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Targeting Social Media for Brands is a primary thing with each and every Fortune 500 trying to rope in as much Social Footprint they can through either plain engagement or Ads. But then, all the Big fish asks in return is the BIG question “What will be the ROI of my efforts?’

So, for starters. What is an Attribution and why do marketers use an Attribution Model you might ask?

What is Attribution?

What is Attribution?

The means of activity measurement which marketers use for their various outreach campaigns which adds to their ROI is Attribution

So What does this mean??

If you are spending 100$ on a Facebook Ad and 200 $ on a website banner, and by seeing those Facebook Ads , visitors are coming to your site directly or indirectly and purchasing products worth $1,000 of Mobile Accessories. You can safely say that your sales of Mobile accessories can be attributed to the Facebook Ads you had put up on Facebook and not on the banner you had put up on another website. Hence the ROI attribution in this simple sense goes to Facebook as a medium. Now there are many layers and methods to come to such a number, some of which i have tried and highlighted below:

  • First Click Attribution
  • Last Click Attribution
  • Equal Weight Attribution
  • Custom Attribution
The Last Click attribution has been going on from the start and is the most deployed Attribution Model.The event value or any conversion credit goes to the last engagement done by the consumer. The First click Model does the opposite of it.
So which one is more preferable? Let’s take a Scenario here.
I see an XYZ Store post on Facebook yesterday. XYZ Store sells electronics and gadgets. I liked the post and hence went ahead and liked the page.Today while walking on the Road, saw a banner from the XYZ Store displayed on the Signal which was displaying the new
Mobiles which have been released. As i was already thinking about taking a new mobile, i did take the ad in to consideration. And today before writing this blog, i accidentally came across a Banner of XYZ Store with a 20% offer on their best mobiles and went ahead to their site and checked some of their products and bought one.
So the question arises here. Which Channel the revenue should be attributed to?
Here we can go back to the Marketing Basics and re-learn the A.I.D.A principle:

Awareness –> Interest –> Desire –> Action

In this case, Facebook as a channel lead to my awareness about the XYZ Brand.Seeing the post on Facebook which was quite engaging, I liked their Facebook page which showcases, i would like to know more about their products (Interest).

Seeing the Banner Ad on the Road with a nice looking phone actually influenced my decision which was long awaited to take a new mobile phone in to consideration. This expresses Desire

And clicking through an Ad on a website regarding a Sale about the mobile phones was the final nail in the coffin.This led my desire in to action ultimately leading me to the website and buying something from there.(Action)

 According to the last click attribution, the Revenue will be allotted to the website through which i came to the website of XYZ.com which eventually lead to a purchase. But then, It would be completely ignoring Facebook through which i actually came to know about the brand at first. Similarly the First Click Attribution, would not do complete justice to the final website which lead to a sale.
First Click Attribution might be accurate in terms of a Social Media Marketer where it’s more about Brand Awareness and Engagement than plain Sales pitches to the consumers.
The more accurate way of measuring the same would be Equal Weight or Custom Attribution. Equal Weight Attribution would be nothing but assigning equal amounts of Revenue to each channel i came through to but the product XYZ.com. This would on an overall basis give me more clarity on each Channel the consumers are coming through and not just depend on one click but the whole path he has taken.
Custom Attribution would be a more sophisticated yet difficult method of measuring the nearly accurate attribution.This method showcases the maximum value based on grading each channel according to your needs and is customizable.
So if you are company who is more proactive on Google Ads and Search and spending day in and out on them, you can actually rate conversions from Social Media to be of greater returns to your purpose. Whereas, if you are seeing more traffic from Social Media even though you are not even trying to advertise on those channels. It might be wise to invest more weightage to these channels as these visits coming from Social Channels are through your efforts, but not lessening your Companies Pockets.
Categorizing each touch point according to your need is also important along with the sequence of the events/touchpoints.The type of interactions to your business is also important in weighing against each other( Video View,Click Through, Facebook Share).This can later help you market the relevant content to your audience more and can be specifically granular.
Do let me know in your comments, Which Type of Attribution works for you best?