Marketing Attribution 101: Attributing Campaigns to Conversions

Posted on June 27, 2019

All marketers strive to win in all of their marketing efforts. However, winning means attributing your sales to a specific marketing effort. Attribution is one of the most difficult tasks that marketers face. At Top Floor, we like to use a 4-step process to effectively measure our marketing efforts: tracking, connecting, crediting, and reflecting. Let’s further dive into what these 4 components entail through the video and the text below.


Hi everyone! My name is Sarah Kloth and I am the Director of Digital Strategy at Top Floor. In that role, I get to develop the digital strategy of our clients as well as our own strategy. Today, I’m going to give you a peek into how I attribute the marketing efforts for Top Floor. I hope that my insight helps to guide you in your marketing efforts as well.

As a marketer, it is crucial to track your marketing efforts in order to know the return you are getting on all of your marketing efforts. Most marketers know how to efficiently track leads, however attributing your marketing efforts goes beyond that. Attribution is the science of assigning credit or allocating dollars from a sale to the marketing touchpoints that a customer was exposed to prior to their purchase. Attributing your marketing efforts is a difficult task, but hopefully, by the end of this video, you will have the knowledge to complete this successfully.


The first step in the attribution process is to track your marketing efforts. Google Analytics is a great, and FREE, tool to use to track your marketing campaigns, website traffic and more. In order to input the correct data into the system, you need to set goals in analytics. Setting goals will allow you to see how well you are achieving them through your marketing efforts. Google Analytics also allows you to set dollar-value to each campaign. If you have offline campaigns, like eBooks, and you want to pull that data into Google Analytics, Google UTM Builder is a great tool that allows you to create a unique URL that you can search and track on Google Analytics. 

Other than Google Analytics, another great tracking tool is Hubspot. I recommend investing in the paid version because it gives you essential data that will guide you to make key decisions to develop your marketing strategy. For instance, the paid version allows you to see the specific source (i.e. Organic Search, Paid Search, etc.) that drove leads to your website. A great tool to track your phone call leads is called CallRail. This tool records all your calls in order to determine the exact source that pushed them to your website. 

If you have a CRM system, there is a lot of things you can do to get the most out of this system. For instance, you can hook this system to your website in order to track the web forms that people fill out. Lastly, another great tool is called Lead Forensics. This tool tracks people who’ve gone on your website before they even call you.


Once you’ve tracked your marketing efforts, the next step is to connect your data. CRM’s are great for giving you the big picture. However, for those who don’t use that system, Microsoft Excel spreadsheets are great tools to use. Even though Top Floor has a CRM system, I still utilize spreadsheets because they allow for more flexibility. Using Excel, you can develop a table that shows if you’re below or exceeded your goal.  


In order to credit your efforts, there are a few different attribution models that exist. One model is called Last Click, which basically gives all the credit to the last touch-point. For example, a person could have opened an email, a paid search ad, then fill out a contact form your business is holding. Lastly, they filled out a contact form for your webinar. Since the webinar is the last touchpoint, it is credited for acquiring that person. First click is another attribution model and it is the opposite of Last Click. This model gives credit to the first touch point. On the other hand, there’s the Linear approach, which gives equal credit to every touch-point. Another attribution approach is called Position Based Approach. This is a unique approach because it only gives credit to the first and last touch, while only giving little credit to the middle touches. The last attribution approach is called Time-Decay, where credit is given in increasing amounts to the touch-points. This approach is most beneficial to businesses that have a long sales cycle. Thankfully, Google Analytics allows you to choose which approach you want so you don’t have to manually estimate your credits.


Finally, you want to reflect on your marketing efforts. You need to determine what’s working and what isn’t so that you can alter your marketing strategy accordingly. During the reflection stage, it’s also important to determine the efforts that are the lowest cost and the highest return because, at the end of the day, your goal is to maximize profits. This is the time to terminate the efforts you can’t measure because if you can’t measure it, then you can’t improve it.

Hopefully, now you learned that attributing your marketing efforts can be a difficult task, but the benefits it has on your marketing strategy is substantial. There are many tools to help along the way like Google Analytics and HubSpot to provide you with meaningful data. If you still have questions, we would be happy to offer a free comprehensive digital marketing audit – it’s easy to get started, we just need a little information from you. Curious? Head here and fill out the form