customer journey and ignoring the touches ‘in the middle’. 
  • Sequential attribution  offers an alternative to the first and last click methods and it is a chain of marketing touches or other events of different kinds that happen first, second, third and so on before end value is created. The aim is to assign values to each step in the chain. There are different models of allocating value creation to the different steps, and ability to compare the different outcomes. This method provides great fodder for speculation on what might be going on in the value creation process. But a list of events is not a measurement, and it’s difficult to take authoritative action on these touch chains because they might not be representative of reality.
  • The output of a mix model represent the mathematical model or scientific measurement of what is happening in the marketing mix. It usually specifies the ‘weights’ of each media in the mix that will achieve maximum impact, based on a series of controlled tests where specific media types are added or removed. Mix models generally do not consider first or last touches or assume any media sequence at all.  The model realises prospects will move in and out and across different media types and exposure situations that will affect them differently, depending on who they are. Mix models assume that the same piece of media and any impression or touch can perform different jobs, creating Awareness, Intent, Desire, or Action (the AIDA model) even though specific media are often better at some of these tasks than others. What’s important in a mix model is the way all the marketing touches react with and reinforce each other.  This approach is very representative of what actually happens to humans in the real world of media and marketing. But it can be expensive as well as time consuming and resource intensive.
  • Alternative Approach – A cheaper and faster alternative to the mix model is to measure the performance of each channel and the performance of the different mixes against each other. For example, when launching a new product you can initiate one fully measured marketing channel at a time and ‘let it run’ before introducing another channel, then another, etc. When a new channel is added how does the performance of the new mix change?  This approach does not create a mathematical model or a scientific measurement, but if you measure carefully it can give you a very solid ‘feeling’ for how different media interact and produce results for a specific product or line. 

If you’re not evaluating these new insights, you are surely missing out on developing promising ideas on how to optimise media spend for value creation.

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