5 Benefits of Using Multi-Channel Attribution – By Adam Dahlen

by Jenae Reid on July 11, 2017

 

Do these questions sound familiar? Why am I paying for sales that I would have gotten anyway? Are affiliates cannibalizing my other marketing channels?  If you’re a performance marketer, you likely have been asked these questions. You may have even been the one doing the asking.

Thankfully, responses are no longer reliant on guesswork and assumptions. Instead, the answer can be found in multi-channel attribution. Traditional affiliate attribution only looks at data within the closed loop of the affiliate network. However, multi-channel attribution can look at a brand’s entire sales funnel (display, email, social, affiliate, search, etc.) and track all of a customer’s touch points along different marketing channels for a particular conversion.

Many of these multi-channel attribution platforms are very flexible and can be set up as first-click, last click, or to split a commission based on specific business needs and requirements.

Here are some of the biggest benefits to using multi-channel attribution:

Data Driven Decision Making

Multi-channel attribution systems enable marketers to utilize actual data in their decision making, as opposed to relying on hunches or instinct. A properly configured system can answer specific questions that have previously vexed affiliate managers. For example, multi-channel attribution can quantify if coupon affiliates poach conversions from content affiliates. This can be useful information in determining the right mix of affiliate types for a specific program.

Optimize Ad-Spend & Improve Efficiency

Affiliate managers can utilize multi-channel attribution to improve the efficiency of their program and the overall marketing mix. Granular channel analysis can eliminate the need for one-size fits all commission structures. This empowers program managers to increase resource allocation to affiliates who contribute most to the overall business objectives.

Test New Strategies

Eliminating the guesswork in evaluating affiliate contributions can create new opportunities for testing with partners who were previously off limits. This is particularly true for affiliates who specialize in channels that are traditionally run directly by the merchant such as search, display, email, and retargeting. Cross channel attribution allows marketers to accurately gauge if these affiliates overlap with existing efforts or provide true incremental reach.

Align Strategy with Objectives

Not all affiliate programs have the same objectives. Some programs may prioritize top-line revenue above all other goals. Others are focused on generating awareness or new customer acquisition. Seeing how different affiliate models contribute to the overall marketing mix empowers marketers to align their strategic plan with the broader business objectives.

Better Understand the Customer Journey

Finally, multi-channel attribution can help all marketers better understand and improve every aspect of the customer journey. Customers interact with brands through a myriad of mediums and devices. Knowing where those interactions take place enables marketers to offer increased personalization at different touch points and better move customers along the path to purchase.

To Conclude

Multi-channel attribution should not be viewed as a threat to affiliate programs. Instead, it empowers marketers with the data to strategically architect an affiliate program that aligns with their organization’s holistic marketing efforts and overall business goals.

Adam is the Director of Performance Marketing at iAffiliate Management

This article appeared in issue 39 of FeedFront Magazine, which was published in July 2017. https://issuu.com/affiliatesummit/docs/feedfront-39

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