B2B Marketing Blog

How Do Marketers Using Single and Multi-Touch Attribution Differ? [2016 State of Pipeline Marketing Data]

By Alexis Getscher
Dec 16, 2016
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In the 2016 State of Pipeline Marketing report, marketers across various industries answered questions surrounding how they execute, track, measure and report their efforts. Regarding tracking and reporting, we specifically asked about marketing attribution.

Here’s what we learned.

Around 65% of marketers have an attribution model in place. Of those marketers, about 60% said they were using a single-touch attribution model, while 40% responded with multi-touch attribution.

Approximately 47% of marketers using multi-touch attribution believe they’re using the right model, while 52% rated the confidence in their marketing data as a 4 or a 5 out of 5. Compare that to just 10% and 31%, respectively, of marketers using single-touch attribution.

Continue reading to uncover more stats on single- and multi-touch attribution users.

Why Do Marketers Choose Their Attribution Models?

Choosing the right attribution model can be difficult, with a number of factors contributing to the decision-making process. For marketers who have attribution in place, why did they choose their models?

Reason for Using Attribution Model.png

Marketers with single-touch attribution chose ease of implementation as their main reason for selecting that model. While ease of implementation can save marketers valuable time, it can hurt in the long run.

Single-touch attribution creates a model bias that overvalues certain channels while undervaluing the others. In B2B, the sales process is long and typically contains multiple interactions that impact buying decisions. Simply choosing to assign value to only one of those touchpoints misses the impact created by all other channels.

That’s why it makes sense that marketers using multi-touch attribution overwhelmingly chose to do so because it accurately gives credit where it’s due. With a multi-touch model, more of the key conversions in the buying journey are accounted for and assigned value.

Do You Believe You’re Using the Right Attribution Model?

Although a majority of marketers with attribution are using a single-touch model, it seems they recognize model bias and that multi-touch is a more accurate solution.

Right Attribution Model?.png

When it comes to believing they’re using the right attribution model, single-touch and multi-touch users are almost exactly flip-flopped in their beliefs. Almost 47% of marketers using multi-touch attribution believe they’re using the right model, while 49% of marketers using single-touch attribution believe they are not using the right model.

In 2017, as education and resources continue to grow, expect more marketers to move to a multi-touch solution. The mindset is already there (almost half of single-touch users know a different model should be used), now it’s just time to make the switch.

What do Single-Touch and Multi-Touch Users Prioritize?

Tracking tends to fall in line with what marketers prioritize. When something is a priority, you pay more attention to it and want to know the outcome of your efforts, so you make sure it’s tracked. With that in mind, it’s no surprise that marketers using single-touch attribution prioritize generating more leads over everything else, while marketers using multi-touch attribution prioritize converting leads to revenue.

Top Marketing Priority-1.png

You can’t prioritize what you can’t track.

Marketers using multi-touch attribution can track leads from first-touch through to closed-won, so it’s understandable they’d prioritize converting leads to revenue. When you have data on the full funnel, why would you stop your reporting at the top?

For the same reason, it’s clear why marketers using single-touch attribution would prioritize generating more leads over everything else. Most of the single-touch models undervalue the bottom-of-the-funnel, so instead they prioritize the top (leads).

Which Channels are Marketers Using the Most?

The 2016 State of Pipeline Marketing survey asked respondents to select all of the channels they currently use for their marketing efforts. We broke that down data by attribution model.

Channels.png

When using a baseline of 80% selection from respondents, we found that six channels were used by marketers with a multi-touch model, compared to only 3 channels by marketers using single-touch attribution.

It seems that the ability to track all touchpoints and measure multi-channel performance, gives marketers the confidence to invest in additional channels. In other words, if you can’t prove the business value of each channel, it may be harder to get the approval needed to invest time and money in additional areas.

What is the Primary Metric Marketers Use to Measure Performance?

What stands out in this data, is that marketers using single-touch attribution prioritize generating leads, but use revenue as the primary metric to measure performance.

Primary Metric.png

Revenue is followed by total opps/pipeline, and total leads rounds out the top three metrics used to measure performance by single-touch users.

Total opps/pipeline, total revenue, and ROI came in as the top three responses from marketers using multi-touch attribution. Meanwhile, total leads was at the bottom of their priorities (2nd to last).

How Confident are Marketers in the Accuracy of Their Data?

Multi-touch attribution tracks every touchpoint through the entire buying journey, which could be why 52% of marketers using multi-touch rated their confidence in the accuracy of their data as a 4 or 5 out of 5.

Marketing Data Confidence.png

Multi-touch attribution acts as a single source of truth for data. It’s a more accurate solution because it eliminates manual inputs and spreadsheets used by marketers to piece together tracking from the multiple platforms and channels used throughout the funnel.

In the same realm as the chart above, over 50% of marketers using multi-touch rated their ability to measure marketing performance as a 4 or a 5 out of 5, compared to just 25% of marketers using single-touch attribution.

Single-touch attribution is better than no attribution when it comes to reporting marketing’s impact, but based on the data from the 2016 State of Pipeline Marketing report it’s clear that when it comes to accurately giving credit where it’s due, measuring performance and reliable data, multi-touch attribution comes out on top.

If you’d like more stats from the State of Pipeline Marketing, download the report below.

State of Pipeline Marketing Report 2016  An annual study of how B2B marketers drive growth, including data on  priorities, channels, technology, and more.  Download Now

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